Longtime leading German promoter Team Sauerland, which has been looking for a new long-term television partner, now has one, reaching an exclusive three-year deal with German free-to-air sports giant SPORT1, the company announced Tuesday.
The deal, which will start in 2018, calls for Team Sauerland to put on at least 20 events per year for its "Team Sauerland Championship Boxing" cards as well as its "Next Generation Boxing" and "International Boxing Nights" shows. Team Sauerland said the new deal will include airtime for about 100 live fights between the free-to-air network and digital platform.
"Team Sauerland has been continuously on free-to-air television in Germany since 1992. We are delighted to continue that tradition and provide the sport with a huge free-to-air presence over the next three years," promoter Kalle Sauerland said. "With a total of at least 60 free-to-air events with German participation until 2020 we now have a perfect platform for our current stars and the next generation of boxing heroes."
Team Sauerland's stable includes fighters such as super middleweight world titleholders George Groves and Tyron Zeuge, former super middleweight titlist Arthur Abraham, former light heavyweight titlist Juergen Braehmer, heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev, former junior middleweight titlist Jack Culcay and light heavyweight contender Enrico Koelling.
"Thanks to this extensive and exclusive partnership with Team Sauerland, SPORT1 is set to become the new home for all boxing fans in the German-speaking countries," said Olaf Schroeder, chairman of Sport1 GmbH, the network's parent company. "Together with Team Sauerland, we are opening the next chapter for boxing in Germany. As the leading sports dedicated platform, we will showcase this popular sport with its present and future stars, not only with extensive live broadcasts on free TV but also on all digital platforms, giving it even more of the spotlight."
The deal will include shoulder programming such as countdown shows available on free TV before all of Team Sauerland's major fights.
"This 360-degree approach on free-to-air television will help boxing win many new fans and make sure it stays where it belongs: among the top three TV sports in Germany," said promoter Nisse Sauerland, Kalle's brother. "Team Sauerland's young talent pool has never been so strong. This historic deal with SPORT1 will give our fighters never-seen-before exposure and the unique chance to fight their way to the top and win the hearts of the public."