In a last minute agreement, German DTH platform HD+ will broadcast the 45 Bundesliga games Eurosport will show live from the upcoming season on Astra (19.2° East) for German satellite households.
The distribution deal was reached between Eurosport’s parent company Discovery Networks Deutschland and the subsidiary of Astra satellite operator SES. The Bundesliga games Eurosport will screen on spin-off channel Eurosport 2 HD Xtra will, hence, not only be available on OTT service Eurosport Player, but also on a classic TV broadcast infrastructure.
For the new service, HD+ will launch subscription package Eurosport Paket on August 4, 2017 through which customers will gain access to Eurosport 2 HD Xtra via satellite and through the Eurosport Player on all other reception devices. On Astra, Eurosport 2 HD Xtra will broadcast on the frequency 11.112 GHz H (SR 22,000, FEC 2/3).
All HD+ customers will be able to receive the channel without additional charge until September 4, 2017 if they register for it on the HD+ website. Afterwards, the Eurosport package will cost €5 per month; the subscription can be cancelled monthly. From September 2017, there will also be a prepaid offer: 12 months Eurosport Paket for €55.
The collaboration with HD+ is a clever move by Discovery as no agreement was reached with Sky Deutschland, but both sides were involved in a legal dispute. HD+ has 3 million customers. The total technical reach of HD+ amounts to the 17.6 million Astra satellite households in Germany, corresponding with 46% of the total number of German TV households.
“It is our aim to make the Bundesliga available to the fans on as many screens as possible. With the large reach and a strong product, HD+ is the perfect cooperation partner for us,” said Susanne Aigner-Drews, Managing Director of Discovery Networks Deutschland. “We can jointly guarantee viewers a 360° viewing experience, whether it’s on the large screen or on other devices. With the move, we extend the reception possibilities of the Bundesliga on Eurosport by a crucial component.”
Georges Agnes, Managing Director Operations and Product Development at HD Plus, said: “Bundesliga live and exclusive, in best HD quality, on Germany’s most important TV reception infrastructure – the new Eurosport package on HD+ hits the bullseye for all football fans. In time for the beginning of the new Bundesliga season, it ensures that millions of TV households in Germany will be able to experience many matches and goals of the Bundesliga live that would otherwise not have been available on television. The new HD+ offer is the ideal addition for Sky customers who want to continue watching all games and goals live.”
The first Bundesliga match Eurosport transmits live this season will be the DFL Supercup between Bundesliga champion FC Bayern Munich and DFB Cup winner Borussia Dortmund on August 5, 2017; kick-off is at 20.30 CET. In the next four Bundesliga seasons, Eurosport will mainly show the Friday evening games. In total, 30 matches will be screened live on Friday at 20.30 CET, additionally five games on Sunday afternoon at 13.30 CET as well as five Monday night games at 20.30 CET. The channel will also screen the four relegation matches and the DFL Supercup.
Interesting detail: For HD+, the addition of Eurosport 2 HD Xtra marks a strategic shift as, for the first time, a pay-TV channel becomes part of the platform. Until now, only the HD versions of commercial, ad-supported free-to-air channels were offered. This could be the cornerstone for a pay-TV platform with third-party channels not carried by Sky Deutschland.
[UPDATE] In contrast to the regular HD+ platform, Sky Deutschland subscribers will not be able to receive the Eurosport package offered by HD+ through their Sky receiver and Sky smartcard. This was confirmed to Broadband TV News by HD+ and Sky. The reason is that no agreement has been reached regarding the distribution of Eurosport’s Bundesliga games on Sky.