Hungarian pay-television broadcaster, Network4, has announced an early extension of its rights deal for the Bundesliga, German football's top tier. The extension, announced on October 23, will see the broadcaster retain the rights for another four seasons until 2028-2029.
The existing four-year contract between Network4 and Bundesliga International, the global commercial rights division of the league, was not due to expire until the end of the 2024-25 season. This early renewal signifies the strong partnership between the two entities and their commitment to delivering high-quality football content to fans.
What the deal entails
Under the extended deal, Network4 retains exclusive rights to more than 300 Bundesliga and second-tier Bundesliga 2 matches per season. The broadcaster will air games in both Hungarian and English, catering to a diverse audience. Key features of the deal include:
- Rights to the German Super Cup, the season opener between the league and DFB Cup winners
- Rights to the relegation play-off matches
- The Bundesliga will continue to be shown on Net4+, Network4’s over-the-top (OTT) platform
- All fixtures will be available from every matchday
- Four to five matches per week will be shown on the Arena4 linear sports channel and its Match4 sister channel
Network4 will continue to provide the ‘Interactive Feed’ to its OTT customers, having become the first broadcaster in Europe to introduce it. This feature allows viewers to interact with the content in real time, enhancing their viewing experience. Additionally, the broadcaster will offer the Bundesliga’s ‘Goal Arena’ TV product to viewers in Hungary, providing a unique perspective on each goal scored.
Peer Naubert, chief marketing officer at Bundesliga International, said:
“Innovation has long been the hallmark of the Bundesliga. We are always looking for new ways to update and evolve our products based on the wants and needs of the fans around the world, and the Bundesliga’s Interactive Feed and Goal Arena are two more great examples of this.
“In Network4, we have a fantastic partner that shares this vision, and a relationship built on mutual trust that is dedicated to offering the best possible experience for Hungarian fans. This long-term extension is another clear signal of the quality of the Bundesliga product and yet further reinforcement of our growth trajectory.”
A mutually beneficial partnership
Bundesliga International praised the early renewal, stating it "comes as a result of a mutually beneficial partnership that has resulted in not only strong coverage from live matches but has been demonstrated in the amount of localized shoulder programming that accompanies each matchday.”
Andras Borsány-Gyenes, chairman of the Network4 board, added:
“When we first partnered with Bundesliga International, our goal was to take the Bundesliga broadcast experience to the next level. I am happy to say that Arena4 and Net4+, together with Bundesliga International, wrote history by showing almost all the Bundesliga matches live in Hungary, which is both unprecedented and a massive technical feat in itself.
“Such advances in broadcast technology as the Interactive Feed and Goal Arena took the Bundesliga experience one step forward, providing sophisticated OTT experience for the Hungarian viewers.”
Network4 acquired Bundesliga rights at the start of the 2021-22 campaign, replacing previous rightsholder SportTV, the Eastern European pay-TV network. The Bundesliga features several Hungarian internationals such as RB Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi, TSG Hoffenheim defender Attila Szalai, and SC Freiburg striker Roland Sallai, further increasing its appeal to the Hungarian audience.
This extended deal ensures that Hungarian football fans will continue to enjoy top-tier German football for the foreseeable future, with Network4 committed to delivering a comprehensive and engaging viewing experience.
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