The Bundesliga will attract world television audiences as soccer fans tune in
MUNICH: from Germany Bundesliga It will draw legions of new armchair fans around the world this weekend when it becomes the first of Europe's top soccer leagues to resume after a two-month shutdown due to the coronavirus .
Under normal circumstances, the German game, dominated in recent seasons by Bayern Munich lacks England's marketing strength Premier league o La Liga de España, which has the two largest clubs in the world in terms of revenue: Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Yet even with a subdued atmosphere given the absence of passionate fans, with all games being played behind closed doors to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Bundesliga can use the spotlight to show its worth to devotees missing live action around the globe.
With the Bundesliga as the only league to be broadcast on TV, I expect we will have an audience of a billion, Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge he told SportBild magazine on Wednesday.
In Britain, BT Sport is showing all nine Bundesliga matches live this weekend, including the Ruhr valley derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04.
Each team has nine to 10 league games to play to complete the season and BT Sport will be with you every step of the way in what promises to be an exciting climax for the season, BT Sport said on its website.
In Scandinavia, all Bundesliga games will be available on the Viaplay streaming service with selected games on pay-TV channels, said NENT.
We know how strong the appetite for live sport is, so we are delighted to offer first-class soccer to our viewers once again, said a NENT spokeswoman.
The games will be played in empty stadiums with only 300 assistants and essential officials. Players have been told not to spit, celebrate in groups, or touch hands with their teammates.
Some clubs will use music and cardboard cutouts from fans to liven up the atmosphere at matches, and Sky aims to compensate its television audiences by offering recordings of gasps, cheers, and fan chants.
The highlight of this weekend includes the leaders of the Bayern league in the Berlin Union on Sunday with Dortmund, four points clear of the Bavarians, playing Schalke on Saturday.
Bayern, Dortmund and Schalke are the only three German clubs to rank in the top 20 in Deloitte's annual ranking of football clubs by income.
The funds due from broadcasters Sky, ARD and ZDF and other television stations for the remaining matches of the season were one of the main drivers for the Bundesliga to end its coronavirus -induced forced break.
In Germany, the DFL even granted the broadcasters a discount if they paid part of the agreed installations before the Bundesliga re-started.
The total amount involved is just under 300 million euros ($ 324 million) and without that, some first and second division clubs could find themselves in financial difficulties in the coming months.