UEFA Champions League auction: Sky pips ZDF to TV rights, agreeing licence deal with UK-based DAZN

Oliver Gill
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Juventus v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final
Real Madrid triumphed in the 2017 European Champions League final in Cardiff (Source: Getty)

Free-to-air European Champions League football is no more in Germany after Sky ousted public broadcaster ZDF.

Sky Deutschland will broadcast the 2018/19 season through to 2020/21 across Germany and Austria.

It has also agreed a deal with UK-based online streaming channel DAZN to sub-licence content. The precise details of which games are to be allocated to which channels are yet to be ironed out.

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The victory for Sky comes after it was defeated in a similar auction in March for UK TV rights. BT Sport paid £1.3bn to secure exclusive rights to both the Champions League and Europa League.

Sky declined to comment on how much it had paid in securing the rights. It is understood that football governing body UEFA ran a blind auction for German and Austrian rights, similar to that employed in the UK.

Germany is one of Sky’s largest markets in Europe. Of the £6bn the FTSE 100 firm allocated for all content during 2016/17, it spent £2bn in Germany.

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Football viewing habits differ in Germany. Many people enjoy shows that offer viewing of up to five games at once, flicking between key moments in games.

DAZN is a owned by Feltham-based digital sports content firm Perform Group. It already streams live football across Japan, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, with games from Spain’s La Liga, the English Premier League and Japan’s J-League.

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