Breaking: Bundesliga will debut Sept. 13 on Fox

The German Bundesliga will air for the first time on network television Sept. 13 when the Bayern Munich-Augsburg match will air on free-to-air Fox. The match will be shown on a delayed basis and air before or after NFL games, depending on the market.

In an interview with Soccer America, David Nathanson, Head of Business Operation for Fox Sports, said Fox Sports is using the same tactic to promote the Bundesliga, with which it is in the first of a five-year agreement, that it did for the English Premier League.

"The power of using the NFL, even if the game was not live, led to the most-watched Premier League game in U.S. history and it still stands today," said Nathanson, referring to the September 2011 Manchester United-Chelsea match. "We're going to use the same tactic with the Bundesliga."

John Strong, Fox Sports' voice of MLS, and analyst Brad Friedel will handle the commentary for the Bayern-Munich game, which will air live on Fox Sports 1 the day before.

The delayed broadcast of Manchester United-Chelsea drew 1.6 million viewers on Fox, which remains the most-watched Premier League game ever on U.S. television even with the EPL's growing popularity the last three seasons on the NBC Universal networks.

Nathanson predicted Bayern-Augsburg will be the most-watched Bundesliga match in the U.S. match to air on television by multiples. He said Fox Sports is exploring the possibility of airing other Bundesliga games live or on delay but has made no commitment.

The Bundesliga has been airing on Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Deportes, as well as on Fox Sports Go and FoxSoccer2Go for three weeks. Nathanson said Fox Sports 1 is averaging 75,000 total viewers for the first three weeks of the Bundesliga season (five games).

Fox Sports 1 Viewers,
Bundesliga Week 1: 50,000
Bundesliga Week 2: 79,000
Bundesliga Week 3: 85,000

"The ratings are meeting our expectations," he said, "and our expectations are that the ratings are going to grow significantly from here. We are building the foundation to grow from."

Nathanson emphasized that Fox Sports is starting from scratch with the Bundesliga, which aired in recent years on Gol TV, which had limited and declining distribution.

2 comments about "Breaking: Bundesliga will debut Sept. 13 on Fox".
  1. Bruce Moorhead, September 7, 2015 at 1:45 p.m.

    There was "Soccer Made in Germany" on PBS circa 1977-1983 with good ol' Toby Charles on commentary. A 60 minute condensed version of a West German Bundesliga game. It used to be the only European soccer we could see and hear in English in those days.

  2. ROBERT BOND, September 9, 2015 at 9:53 a.m.

    love following all the DFB players.....

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications