With the football calendar having been temporarily paused, DFL Deutsche Fussball Liga’s national and international licensees have sought alternative programme formats to keep fans engaged. As a result, the German Football Archive (DFA) — a collaboration between the DFL and German Football Federation (DFB) — is currently seeing its highest retrieval figures since 2007.
Operated by DFL subsidiary Sportcast, the DFA is the world’s largest digital football archive, containing moving image material of German professional football dating back to 1963. The DFL’s media portal provides licensees with access to a variety of the DFA’s broadcast quality footage to distribute via their own channels.
The 2019-20 financial year has seen a total of 3,640 hours of footage retrieved from the archive, averaging 490 hours and 1057 requests per month. This is a significant increase on the 3,360 hours of content that was distributed throughout the 2018-19 financial year at an average of 1030 requests per month.
Despite just one Bundesliga matchday taking place, footage retrieval from the archive significantly increased to 652 hours by receiving 1594 request during March 2020. As football paused, licensees turned to the DFA in order to fill scheduling gaps and keep fans engaged. The organisation has been delivering matchday footage from the current and past seasons to national broadcasters Sky and DAZN as replacement programming for their Bundesliga platforms, for example. A weekly supply of footage for international licensees is also being planned.
The main user groups in March were the DFL Group (342 hours), national licensees (185 hours), clubs (49 hours) and the DFB (43 hours).
The DFL has seen an increase in retrievals from the archive for a variety of content types, including:
- Non-live material from the current and past seasons (for all non-live productions)
- Bundesliga VOD formats, primarily from the years 2015 (180 formats in total) and 2019-20 (eight new formats) as replacement programming for national licensees
- Various Bundesliga IPP formats (Bundesliga specials, reports, and club features) from the current and past seasons from international licensees
- Archive content for clubs to distribute via their own platforms to fill scheduling gaps
About the German Football Archive
The DFA documents German football history dating back to the first Bundesliga matchday in 1963. The media archive currently holds more than 33,000 recorded matches, and over 160,000 hours of video content, having quadrupled in size since its launch in 2011. An additional 11,000 hours of footage is added to the archive each year.