Sport1 has acquired exclusive platform-neutral rights to the XFL for Germany, Austria and Switzerland from ESPN for the next two years.
The XFL Football League will restart on February 18th – one week after the Super Bowl. The rights package includes a total of 43 games – on each of the ten gamedays, two games each are scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays, after the regular season followed by the XFL Playoffs on April 29th and 30th and the XFL Championship on May 13th.
Sport1 will show the opening season live and in highlights on every gameday on free-TV and extensively on Sport1+ as well as online, on the Sport1 apps and via its social media channels. A minimum of up to 10 games per season are scheduled to air on free-TV channel Sport1.
The XFL – which will be broadcast in the US on ABC, ESPN and FX as part of a partnership with The Walt Disney Company and ESPN – is also attracting special attention internationally through its prominent ownership group, which includes Hollywood star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson (pictured).
Olaf Schröder, CEO of Sport1 Medien AG and Chairman of the Management Board of Sport1, commented: “We are delighted to present the eagerly awaited premiere season to the many football fans in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as the exclusive media partner of the XFL. Enthusiasm for American Football has grown enormously in German-speaking countries in recent years – with the first NFL game in Munich as the temporary high point of the euphoria surrounding what is now one of the most-watched TV sports in this country. With the XFL, we’re offering an even greater variety of sports on our platform, strengthening our US sports programming – which already includes Major League Baseball live broadcasts here – and underscoring our ambition to go on the offensive as a first mover, especially in such new and innovative topics.”
Annika Rody, Director Media Rights of Sport1, added: “The great demand for American Football in the German market continues unabated due to the NFL. We want to supply the football-interested public with exclusive football content on our sports platform after the end of the NFL season. We will put the XFL in the spotlight through live games, highlights and stories around the league deliberately appealing to younger fans that crave this content. We would like to thank the XFL for their trust in us as their exclusive media partner for the German-speaking region.”
Jay Rothman, XFL SVP Broadcast Operations, said: “We have been working for months to develop a live event broadcast that allows our fans to immerse themselves in the action and on-screen talent is absolutely critical to bring the energy and excitement from the field through the screens of our fans. We’re thrilled with the team and behind-the-scenes crew that has been assembled and we’re looking forward to kickoff in less than a month.”
This season, eight teams will compete in the XFL, divided into two divisions: XFL North (DC Defenders, Seattle Sea Dragons, St Louis Battlehawks, Vegas Vipers) and XFL South (Arlington Renegades, Houston Roughnecks, Orlando Guardians, San Antonio Brahmas).
The XFL’s ownership group promises football-loving audiences a fan-focused, global professional football league with innovative rules and an enhanced 360° game experience. The XFL relaunches with the ambition of bringing entertainment and world-class American football together – with the goal of advancing the sport globally and also expanding and enhancing career opportunities for professional football players with its launch.
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