German media company ProSiebenSat.1 has extended its rights agreement to the Virtual Bundesliga (VBL), the esports competition operated by the German Football League (DFL). ProSiebenSat.1 first secured rights to the VBL in December 2018 and has agreed to extend this commitment into the 2019–20 VBL Club Championship season.
Through the deal between the DFL and 7Sports, the umbrella brand for ProSiebenSat.1’s sports business, fans will be able to follow the 2019–20 VBL Club Championship live on free-to-air television channel ProSieben Maxx, www.eSports.com and virtual.bundesliga.com.
Meanwhile, 7Sports has increased its stake in eSports GSA from 50 to100%. The deal means the brand and domain of the news portal www.eSports.com will be transferred to 7Sports. The acquisition takes effect following the insolvency of 7Sports’ former joint venture partner eSports.com AG.
So far, 7Sports has focused on the German-speaking markets of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. However, through the complete takeover of eSports.com, 7Sports will build its international activities. Stefan Zant, managing director of 7Sports, will head the business of eSports GSA.
“We have already proven with the NFL that we can get sports out of a niche in Germany and make them popular. This is exactly the path we are now taking with esports. The first step is to explain the new sports trend to the public. We do this by means of editorial content on our wide-reaching TV programmes. We offer live broadcasts, show re-runs of key scenes and classify moves, tactics and strategies via our experts – just as the audience knows from major sports. The fact that we now own 100 per cent of eSports.com is a strong starting point for further growth in German-speaking and international markets,” Stefan Zant said.