By ROB HARRIS
AP Global Soccer Writer
Union’s Marvin Friedrich, third left, scores the opening goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between 1. FC Cologne and 1. FC Union Berlin in Cologne, Germany, Saturday, June 13, 2020. The German Bundesliga is the world’s first major soccer league to resume after a two-month suspension because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The growth in the value of Bundesliga broadcast rights has ended under a four-year deal secured as the media industry grapples with the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
The German league on Monday is set to announce that Comcast Corp.-owned Sky and the DAZN streaming service will pay less than the 4.64 billion euros (around $5.2 billion) generated in the 2017-21 agreements, people with knowledge of the deals told The Associated Press.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the deals ahead of the German league organization, known as the DFL, meeting on Monday to ratify the contracts.
The top games will be on Sky, which has the rights to 200 matches on Saturdays.
DAZN, which currently sub-licenses around 40 games from Eurosport, will be able to show 106 games across Fridays and Sundays from the 2021-22 season after securing a package in the auction with the league.
The lack of significant competition in the auction — particularly from Deutsche Telekom and Amazon — contributed to the inability to grow the value of rights. The last auction in 2016 saw a 85% surge in value in rights.
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