Listen up hard this weekend and you might hear a huge collective sigh of relief as millions of Germans greet the return of the country’s professional soccer league, the Bundesliga, after its summer break. No other sport is so beloved by German fans. And no other sport is so sought after by broadcasters, including London-listed Sky, partially owned by Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, and Eurosport, a subsidiary of US-listed Discovery Communications.
This season, a very familiar name will enter the soccer broadcasting market – Amazon. Not content just to sell books, groceries, and nearly everything else besides, the company is using German soccer to take its first steps into the sports broadcasting business.
Beginning on Friday, Amazon will broadcast live audio commentary on every single game in the Bundesliga, Germany’s top soccer league, which generated €2.7 billion in turnover in last year’s season – see graphic below. The online retailer bought the rights last year, when the soccer organization auctioned off broadcasting rights for four seasons to several broadcasters for €4.64 billion.