Nepal | August 08, 2020

Bundesliga to lure global TV audiences as soccer-starved fans tune in

Share Now:

MUNICH: Germany’s Bundesliga will attract legions of new armchair fans around the world this weekend when it becomes the first of Europe’s major soccer leagues to resume after a two-month shutdown due to the coronavirus.

In normal circumstances, the German game, dominated in recent seasons by Bayern Munich, lacks the marketing pull of England’s Premier League or Spain’s La Liga, which boasts the world’s two biggest clubs in terms of revenue – Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Yet even with a subdued atmosphere given the absence of passionate fans, with all games being played behind closed doors to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Bundesliga can use the spotlight to show its worth to devotees missing live action around the globe.

“With the Bundesliga as the only league to be broadcast on TV, I expect we will have an audience of a billion,” Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told SportBild magazine on Wednesday.

In Britain, BT Sport is showing all nine Bundesliga matches live this weekend, including the Ruhr valley derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04.

“Each team has nine or 10 league matches to play in order to complete the season and BT Sport will be with you every step of the way in what promises to be a thrilling climax to the season,” said BT Sport on its website.

In Scandinavia, all Bundesliga games will be available on the Viaplay streaming service with selected games on pay-TV channels, said NENT.

“We know how strong the appetite for live sport is, so we are delighted to offer top-class football to our viewers once again,” said a NENT spokeswoman.

Games will be played in empty stadiums with only about 300 essential staff and officials attending. Players have been told not to spit, celebrate in groups, or touch hands with team mates.

Some clubs will use music and cardboard cutouts of fans to liven up the atmosphere at matches and Sky aims to compensate its television audiences by offering recordings of fans’ gasps, cheers and chants.

Highlights this weekend include league leaders Bayern away at Union Berlin on Sunday with Dortmund, four points behind the Bavarians, playing Schalke on Saturday.

Bayern, Dortmund and Schalke are the only three German clubs to feature in the top 20 in the annual Deloitte ranking of soccer clubs by their revenues.

The funds due from broadcasters Sky, ARD and ZDF and other television stations for the remaining matches of the season were one of the main drivers for the Bundesliga to end its coronavirus-induced forced break.

In Germany, the DFL even granted the broadcasters a discount if they paid part of the agreed instalments before the Bundesliga re-started.

The total amount involved is just under 300 million euros ($324 million) and without that some clubs in the first and second division could find themselves in financial difficulty in coming months.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Sevilla, Leverkusen cruise into Europa League quarter-finals

Five-times winners Sevilla made light work of AS Roma when first half goals from Sergio Reguilon and Youssef En-Nesyri gave them a 2-0 win over AS Roma and sent them into the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday. Sevilla's win, in a tie reduced to a single match played in Duisberg, Ge Read More...

Mexico, coronavirus outbreak;

Mexico's coronavirus death toll tops 50,000

MEXICO CITY: Mexico's health ministry on Thursday reported 6,590 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 819 fatalities, bringing the country's totals to 462,690 cases and 50,517 deaths. The virus is spreading quickly; just over two weeks ago, the health ministry reported 40,000 deaths. M Read More...

University of Washington forecasts 300,000 US COVID-19 deaths

WASHINGTON: Nearly 300,000 Americans could be dead from COVID-19 by Dec. 1, University of Washington health experts forecast on Thursday, although they said 70,000 lives could be saved if people were scrupulous about wearing masks. The prediction by the university's widely cited Institute for Read More...


Licence of child care home seized

Kathmandu, August 6 The National Child Rights Council, under the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens, seized the licence of Kapan-based Care Child Orphanage following the rescue of 11 children sheltering there yesterday. Stating that the orphanage had violated the provisions in the Read More...

Covid-19 positive Province 2 home minister in home isolation

JANAKPURDHAM/KATHMANDU, AUGUST 6 Province 2 Internal Affairs and Law Minister Gyanendra Yadav has contracted COVID and has been staying in ‘isolation at his home as per the doctor’s advice’ since he tested positive for the virus’. Yadav, who is asymptomatic, has urged everyone who Read More...

Student enrolment remains uncertain

Kathmandu, August 6 Mainly private schools in the country have been running online classes. However, due to poor internet facility and frequent power cuts, online classes have not been effective in Nepal. Preparations to resume student enrolment since August 17 have been marred by increasin Read More...

Community spread feared in Siraha

Siraha, August 6 The spread of COVID-19 in the community has caused terror in Siraha of late. Just yesterday, four persons involved in different occupations tested positive for the virus here, according to District Health Office. Two of the four are health professionals of a polyclinic; one Read More...

VTM crunch hits Banke

Nepalgunj, August 6 The shortage of Viral Transport Medium used for collecting and transporting swab samples has hit the health offices in Banke. The local levels bought the VTMs and offered them to health offices as they did not have it. Mayor of Nepalgunj sub-metropolis Dhawal Shamsher Ra Read More...