It’s exciting to think that in a months time it’ll be possible to watch the Stirling Sports Premiership, the Hyundai A League and the Bundesliga from the comfort of your sofa. Now, for the first two you’re going to need a Sky subscription (if you want the other leagues, you’ll need Sky and BeIN sport). However, for those of us who can’t spring however many odd bucks a month, it’s pretty awesome that the highest quality league available is on free-to-air.
While Sky Sports trumpeted their slightly odd relationship with BeIn Sports, and furore raged over the online again offline again BeIn Connect project, TVNZ very quietly nipped in and purchased the rights to screen this years Bundesliga.
The world’s third best football league, after the EPL and La Liga, may never produce a Leicester City fairytale (unless Bayern spectacularly implode) or its own Lionel Messi (unless Bayern buy him) but it’s still home to some stars of the modern game, Champions League contenders and some of the most passionate and organised supporters you’ll see in top flight football.
TVNZ have the rights to one live game per week which they’re showing on DUKE and, with the Friday night games in Germany synching up with a six-thirty alarm and early breakfast in New Zealand, all of the games so far have meant you can enjoy your coffee and Weet-bix while watching Xabi Alonso, Renato Sanches and Robert Lewandowski take apart their opponent of the week.
I say that because of the two weeks of the Bundesliga completed so far, both Friday night games have featured the post-Guardiola Bayern Munich mercilessly pummeling Werder Bremen 6 – 0 before leaving it late to take the points from Schalke 04 at the Veltins Arena, Lewandowski and the exciting Joshua Kimmich scoring inside the final nine minutes.
The upcoming week promises a triple helping of German football with Saturday morning’s 06:30 game between F.C Koln and newly promoted S.C Freiberg being followed by Wolfsburg taking on Borussia Dortmund at 06:00am Wednesday and then Der BVB taking on S.C Freiberg at their home ground, the impressive Westfalenstadion (again at 06:30).
For those of you who didn’t realise there was was six-thirty in the morning, things get better once daylight savings kick in both here and in Europe. From the start of October, as New Zealand loses an hour, games begin at 07:30 am in New Zealand and by November, when Germany gains an hour they’ll start at a less yawn-inducing 8:30am.
Alongside the live games are the highlights package in midweek and available on catchup, rounding up the best of the other games from that weeks action – so you’ll never miss out on whatever else happens that weekend. There’s also their well maintained YouTube channel. Personally, Rafael Honigstein’s Bundesliga column over at the Guardian can help fill in any gaps – always worth a read.
This Saturday’s game is just matchday 3 of 34, meaning that if you fancy starting your weekend with some of Europe’s best players competing in stadiums filled with roaring supporters – it might be time to set your alarm clock, brew your coffee strong and enjoy the absolutely free Bundesliga coverage on DUKE.
Categories: Other Football Topics
John Palethorpe lives in South Auckland which is very far away from Fratton Park and Champion Hill. Having been told there was no football in New Zealand, he was delighted to find that there is.