ESPN+ Secures Rights To Germany’s Bundesliga, With Deal To Kick Off Next Season

Weston McKennie
U.S. national team midfielder Weston McKennie plays in Germany on the Bundesliga club Schalke 04. Pixathlon/Shutterstock

ESPN+ has secured U.S. rights to Germany’s Bundesliga, and will dispossess Fox for the right to air games from Germany’s top soccer league beginning at the start of next season, in August 2020.

The multiyear deal announced earlier this week will include 300 games each season on ESPN+ and ESPN’s networks, DFL Supercup livestreams and even relegation playoff games. The pact also will allow for rights to highlights to be available across ESPN’s platforms.

The German league is becoming something proving ground for young U.S. talent, with Team USA regulars Weston McKennie, John Brooks, Zack Steffen, Josh Sargent, Tyler Adams and Fabian Johnson among those playing there now. U.S. captain Christian Pulisic this year transferred from the Budesliga’s Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea in the English Premiere League in the biggest deal ever for an American player overseas.

“With a strong connection to the American soccer community, a growing audience in the U.S. and some of the most well-known clubs and players in the world, the addition of the Bundesliga further cements ESPN+ as a must-have for any soccer fan,” ESPN+ EVP and GM Russell Wolff said in a statement Monday.

Fox Sports is currently amidst airing 220 matches this season across Fox, FS1, FS2 and Fox Soccer Plus, with all matches available on the Fox Sports app.

The German top league has had a long history on U.S. TV, thanks to the PBS series Soccer Made In Germany in the 1970s and 1980s, offering a rare glimpse of European soccer for American audiences. The series showed curated highlights and was hosted first by Toby Charles and later Alan Fountain.

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