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Amazon Expands Sports Push to Germany

Inks deal for live audio soccer coverage

July 17, 2017 | Advertising & Marketing

Amazon’s entry into sports broadcasting will expand later this month with a plan to stream live, audio-only coverage of Germany’s top two professional soccer leagues.

Starting July 28, when matches in the second-tier Bundesliga 2 begin, Amazon Prime and Amazon Music Unlimited members in Germany will be able to listen to live audio coverage of all Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 games in this and the following three seasons—a minimum of 617 games—at no additional cost and without advertising interruption.

The agreement also includes rights to the 2017–2018 edition of the German Football Association’s 64-team DFB Cup tournament.

Plans for individual match coverage include 15 minutes of pre- and post-match commentary as well as halftime analysis, marking Amazon’s first attempt at offering its own live content.

The cost of the rights package has not been announced, but it comes approximately three months after Amazon in the US reportedly shelled out $50 million to live stream 10 upcoming National Football League (NFL) games via its Amazon Prime Video service to viewers in more than 200 countries.

The German deal does not seem to have directly affected the country’s existing Bundesliga broadcast rightsholders, but it isn’t likely to make Germany’s terrestrial radio broadcasters happy.

eMarketer estimates adults’ daily time spent with nondigital broadcast radio in Germany has been slowly slipping in recent years, while time devoted to digital activities grows by double-digit increments.

For a media type already struggling to maintain usage levels, Amazon siphoning off some percentage of radio listeners is likely to make matters worse to some degree.

Average Time Spent per Day with Major Media by Adults in Germany, 2014-2019 (hrs:mins)

Amazon’s Bundesliga broadcast plan is the company’s second foray into European sports this month.

Earlier in July, the ecommerce giant inked a three-season sponsorship deal with France’s National Basketball League (LNB). It will see Amazon’s logo festooned on the shorts of players of the LNB’s ProA and ProB teams, as well as appear in team rooms. In addition, Amazon France will debut an LNB merchandise boutique on its site in September boasting than 700 products.

Cliff Annicelli

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