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Sky offers free-to-air Bundesliga Konferenz following coronavirus precautions

The official DFL Bundesliga Ball - Derbystar on July 19, 2018 in Olching, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)

German pay-television broadcaster Sky Deutschland has announced that it will make its  ‘Konferenz’ coverage of Bundesliga and second-tier 2. Bundesliga matches available on a free-to-air basis for the next two match-weeks.

The decision comes after the announcement that all upcoming Bundesliga matches will be taking place without spectators due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Sky’s Konferenz programme – the broadcasting of live action from various simultaneous matches in a single broadcast – will be available on the free-to-air Sky Sport News channel and free via a live stream on the Sky Sport website. Individual matches will also, as usual, be broadcast in full on the Sky Sport Bundesliga 1 channel.

The Sky Sport News HD channel is available on various platforms for those that do not subscribe to Sky, including Deutsche Telekom, Unity Media, Vodafone Kabel Deutschland. The channel was made available on a free-to-air basis in December 2016, having previously been for subscribers only.

Devesh Raj, chief executive officer of Sky Deutschland said: “In challenging times we all have to stand together. At Sky, we firmly believe in the power of sport that brings people together – even when they’re separated. It goes without saying that we do our part by sharing these games with everyone so that as many football fans as possible can experience the Bundesliga live.”

Matches in the Konferenz programme include the fierce derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04, as well as: FC Köln vs FSV Mainz 05; RB Leipzig vs SC Freiburg; and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim vs Hertha BSC. The 2. Bundesliga matches include SV Wehen Wiesbaden vs VfB Stuttgart, Hannover 96 vs Dynamo Dresden and FC St. Pauli vs 1. FC Nürnberg.

Sky’s full individual live matches will remain behind a paywall.

Bundesliga matches that are currently broadcast by streaming service DAZN will also remain fully behind a paywall.

Contacted by SportBusiness, DAZN said: “DAZN continues to offer the first month for free. All fans who do not yet have a DAZN subscription can watch their club’s Bundesliga matches, which are broadcasted by DAZN, for free in the first month.”

Without a free-to-air channel like Sky Sport News HD, it would be challenging for DAZN to technically implement any such coverage on a short-term basis.

Under the current domestic rights contracts, Sky Deutschland broadcasts 266 exclusive live Bundesliga matches per season, while DAZN broadcasts 40 matches. Sky also holds rights to all 306 2. Bundesliga matches per season.

The German Football League (DFL) has recently announced further details on its upcoming domestic rights tender, which will offer an additional three live free-to-air matches per season.