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RTL, Comcast’s Sky to share certain sports rights in Germany

Formula 1 and top-tier soccer matches are among the live sports events that will be shared between the two major media brands.

Formula 1 and top-tier soccer matches are among the live sports events that will be shared between the two major media brands.

The opening lap of the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix Formula 1 race. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
The opening lap of the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix Formula 1 race. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

German broadcaster RTL and pay TV provider Sky Deutschland have agreed to a strategic partnership that will see both media brands share telecast rights to various top-tier sporting events.

As part of the deal, Sky Deutschland will broadcast two UEFA Europa League or UEFA Europa Conference League matches per week, starting next year. The matches will be broadcast to Sky Deutschland subscribers every Thursday.

RTL will get seven Formula 1 races per season over the next two years, starting next year, which will essentially return the races to free broadcast television in Germany. RTL will also be given the option to stream one Premier League match on its RTL Plus streaming service.

The deal also includes various content sharing agreements to TV shows and movies within the Sky Deutschland catalog, and will see the production and editorial teams of both companies work together on a number of other initiatives that have yet to be announced.

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“With its first-class program line-up, Sky Sport is known among all sports fans as the leading pay-TV provider of live sports,” Barny Mills, the CEO of Sky Deutschland, said in a statement. “The innovative partnership with RTL now allows us to show even more viewers some of the exciting sporting experiences that the brilliant team at Sky Sport has in store for them. It will give them an insight into the full subscription offering.”

Both broadcasters say the partnership is just the beginning, and Sky and RTL hope to build upon its pact in the years to come.

“The new content partnership with Sky is the next big step towards our promise of ‘All Inclusive Entertainment’, as it perfectly complements our fiction and sports offering around football, American Football and motorsports,” Stephan Schmitter, the incoming CEO and Chief Content Officer at RTL Germany, said this week. “At the same time, we are maximizing the reach of the highly attractive Sky sports rights on free-to-air TV and streaming, produced by great teams on both sides.”

RTL is the largest commercial free-to-air broadcaster in Germany, operating the flagship RTL television network and several ancillary channels like RTL Zwei (“RTL Two,”) Super RTL, Vox and the cable news channel N-TV. The company is owned by Bertlesmann.

Sky Deutschland offers many of RTL’s national channels on its pay satellite and streaming services, which were acquired by Comcast in October 2018. Its businesses are co-owned with Sky UK, Sky Ireland, Sky Italia and Sky Studios.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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