Sport1, the German sports broadcaster, has retained domestic rights to the top-tier Women’s Volleyball Bundesliga (VBL) until 2026.
Sport1, which has shown the VBL in its current guise since 2017, concluded a five-year extension until the end of the 2025-26 season yesterday, covering Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
The renewal covers 28 regular-season VBL games on Sport1’s free-to-air linear channels, as well as playoff matches from the post-season and games from the DVV Cup competition, with fixtures to normally be shown on Friday evenings.
In addition, a pay-per-view element will be added into Sport1's offering for the first time, with all games not shown via the main linear channels to be made available as pay-per-view or via subscription platforms, with options available including buying specific games or taking out a subscription to follow one particular club from the 16-team league.
The clubs all will benefit from these pay-per-view subscriptions, as every fan has the option of naming their preferred club during the booking process.
Olaf Schroeder, chief executive at Sport1 GmbH, said: “We are full of anticipation for even more women’s volleyball on our Sport1 platforms and from this season onwards we will be delivering all games live and on-demand to fans, whether they are at home or on the go.”
Julia Retzlaff, the VBL’s managing director, added: “The development of pay-per-view offers strengthens this agreement and expands the financial room of our women's Bundesliga, in order that we can become a top European league.”
Further details of Sport1’s coverage plans for the VBL will be unveiled before the start of the season in September.
Sport1 first secured VBL rights in 2017, with the league being shown free-to-air before that by the country’s two public-service broadcasters, ARD and ZDF.
The network’s coverage of the VBL will start on 6 October, as SSC Palmberg Schwerin take on SC Potsdam in the DVV Cup.
The broadcaster also holds rights to the upcoming 2021 editions, for both men and women, of the European volleyball championships national teams’ tournaments.