Bundesliga is headed to ESPN+ in 2020-21

Germany’s Bundesliga will become the latest soccer league to move to ESPN+ as part of a multi-year agreement that will begin in August 2020.

ESPN linear television networks will feature select Bundesliga matches each season but the bulk of the matches will air, in both English and Spanish languages, on ESPN+, ESPN's streaming service, which launched in April 2018.

The Bundesliga will move after the end of the five-year agreement it has had with Fox Sports, which has carried matches on Fox, FS1, FS2 and Fox Deportes as well as its pay services. In recent years, Univision networks have aired matches in Spanish as part of a sub-licensing arrangement with Fox Sports.

The new agreement agreement includes live coverage to the DFL Supercup, rights to Bundesliga 2 matches and highlights and magazine shows.

“It was clear from the start that ESPN and ESPN+ shared our ambitious vision," Bundesliga International CEO Robert Klein said in a statement. "As innovators in the sports industry, we’re both driven to deliver highly engaging content for fans. They will help us build on the strong connections the Bundesliga has with the U.S. having welcomed more American players than any other European league."

The Bundesliga was the last day-time European competition Fox Sports held rights to after losing the Premier League to NBC Sports and UEFA Champions League and Europa League to Turner Sports.

Italy's Serie A moved to ESPN+ last season. The Danish, Dutch and Swedish leagues are on the streaming service, along with England's lower-tier Football League. It also carries MLS and USL Championship games (and the NWSL as part of a short-term deal) and leagues in Australia, China and India.

NBC Sports holds the Premier League rights through the 2021-22 season. La Liga recently renewed its agreement with BeIN Sports (on English and Spanish-language rights) through the 2023-24 season. France's Ligue 1 will be BeIN Sports (English and Spanish) through the 2020-21 season.

Photos: DFL / Getty Images / S. Widmann, DFL / Getty Images / Oliver Hardt.

7 comments about "Bundesliga is headed to ESPN+ in 2020-21".
  1. Bob Ashpole, September 30, 2019 at 7:07 p.m.

    I suspect this is desperation to bolster lagging sales of the on-line product. 

    I personally will never pay for ESPN+ because I believe it is a rip off. I have ESPN through my cable company and pay astronomical fees for cable. The ESPN3 service was free to subscribers, i.e., included in their subscriptions. What ESPN did is reduced cable coverage and then charged a ridiculous additional monthly fee for part of what I was already paying for.

    This is just a way of increasing rates while pretending to provide additional service. I don't care what they include in ESPN+, they won't get any more of my money. 

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, September 30, 2019 at 7:12 p.m.

    I want to add that my belief is that if ESPN's market plan works, every other cable channel will follow suit by breaking off popular channel content and selling it separately for a monthly fee. This could easily end up doubling your monthly costs in order to maintain the same programming coverage.

  3. Rob Lepley, September 30, 2019 at 8:52 p.m.

    I drank the ESPN + kool aid and I love it. I think this is a great addition to what they already have.  It’s a grea value for everything thing you get.  

  4. Bob Ashpole replied, October 1, 2019 at 12:06 a.m.

    It was not an addition. The just divided the content from one bundle into two bundles for purchasing and are still charging full price for the cable bundle.

  5. Gary Levitt, October 1, 2019 at 5:42 a.m.

    B.A.:  Reality:  multi-platform content providers (ESPN) will all move to a digital-based offering for many reasons.  While I understand you not wanting to increase your spend, reality is now in play and for +- $5.00 a month, ESPN+ (and a $29.00 Amazon Firestick) provides a broad and extensive array of soccer.  Above and beyond European offerings, I have been and always be a MLS supporter - for me to watch ATL UTD games live or on-demand is a great benefit as I now live in Orlando.  For me, no different than paying for content from Netflix, etc.  

  6. Kenneth Osgood, October 1, 2019 at 9:12 a.m.

    Based on their handling of the FA Cup, "selected matches" actually means "none until our streaming numbers are high enough".

  7. Chris Wasdyke replied, October 1, 2019 at 8:07 p.m.

    Considering I get all the additional Euor games plus what I had on MLS live for less I think it's a pretty good bargain.

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