Servus TV to show EHF Champions League in Germany in DAZN pact
Servus TV, the Austrian free-to-air television channel, is to provide coverage of the EHF Champions League, the top European men's club handball competition, in neighbouring Germany under a sub-licensing agreement with international over-the-top streaming platform DAZN.
The agreement with DAZN was announced yesterday by David Morgenbesser, Servus TV’s head of sports rights and distribution, and will ensure free-to-air coverage of the competition from next season in one of the strongest handball markets in Europe.
Specific details of the tie-up and the number of games to be shown on the channel will be announced at a later date as it makes its first foray into handball.
DAZN holds rights to handball’s continental clubs competitions in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Spain until the end of the 2025-26 season under a six-year agreement with the European Handball Federation.
The deal includes the men's and women's Champions Leagues, the EHF Handball League and the EHF European Cup.
DAZN and agency Infront are commercial partners of the EHF and handles rights from 2020 to 2030 in a deal worth between €500 million ($596.7 million) and €600 million in rights fees and services.
The 2020-21 men’s Champions League concluded last weekend with Spain’s Barcelona beating Denmark’s Aalborg in the final.
Infront and DAZN were left searching for a broadcast partner in Germany prior to last season after pay-TV operator Sky Deutschland opted not to retain the rights after its six-year deal expired following the 2019-20 campaign.
From next season, the Champions League will enjoy extensive streaming and free-to-air linear coverage.
Morgenbesser said: "The viewers of Servus TV in Germany are extremely sport-loving and appreciate high-quality live broadcasts of their favourite sports. We will continue to invest more in live sports in the coming season and expand our content and distribution channels with cooperation partners."
Servus TV, owned by energy drinks giant Red Bull, focuses heavily on motorsport and this week acquired rights to the upcoming 2021 season of Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, the Germany-based touring car series.
This joins a portfolio which already includes Formula 1, the World Rally Championship, MotoGP, World Superbike and the Porsche Supercup.
However, the broadcaster is keen to broaden its offering in Germany across several sports and has strategically targeted more rights in soccer and tennis, while adding handball.
Servus TV showed this year’s French Open, the tennis grand slam which concluded last weekend, in Germany after agreeing a deal with the FFT, the French tennis federation, in March.
It marked the first time that Servus TV has had rights to a grand slam in Germany.
Servus TV had previously acquired rights in Germany to two grass court tournaments, the men's ATP Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart and the women's WTA bett1open in Berlin, and showed January's ATP Cup, the national teams tournament, in the country.
Servus TV's tennis portfolio has generally been focused on its home market Austria and the fortunes of the country's top player Dominic Thiem.