BT Sport 'considering free-to-air broadcasting of Bundesliga matches'

BT Sport ‘considering free-to-air broadcasting of Bundesliga matches’ ahead of German top-flight return on May 16

  • The Bundesliga is returning May 16 after approval from the German government
  • BT Sport are the exclusive rights holders for the German top-flight in the UK
  • Matches could reportedly be made available to all from behind their paywall
  • Football fans in England have not seen live action for over two months

BT Sport are reportedly considering making their Bundesliga matches available for all to view ahead of the competition’s return next Saturday. 

The German government gave the go-ahead for the top-flight to return on May 16, with all clubs now back in quarantine-style training.

BT have exclusive rights to the Bundesliga in the UK and, with the Saturday 3pm blackout rule lifted, the broadcaster could remove the games from behind their paywall, according to The Telegraph.  

Fans in the UK could be able to watch Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski for no cost at all

On Wednesday, the Bundesliga said it’ll resume on May 15 after being halted due to Covid-19

Saturday May 16

  • 14:30 BST: Dortmund v Schalke
  • RB Leipzig v Freiburg
  • Hoffenheim v Hertha Berlin
  • Fortuna Dusseldorf v Paderborn
  • Augsburg v Wolfsburg
  • 17:30 BST: Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Monchengladbach

Sunday May 17

  • 14:30 BST: FC Köln v Mainz
  • 17:00 BST: Union Berlin v Bayern Munich

Monday May 18

  • 19:30 BST: Werder Bremen v Bayer Leverkusen

Though the Bundesliga is due to restart in nine days, all games will take place behind closed doors as football returns during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Football fans in England have not seen live action for over two months, and allowing as many people as possible to watch the Bundesliga could result in an increase in viewing figures for BT Sport’s channels. 

The report follows those that say the Premier League is considering airing its matches in free-to-air format too. 

With 92 games remaining, some matches could be aired for no cost at all to the consumer, on YouTube. 

Matches are set to be spaced out, with three or four in different time-slots on different days, so supporters can watch as much football as possible. 

The government is keen for football return, but believes it is essential it is available for all to see, should it do so. 

As the rights holder in the UK for the Bundesliga, BT could allow games to be viewed for free

Olivier Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, said in April: ‘I have said to the Premier League it wouldn’t send the best signal if they were one of the first major sports to resume behind closed doors and the public at large couldn’t have access to it.’  

There are nine games left in the Bundesliga, with current champions Bayern Munich currently holding a four-point lead from Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table.  

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