Soccer fans are looking to Germany this week for the first games of the 2015/2016 Bundesliga season — and Fox Sports is using the kick-off match on Friday for another first: The sports network has teamed up with YouTube to make the season opener, which will have defending champion Bayern Munich face off against Hamburger SV, the first Bundesliga match to be live streamed to U.S. YouTube users.
The match will be available on the Fox Soccer YouTube page, with pre-match coverage starting at 11 a.m. PT / 2 p.m. ET. “We’re über-excited to bring Bundesliga matches to U.S. soccer fans on YouTube for the first time ever,” said YouTube’s head of North America sports partnerships Tim Katz.
It’s also the first time Fox Sports is streaming any major sporting event on YouTube, and the first time Fox Sports is able to show a Bundesliga match at all: The sports network acquired the rights for the league’s 306 games starting with this season as part of a mega pact between 21st Century Fox and Germany’s DFL soccer association two years ago.
Fox Sports will show 58 of the matches on Fox Sports 1, 60 on Fox Sports 2 and show the rest of the matches via Fox Soccer Plus. The network will also stream every match through its apps and website, but viewers will have to authenticate with their pay TV credentials to access those events.
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However, Fox Sports is foregoing any kind of TV Everywhere requirements for Friday’s YouTube stream, which is a one-off to promote the network’s new Bundesliga partnership: The match will be made available to any U.S.-based YouTube user, regardless of whether they have a pay TV subscription or not.