Discovery Communications has signed a deal with Amazon in Germany to air content from sports network Eurosport. The agreement, which also covers Austria, will give Amazon Prime members access to Eurosport’s premium HD sports events, including exclusive live Friday-night Bundesliga soccer matches.
The deal follows the launch of Eurosport and Discovery channels on Amazon in the U.K. earlier this year and further expands Amazon’s growing sports portfolio. Earlier this month, the streaming giant outbid Sky to secure U.K. rights to the ATP tennis world tour.
Discovery’s Eurosport Player is the home to numerous major sporting events in Germany and Austria, including the Australian Open and U.S. Open tennis tournaments; MotoGP; and the winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang next year. The jewel in Eurosport’s crown is the 45 live Bundesliga (Germany’s professional soccer league) matches per season it secured in a rights auction last year and which have been the subject of contention between Discovery and former rights-holder Sky Deutschland in recent months.
Discovery won an injunction against Sky in June over Sky’s marketing of its soccer coverage. Discovery had complained that Sky was continuing to tell consumers that it would be showing all Bundesliga games, whereas in fact Discovery’s Eurosport Player streaming service, not available via Sky, would be the new home of pay-TV rights for many of the league’s games. Discovery signed a four-year deal with the Deutsche Fussball Liga for exclusive pay-TV rights to Friday-night Bundesliga matches, as well as rights to selected Sunday afternoon and Monday night games, starting with the 2017-2018 season.
Alex Green, managing director of Amazon Channels Europe, said the new deal with Discovery was “great news for sports fans.”
“Discovery is excited to partner with Amazon to bring our premium sport to new and existing fans,” added Susanne Aigner-Drews, Discovery’s senior vice president and general manager for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “This partnership helps us to deliver the ambition to give fans the opportunity to watch the teams and players they love, live through Amazon Channels.”
Eurosport Player became available to Amazon Prime members in both German-speaking markets on Wednesday, two days before Bundesliga coverage kicks off on Aug. 18. All sporting events are to be available live and on demand from the Eurosport Player channel through the new Amazon Channels streaming service.