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Next Media agency acquires Bundesliga rights in Vietnam

(Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images)

The German Bundesliga has agreed a new five-year, exclusive media-rights deal with agency Next Media in Vietnam, covering the seasons from 2020-21 to 2024-25.

Next Media will distribute the rights to broadcasters within Vietnam. The press release announcing the deal said there would be matches on free-to-air television as well as “a paid subscription service”.

The rights cover 300 matches per season from the 1. Bundesliga, 2. Bundesliga, the DFL Supercup, relegation playoffs, and on-demand programming including highlights and magazine shows.

As part of the agreement, Next Media and the Bundesliga will work with the Vietnam Football Federation to develop training programmes for young Vietnamese players.

Bundesliga rights in Vietnam in the current cycle, ending this season, are held by pay-television broadcaster Fox Sports as part of a deal covering 80 territories in Asia, Europe and the Americas. That deal was for six seasons, from 2015-16 to 2019-20.

Next Media has become a significant player in the Vietnamese football media rights market in recent years. In April it announced a deal for Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup rights. It has also distributed rights for national team football matches, including streaming matches on its own platforms.

Robert Klein, chief executive of Bundesliga International, said: “This is a landmark moment for us, as it signifies the first time a private media company in Vietnam has acquired the rights to distribute a major European football competition. The Vietnamese have a huge appetite for football, and we are confident that the authentic, entertaining, goal-filled matches will entertain fans throughout the country.

“Next Media is an ideal partner, having close ties with domestic broadcasters, media and football stakeholders. Together, we look forward to growing the Bundesliga brand and supporting the growth of Vietnamese football with our strategic roadmap.”

Nguyen Trung Kien, General Director of Next Media, said: “After much success in the field of copyright and media of domestic tournaments, Next Media has taken the next step to venture into regional, continental and world tournaments. In addition to our exclusive ownership of the AFF Cup 2020 in Vietnam and three other countries (Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia), we are pleased to bring Vietnamese audiences five consecutive seasons of Bundesliga from 2020 to 2025. We are dedicated to continually entertaining Vietnamese fans with the world’s leading sports and football tournaments.”

The Vietnam deal is the second announced in the Asia-Pacific region for the sales cycle from 2020-21 onwards, after a deal with Japanese pay-television platform SkyPerfecTV last month, also covering the five seasons from 2020-21 to 2024-25.

The rights are being distributed by Bundesliga International, the international sales and marketing arm of the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL).

The league has been working on international media rights sales in earnest since the second half of last year. It has so far also agreed major deals in the US, with ESPN, from 2020-21 to 2025-26, and in the Nordics, with the Nordic Entertainment (Nent) Group, for 2021-22 to 2024-25.

An earlier, landmark $50m-(€46m-) per-year deal in China with streaming operator PPTV is in place from 2018-19 to 2022-23.