ESPN+ and Bundesliga to Host Virtual Watch Party for Der Klassiker

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ESPN+ and Bundesliga to Host Virtual Watch Party for Der Klassiker

Extensive coverage of the first of two in-season Borussia Dortmund-FC Bayern München matches in 2020-21

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ESPN+ and Bundesliga are teaming up to host a virtual watch party for the highly-anticipated Der Klassiker match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern München, streaming live in the United States on ESPN+. The watch party, hosted via Zoom by ESPN’s Mauricio Pedroza, will include a halftime show featuring interviews with Bundesliga soccer legends Patrick Owomoyela (Borussia Dortmund) and Roy Makaay (FC Bayern München).

“Bringing fans together virtually for Der Klassiker is just the latest example of how we’re engaging with fans in new and innovative ways,” said Russell Wolff, EVP & General Manager, ESPN+. “Together with Bundesliga, we’re able to enhance the live match on ESPN+ with a companion viewing platform that gives fans exclusive access to experience the match with not only each other but also their favorite clubs.”

“Our passionate fans are part of the Bundesliga’s DNA. And though we can’t gather together in the same place, we still want fans to feel united when supporting their team. It is great to be working with ESPN+ to bring Dortmund and Bayern fans in the United States together for one of the biggest matches in world football, and this virtual fan watch party is sure to be a lot of fun,” stated Arne Rees, Executive Vice President – Strategy of Americas Bundesliga International office.

Fans in the U.S. can register for free to receive a Zoom link to the watch party, which will begin on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 12:15 p.m. ET just before kickoff. In addition to the halftime interviews, both clubs and the league will have surprises in store for fans throughout the match.

“We are very excited to be part of the virtual watch party, providing our fans in the US an opportunity to come together and support our team in this highlight match. It is great to see the growing interest of US soccer fans in BVB and the Bundesliga as a whole and with Gio Reyna, the youngest US player to score a Bundesliga goal, we hope to encourage even more people to follow BVB. Unfortunately we cannot meet our fans in person right now, so we look forward to see many BVB fans on Saturday, making this a great experience for everyone.” – Benedikt Scholz, Head of International and New Business at Borussia Dortmund.

“The Klassiker is always an important date in the Bundesliga calendar,” commented Rudolf Vidal, FC Bayern München’s President of the Americas. “Even though we are in uncertain times we are working with our partners to bring games to life for our fans in the Americas. FC Bayern is the world’s biggest sports family and our aim is to keep us all connected and close to the on-field action,” he added.

Borussia Dortmund-FC Bayern München Der Klassiker on ESPN+

In addition to the virtual watch party, ESPN+ will provide extensive coverage of the first Der Klassiker of the 2020-21 Bundesliga season. Der Klassiker is one of German football’s most intense rivalries pitting perennial top-two Bundesliga teams FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund against each other. The two teams have dominated in recent years, occupying first and second place for the last 13 seasons.

Saturday’s game is the in-season debut of Der Klassiker on ESPN platforms. ESPN+ live match coverage will be streamed in English and Spanish.

Der Klassiker Schedule:

Time (ET) Program Platforms
12 p.m. ESPN FC – Der Klassiker Pre-Game

Dan Thomas, Juergen Klinsmann, Steve Cherundolo, Jan Aage Fjortoft and reporter Archie Rhind-Tutt (onsite)

ESPN+
12:30 p.m. Borussia Dortmund – FC Bayern München

ENGLISH: Derek Rae and Taylor Twellman

SPANISH: Fernando Palomo and Mario Kempes

ESPN+
2:30 – 3:30 p.m. ESPN FC – Der Klassiker Post-Game

Thomas, Klinsmann, Cherundolo, Aage Fjortoft, Rhind-Tutt

ESPN+

Highlights:

  • Match commentary: Derek Rae and Taylor Twellman on English-language commentary; with Fernando Palomo and Mario Kempes in Spanish
  • Surround programming: Dan Thomas, Juergen Klinsmann, Steve Cherundolo, Jan Aage Fjortoft will feature on ESPN FC’s 30-minute pregame and one-hour post-game programs, exclusively on ESPN+. Archie Rhind-Tutt will report from Dortmund.
  • Throughout the week, ESPN FC and ESPN Deportes soccer studio shows will feature segments previewing the match, including a Spanish-language roundtable with team ambassadors Claudio Pizarro (FC Bayern München) and Lucas Barrios (Borussia Dortmund) – available on ESPN Deportes Youtube channel.

ESPN.com’s Der Klassiker Content:

  • In a written and video piece, writer Elaine Teng profiles Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, 20, who emerged last season as Bundesliga’s second-ranked player in minutes-per-goal and one of the youngest and best forwards in a high-scoring league.
  • Stephan Uersfield and Tom Hamilton preview Der Klassiker, breaking down matchups in Saturday’s edition of Bundesliga’s biggest rivalry.
  • Post-match reaction and analysis from ESPN’s global soccer correspondent Gab Marcotti.

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Kristie Adler

Kristie is Director of Communications for ESPN's Digital, Distribution, Strategy, Business Development, Sales, Marketing and Research divisions. She graduated from Penn State University and is based in New York City.
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