Just about one year ago, ESPN announced a new multi-year agreement to bring Bundesliga soccer to ESPN+ starting in 2020 – and now the day soccer fans have been waiting for is here. The 2020-21 Bundesliga season kicks off today with live coverage of the match between last season’s league champion (and recent Champions League winners) Bayern Munich vs. FC Schalke 04 at 2:30 p.m. ET, across ESPN+, ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
This will be the first of more than 300 annual Bundesliga matches on ESPN+, all of which will be available in both English and Spanish. Additionally, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will feature select matches during the season, and there will also be highlights on various ESPN and ESPN+ shows (like ESPN FC and SportsCenter), on the ESPN App, ESPN.com and more.
This is an exciting, long-term relationship that puts the Bundesliga at the heart of the ESPN+ soccer lineup – which is the most comprehensive anywhere in the U.S. That lineup now features more than 2,000 top international soccer matches every year, including exclusive coverage of Italy’s Serie A (also kicking off this weekend!), the UEFA Nations League, England’s FA Cup, MLS, Spain’s Copa Del Rey, the Carabao Cup and EFL, the Dutch Eredivise and more. With the kickoff of Bundesliga and Serie A this weekend, we are also debuting brand new marketing campaigns focused on the Bundesliga and the overall soccer lineup on ESPN.
When we announced this deal a year ago, ESPN+ had 2.4 million subscribers. Today it reaches more than 8.5 million and continues to grow, establishing itself as an unmatched home (and value) for soccer fans here in the U.S.
For those who are new to Bundesliga, you’re in for a treat. It is one of the best competitions in the world, featuring some of the sport’s most popular teams, a dynamic attacking style that offers the highest goal-scoring rate of major European leagues, and a host of young and exciting players – including many American stars.
In fact, Bundesliga has a long, storied and unique connection to American soccer with multiple top American players (and more than a dozen prospects) calling Bundesliga clubs home – including Borussia Dortmund’s Gio Reyna, whom SportsCenter recently profiled.
With a host of the young players in the U.S. Men’s National Team pool playing in the Bundesliga (and Serie A), it is a great opportunity for U.S. fans to see the potentially exciting future of the national team excelling in top European leagues — and for ESPN+ and ESPN to follow, and tell, their stories.
This relationship with Bundesliga is based on a shared commitment from both sides: to bring the Bundesliga alive for fans in the U.S – connecting them to (as our colleagues at Bundesliga like to say) “football as its meant to be” as we continue the growth of ESPN+. We hope fans will enjoy watching some incredible soccer this weekend and in the months and years to come.