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Nent extends Bundesliga deal in continued football rights push

The Nordic Entertainment (Nent) Group has extended its rights to Germany’s Bundesliga until 2024-25, less than a week after it announced its landmark six-season English Premier League deal.

The new four-season Bundesliga deal, from 2021-22 to 2024-25, is for exclusive rights across the Nordic region (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden). Along with regular-season Bundesliga matches, it also includes rights to the annual German Super Cup match, second-tier 2. Bundesliga, and Bundesliga relegation matches.

Nent has said it will broadcast more than 300 live Bundesliga matches per season on its Viaplay streaming service, whilst selected matches will be aired on its linear channels.

The media group currently holds Bundesliga rights in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden in a three-season deal, from 2018-19 to 2020-21. That deal was agreed with the now-defunct MP & Silva agency and included rights to other European football leagues, including France’s Ligue 1, Belgium’s Pro League, and the Scottish Premiership.

The new Bundesliga deal follows on from Nent’s announcement last week that it had acquired English Premier League rights in a six-season deal, from 2022-23 to 2027-28. The deal was the first time that the league has sold rights in Europe for a six-season period. Nent also holds Uefa Champions League rights in Denmark, Norway and Sweden (from 2018-19 to 2020-21) and will doubtless be preparing an aggressive bid when the tender is soon launched for the new three-year cycle.

MP & Silva acquired Bundesliga rights across the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Eurasia, the Nordics and Portugal in a four-season deal, from 2017-18 to 2020-21, with the league. Following the collapse of the agency in 2018, the Bundesliga’s international sales and marketing arm, Bundesliga International, agreed a new deal with Nent covering the remainder of the cycle.

MP & Silva sold digital rights in the Nordics (excluding Iceland) for the 2017-18 season to Sportradar-owned OTT streaming platform Laola but failed to secure a linear deal.

Nent does not hold Bundesliga rights in Iceland and it is not currently available in the country, but it plans to launch Viaplay there this year. Bundesliga rights are currently held by free-to-air broadcaster SportTV, in a two-and-a-half-year deal, from January 2019 till the end of the 2020-21 season.

Nent currently sublicense rights to Quadruple play service provider YouSee in Denmark. The two-season deal, covering 2019-20 and 2020-21, gives YouSee, which is owned by telco TDC Group, the rights to broadcast one match per match-week on a Saturday.

There is local Nordic interest in the league, especially from Norway, following young Norwegian player Erling Braut Håland signing for German club Borussia Dortmund. When the club signed Håland, Norwegian commercial broadcaster TV2 acquired exclusive rights to a trio of Dortmund friendly matches. When the striker was playing for Austrian club FC Red Bull Salzburg, Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang acquired rights to all Salzburg matches for the 2019-20 season.

Robert Klein, chief executive at Bundesliga International, said today that, over the past few years, Nent has “taken coverage of the Bundesliga to the next level across the Nordic region”.

In the 2015-16 and 2016-17 season, Bundesliga rights across Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden were held by international sports broadcaster Eurosport.