Gol TV Nets Bundesliga Renewal

Gol TV has secured a new deal with DFL Sports Enterprises for rights to Germany's top soccer circuit, the Bundesliga, for three more seasons.

The deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, gives Gol TV multimedia Bundesliga rights in the U.S. and Canada for the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.

The extension comes as the league's current contract with the bilingual network, which presents its expansive soccer coverage in both Spanish and English, is set to expire in mid-2012, following the conclusion of the current campaign.

With a global fan base, the Bundesliga comprises18 teams, including such notable as clubs FC Bayern Munich, FC Schalke 04, Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen. Among the top players performing in the league: Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Gomez, Philipp Lahm, Claudio Pizarro, Michael Ballack, Jefferson Farfan, Maza and Raúl.

The agreement is for one of Gol's four cornerstone leagues: the network also presents match and shoulder programming around Spain's La Liga and top circuits in Brazil and Colombia.

"This is our third renewal with the Bundesliga. They've been with Gol TV almost from the beginning," said COO Rodrigo Lombello, who said two other U.S. programmers made bids for the Bundesliga rights.

Lombello notes the Bundesliga's appeal among its non-Hispanic viewers is also an important component for Gol.

"Naturally, there is some overlap. But, the Bundesliga draws mostly a different audience for us," he said.
Under the current deal, Gol TV has been airing three matches per weekend, and sublicenses two others to ESPN Deportes and ESPN3.com. Lombello. It also airs ancillary fare like Hallo Bundesliga and Goal! The Bundesliga Magazine, which are produced by DFL.

"We selected GolTV because of its large and loyal viewership," said Joerg Daubitzer, managing director of DFL Sports Enterprises. "Our partnership with GolTV ensures that Bundesliga maintains high exposure in these top markets with matches, as well as special programming such as Hallo Bundesliga and Goal! The Bundesliga Magazine."

Lombello said the Bundesliga ratings have improved substantially this campaign, a combination of increased distribution -- Gol TV now counts some 15 million Spanish- and English-language subscribers -- and heightened interest in the world's game in the U.S.

"Our Bundesliga impressions are up 85% this season and La Liga is up 60%. Yes, some of it has do with being in more homes.I think you'll hear the same thing, though, from ESPN and Fox Soccer, soccer ratings are up," he said.