Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) India, one of the country’s heavyweight broadcasters, will continue to show the Bundesliga for another three seasons after renewing its exclusive rights deal with the top German soccer league.
Under the extended agreement, announced today (August 3), SPN will retain rights to broadcast the league across the Indian subcontinent, which includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and the Maldives.
The new deal will run until the end of the 2025-26 campaign, with the previous cycle (only covering two seasons) having run from the start of 2021-22.
Bundesliga matches will continue to be aired on Sony Sports Network and its SonyLIV OTT platform.
In addition, the Bundesliga is also launching ‘Goal Arena – the Bundesliga Konferenz’, a special feed that will, for the first time, enable viewers to watch key moments from the five matches taking place simultaneously on a Saturday evening.
The 2023-24 campaign begins on August 18 with Werder Bremen hosting champions Bayern Munich in the opening game.
Last season, SPN also provided exclusive coverage of the DFB-Pokal, German soccer’s knockout cup competition.
Peer Naubert, Bundesliga International's chief marketing officer, said: “Building long-term relationships with market leaders like Sony is key to our strategy as we seek to cement our position as the fastest-growing league. The success of this model is clear when we see that our live audience numbers have doubled in the last two seasons, and ensuring our fans feel connected, no matter where they are in the world, is extremely important to us.
“The Bundesliga is often considered the home of Asian talent, having fielded more Asian players in the last 20 years than the other top four European leagues combined. We value this position and, working alongside Sony, hope to inspire the next generation of Indian football talent.”
Rajesh Kaul, SPN chief revenue officer – distribution and international business and head of sports business, added: “We have seen significant growth in viewership since we started broadcasting the Bundesliga on our network.
“The stature of the league, the legacy of the clubs and the players, and the favorable broadcast timing in conjunction with our marketing and programming efforts will further help grow the following of [the] Bundesliga in India.”
In an effort to strengthen its presence in the Indian market, the German league (DFL) and Bundesliga clubs have already established a number of partnerships in the region.
In September 2022, the DFL signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian Super League (ISL), and several clubs have worked closely with ISL teams, including Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig.
Earlier this year, meanwhile, Bundesliga International, the league's global commercial rights division agreed a content deal with Khel Now, an Indian digital media site.
Last week, Bundesliga International hired digital media specialists Minute Media, founder of the global soccer network 90min, as its official content partner to boost its presence in North America.