Sport1 exits as Handball-Bundesliga awards domestic rights

The German handball league, the Handball-Bundesliga, has agreed new rights deals with pay-television broadcaster Sky Deutschland and public-service broadcasters ARD and ZDF.

Terms of the deals announced today (Monday) were not disclosed, but German media reports said they will run for six seasons, from 2017-18 to 2022-23.

The Handball-Bundesliga tendered the rights on August 24 with bids due by September 23. The league’s rights are currently held by sports broadcaster Sport1 in a five-season deal, from 2012-13 to 2016-17.

The new agreements with Sky, ARD and ZDF cover the top-tier Bundesliga, as well as the second-tier 2.Liga, DHB-Pokal including the Final Fours, Super Cup and All Star Game.

In addition to the regular live broadcasts by Sky, ARD will televise up to 12 league games per season, including the DHB-Pokal final. ZDF, along with Sky and ARD, will also broadcast highlights of action from the various competitions. IPTV, internet and mobile rights are also part of the new rights agreements.

Frank Bohmann, managing director of the Handball-Bundesliga, said: “This is a very good news for German professional handball. Through the partnership with Sky, as well as ARD and ZDF, handball gets a new media value. Clubs, fans and sponsors will benefit from the outstanding quality, the know-how of the partners and the diversity of the offering. This unique partnership will develop handball in Germany even further.”