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Bundesliga strikes TV deals in Singapore, South Korea and Thailand

Bundesliga International, the league’s international commercial rights arm, has signed off on new broadcast deals in Singapore, South Korea and Thailand ahead of the start of the 2020-21 season on Friday.

Long-term deals have been agreed with StarHub, the Singaporean telco and pay-television broadcaster, KBS, the public broadcaster in South Korea, and PPTV HD 36, the Thai digital terrestrial broadcaster owned by Bangkok Media and Broadcasting.

All three deals take effect from 2020-21 onwards with the contract in Thailand running for five seasons.

Along with rights to the top-tier Bundesliga and second-tier 2. Bundesliga, the deals also include the German Supercup and relegation play-off matches.

The three territories were previously covered by the Bundesliga’s 80-territory agreement with pay-television broadcaster Fox Sports. That deal, which covered much of Asia, territories in Europe, and the Americas, ran from 2015-16 to 2019-20.

In addition to the broadcast rights, StarHub, the Bundesliga’s broadcaster in Singapore before Fox Sports, has also become the league’s telecoms partner in Singapore.

Over 200 live matches per season will be offered by StarHub across its pay-television, OTT streaming, mobile and digital platforms. In addition, Bundesliga International, which opened an office in Singapore in 2012, is to work with StarHub on marketing activities to promote the league and “create touchpoints for fans through on-site activations and promotions in StarHub official stores and at events”.

South Korea’s KBS will showcase the Bundesliga coverage across national terrestrial free-to-air television, cable, satellite, IPTV and digital platforms. The primary coverage will be aired on the flagship KBS 1 and KBS 2 channels, along with sports channel KBSN Sports.

There is significant local interest in the Bundesliga in South Korea given a strong contingent of Korean players at German clubs. These include Hee-Chan Hwang (RB Leipzig), Dong-Won Ji (Mainz), Seong-Hoon Cheon (Augsburg), Woo-Yeong Jeong and Chang-Hoon Kwon (both Freiburg).

Meanwhile, the five-year agreement with PPTV HD 36 ensures that matches will be aired on national free-to-air television in Thailand. PPTV HD 36 will air two live fixtures per match day, the German Supercup and the relegation play-offs.

Bundesliga International said that itself and the broadcaster will work with PPTV’s local sports and entertainment programming to create crossover content, cross-marketing the league through Thai entertainment personalities.

The trio of deals follow on from the Bundesliga’s other recent rights agreements in Asia.

These have included five-years deal with Indonesian OTT and pay-television platform Mola TV and Vietnamese rights agency Next Media. In Japan, pay-television broadcaster Sky PerfecTV also acquired the rights for five seasons in a deal negotiated by the IMG agency.

Commenting on the deals in Singapore, South Korea and Thailand, Bundesliga International chief executive Robert Klein said today (Tuesday): “We are very excited to announce this latest series of deals. Asia is a hugely significant football market and our research shows that there is a rapidly-growing Bundesliga fan base. This is not only because of our world-class players and fast, attacking football, but also because of the direct activations on the ground, such as Bundesliga Experiences, Legend visits and Meisterschale Tours, as well as working with our partners on the ground to develop the football fan base throughout Asia.

“All our partners are keen to work closely with Bundesliga International to better connect and engage more deeply with our fans and they share that desire. With their local expertise and our brand of exciting football, we can deliver the Bundesliga more tangibly than ever before.”