Digital Out-Of-Home: New Distribution Channels For Bundesliga Content

View into a gym with a big window facade and a screen with a digital billboard
Following Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 highlights in the gym thanks to Digital Out-of-Home screens.
Visual: Axel Springer

24 November 2021 – Delivering Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 content to football lovers wherever they are is one of the core purposes of DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga. Many fans are unable to attend Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 matches live at the stadium or watch TV broadcasts and summaries at home, at a sports bar or on a mobile device. But now those who are on the go are no longer excluded from following major events in the football world.

In recent years, media companies have begun to expand their range of services to account for human mobility. Key information can be delivered to the general public using large-format screens, or electronic digital billboards, installed in many highly frequented places, such as train stations or waiting rooms. Depending on the operator, these screens can show a wide variety of content. Apart from news and weather reports, digital advertising spaces are ideally suited to present sports content. The market for electronic billboards has been growing for years: In Germany alone there are currently more than 100,000 of them. Market experts believe that by 2025 the majority of public advertising will no longer use traditional billboard posters but digital screens.

Ready to embrace this trend, the DFL conducted a number of studies and analyses to assess the market potential of using this communication channel for Bundesliga content. The results revealed significant interest in football-related footage among both, the operators of public advertising screens and their users. Based on these studies, the DFL expanded its portfolio of media rights accordingly, and in 2020 was the world’s first sports league to issue a call for bids on a media rights package dedicated specifically to the Digital Out-Of-Home segment.  The media rights for digital billboards comprise brief highlight clips no more than 60 seconds in length which summarise the most important scenes of a match and are available shortly after the final whistle.

Axel Springer jumps at the opportunity

The German media and technology group Axel Springer quickly realised that the DOOH rights package would be a perfect addition to its own media portfolio. Nearly at the same time, Axel Springer seized the opportunity to purchase a majority stake in Framen, a start-up with direct access to a rapidly-expanding network of electronic billboard signs in Germany. Since then, Framen and Axel Springer have jointly managed to enlarge their network of billboard screens significantly. Today approximately 20,000 of digital billboards, installed in hotels, at filling stations, in shopping centres, fitness studios, doctor’s offices, co-working spaces, bars, restaurants and at universities in more than 3.000 German cities, play content and advertisements delivered by Framen, tailored to the relevant target audiences. The integration of football highlights is adapted to the tonalities of the Axel Springer media brands BILD and WELT and enables the DFL to reach out to consumers at new touch points and in a wide variety of situations.

The DOOH media rights package provides Springer with access to the base signal of all 617 Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2, relegation and German Supercup matches as well as DFL Media Hub content.  From all these sources, Springer can edit and publish any combination of clips, up to and including brief quiz formats.

In the Digital Out-of-Home agreement, two leading innovators have joined hands – the DFL with its innovative media rights package, and Axel Springer as a pioneer who has unlocked the potential of digital billboard signs. Their cooperation partnership provides extra visibility to the Bundesliga by reaching out to fans in many new places.