Bundesliga broadcasts: The digital possibilities for the DFL

The Bundesliga is not only the league with the most visitors to the stadium in the world, but also develops into a dominant force in worldwide football ratings. Interactive content about clubs, games and players – such as BVB-TV’s dramatic revelation of the transfer from Thorgan Hazard to Borussia Dortmund – has fueled high expectations for this season. And since there are currently several sports streaming ventures in the pipeline, the German Football League (DFL) is likely to gain enormously in size soon.

The first streaming platform of a football umbrella organization, UEFA.tv, has recently signed a contract for an exclusive Bundesliga channel that will reach a variety of markets. It is also reported that ESPN + is close to absorbing the greatest appeal of German sports in its US Connected TV service.


For advertisers, the reach of the Bundesliga is extremely growth-rich and today offers more opportunities for international and cross-channel involvement than ever before.

Fans still want to see classic sports

Being able to follow matches live is an important part of the common football experience for fans. That’s why Bundesliga matches attracted an average of 43,302 visitors to the stadium between 2013 and 2018, and that’s why live broadcasts are considered by many to be the best alternative if you can not be in the stadium right away. These games are then often seen on classic television. For example, during the FIFA Women’s World Cup, more than six million people saw Germany win Spain on TV, and the audience for the successful game against China was 4.38 million.

The big screen is a powerful medium for football fans who want to share a stadium-like experience with friends and family. This means that TV is still a very important medium for all advertisers who want to reach this audience. New innovations further enhance the relevance and appeal of traditional television. For example, the proliferation of ultra-high-definition (UHD) cameras is improving picture quality, and Sky Deutschland plans to more than double live UHD broadcasts for many sports, including the national football league, from 50 to 130 this season. Combined with flycams that move back and forth along wires from the side of the football field for one-of-a-kind close-ups, these advances bring television closer than ever to the real stadium experience. And the more captivating and captivating it becomes, the greater the potential for advertisers to convey messages that build positive relationships with their fans.

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Focus on selection

Demand for digital continues to grow along with continued demand for traditional television – earnings from Connected TV offerings are expected to exceed $ 3 million, and subscriptions to video-on-demand (VOD) services are expected to reach 9 million by 2023. The industry’s reaction to this shift brings with it a tremendous increase in advertising opportunities. The proliferation of online broadcasting services has already helped to improve regional reach – and now that Bundesliga content will soon be airing on UEFA.tv and ESPN +, this reach extends to the world.

Not only will these deals open up a wide range of markets – such as the United Kingdom, France, Poland, Russia, Italy, Spain, the Middle East and Africa – advertisers will also be able to reach international users anytime and across multiple channels. For example, you can receive UEFA.tv from both smart TVs and a mobile app, which means that users can watch Bundesliga games, highlights, and specials on the go, making them constantly accessible to advertisers.

In addition, content quality and diversity could be boosted by 5G connectivity. While tests are still in their early stages, they represent a significant step toward streamlined delivery that will give broadcasters and advertisers the ability to deliver unified premium-level content. With high-speed broadcasts, super-fast download times, and integrated technology, campaigns will be better aligned with content and specific fan preferences, across devices across smart TV, desktop, and mobile.

Never forget the social attitude

Social media offers the opportunity to connect with digitally savvy audiences, especially younger people who are increasingly “online first”. International research shows that 16- to 24-year-olds view social media as the main starting point for finding brands or products and spend 3 hours a day on social platforms. As a result, it is hardly surprising that sports leaders have a strong presence on social media. The Bundesliga, for example, uses Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to communicate with fans and to provide insights into the lives of players in order to deepen personal ties. See the Serge Gnarby story posted on the IGTV channel of the Bundesliga.

For advertisers, it is of utmost importance not only to derive economic benefits from the existing social media follow-up of relevant teams, but also to improve their own social position. According to Digiday, 90% of sports watch fans are shifting their attention to looking for a more interactive experience on secondary screens. To interest them, advertisers need to be easy to find and engage on social channels while delivering relevant, engaging messages that provide the meaningful mutual contact that fans want.

So if advertisers want to make the best possible use of the next Bundesliga season, they need to better understand the opportunities that come with it. While targeting live broadcasts remains powerful and critical, it’s just one of many ways to boost reach and results. As digitization and the associated dissolution of boundaries between media have grown, fans have begun to take advantage of a more diverse media landscape and to mix a wealth of online and offline content according to their personal preferences. Advertisers must therefore take advantage of every medium in the modern living room and beyond, and merge digital, traditional, and social to maximize their chances of better response and higher scores.

You might also be interested in this: Apps: Football TV without TV

Stefan Beckmann, is Director & Head of SSP Sales DACH & Nordics, FreeWheel and Comcast Technology Solution.

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