Discovery Communications Deutschland wants to operate the German Eurosport channels no longer under French, but German broadcast licences as part of an extension of its channel family for the Bundesliga coverage.
The TV broadcaster has therefore applied for licences for the operation of nationwide thematic TV channels Eurosport 1, Eurosport 2 and the new Eurosport 2 HD Xtra at Bavarian media authority BLM.
Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2, like the international Eurosport channels, have so far been operated by Eurosport SAS using pan-European licences from French media authority CSA. The channels for the German-speaking countries in Europe are to be operated by Discovery Communications Deutschland in future.
The French broadcast licences date back to the time when Eurosport was a subsidiary of French commercial broadcaster TF1.
“As part of the licencing process of Eurosport 2 HD Xtra, we have decided to also apply for German licences for Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2,” a Discovery spokesman told Broadband TV News. “Considering the increasing localisation of the Eurosport brand with nationally significant rights and growing local event coverage, this has been the logical step for us.”
Eurosport 1 is an advertising-funded free-to-air channel in German-language Europe while Eurosport 2 is offered as a pay-TV channel. The new spin-off service Eurosport 2 HD Xtra will simulcast Eurosport 2’s programmes and opt out for the live transmissions of the 45 Bundesliga games per season for which Discovery acquired the pay-TV rights from the 2017/18 season starting on August 18, 2017.
Eurosport 2 HD Xtra can so far only be received within subscription OTT service Eurosport Player in Germany as no carriage deals have been signed yet with platform operators on cable, satellite or IPTV.
In Switzerland, pay-TV broadcaster Teleclub will show the Bundesliga matches transmitted by Eurosport 2 HD Xtra on conventional distribution platforms followed a recently concluded agreement.
[UPDATE, 13/07/2017, 16.00 CET] BLM has granted Discovery the three broadcast licences the broadcaster applied for at today’s assembly in Munich.