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Pay TV Operator Sky Pays Almost $4 Billion for German Soccer Rights

LONDON — Pay TV operator Sky’s German-language platform, Sky Deutschland, has paid almost $4 billion for the rights to show matches from the Bundesliga, Germany’s top soccer league, over four years.

The deal, which was signed with the German Professional Soccer Assn., gives Sky 572 live matches a season from 2017/18 to 2020/21 across all platforms. The pact means Sky will continue to broadcast 93% of all live matches, including live coverage of Bundesliga matches on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

For the first time, Sky will also become the exclusive live broadcaster for all matches of the regular season of Bundesliga 2, German soccer’s second division, with an additional live match on Monday evenings.

Under the new agreement, Sky will pay 32% more in the 2017/18 season — the first year of the new contract — than in the final year of the existing agreement, which concludes at the end of the 2016/17 season. Over the four years of the new deal, the average rights cost a year will be €876 million ($991 million), compared with an average of €486 million ($550 million) a year under the existing contract.

The pact forms part of the delivery of Sky’s growth strategy in Germany. In addition to extending its leadership in sport, Sky is developing a broader content offering, including a growing slate of Sky original drama series, such as “Babylon Berlin” and “The Young Pope.”

Sky Deutschland has added 1.2 million customers over the last three years, grown its revenues by almost 40% and moved the business into profit for the first time in a third quarter (to end of March 2016).

Jeremy Darroch, group chief executive at Sky, said: “This is an important step to building our business in Germany and maximizing the significant opportunity for growth. Our continued leadership in sport will underpin the execution of our wider strategy for building out pay-TV: providing a broad range of the very best content, market-leading innovation and best in class service from a trusted brand.”

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