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Sky PerfecTV deal marks Bundesliga’s first Asian media rights agreement of new cycle

The German Bundesliga has agreed a media-rights deal in Japan with pay-television broadcaster Sky PerfecTV covering the five seasons from 2020-21 to 2024-25, SportBusiness can reveal.

The deal, which will be announced this week, was negotiated by the IMG agency.

Sky PerfecTV will show exclusive live, delayed and replay coverage of more than 200 matches per season from the Bundesliga and second-tier 2. Bundesliga. It has also acquired live television and streaming rights to the season-opening DFL Supercup matches, and promotion and relegation play-off matches.

Sky PerfecTV has held the Bundesliga rights in Japan for the past two seasons, also via deals negotiated by IMG. In those seasons, the agency acquired the rights from international sports broadcaster Fox and sold them on. Fox holds rights for the Bundesliga across Asia and the Americas, and in several European territories – 80 markets in total – until the end of this season, in a six-season deal that began in 2015-16.

The Sky PerfecTV agreement, an analysis of which will be published by SportBusiness Media this afternoon, is the first that the Bundesliga will announce for its Asian media rights sales process from 2020-21 onwards.

The league has been working on international media rights sales in Asia and other markets 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.

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

The German top flight’s broadcast rights sales globally are negotiated by Bundesliga International, the international sales and marketing arm of the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL).

Sky PerfecTV is one of the two leading football broadcasters in Japan along with subscription OTT operator DAZN. DAZN has the strongest position in football at present, with rights for the domestic J.League, the Uefa Champions League and Europa League, and the English Premier League, among other properties. Sky PerfecTV also has rights for the Italian Serie A, from 2018-19 to 2020-21.

As part of the deal, Sky PerfecTV and the Bundesliga will work together to run events in Japan for German football fans, including visits by clubs and legends, and trophy tours. Localised social media content will also be developed.

The Bundesliga has historically attracted strong interest in Japan due to a series of Japanese players who have made their careers in it. The league currently has three Japanese players – former Japan national team captain Makoto Hasebe at Eintracht Frankfurt, national team striker Yuya Osako at Werder Bremen, and young talent Daichi Kamada at Eintracht Frankfurt.