Ekstraklasa SA has executed domestic television broadcast agreements with Canal+ and TVP valid across 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 football seasons. Thanks to the new innovative media rights packages, all 296 matches per season will be broadcast via the nc+ platform, while TVP will simultaneously show as many as 37 matches via public TV: either the Saturday or the Sunday match every round. TVP will broadcast 12 first-pick, 12 second-pick and 13 third-pick matches. The guaranteed value of contracts with above broadcasters including license fees and production costs, have reached the record-breaking level of nearly one-quarter billion PLN per season. This will allow the Ekstraklasa to advance to the top 10 in terms of domestic media rights revenues in Europe. The company further intends to market other media rights packages for those seasons.
- Thus far, in Ekstraklasa’s history, these are the highest, annual proceeds from the sales of media rights. This means a 60% increase in domestic broadcast revenues, as compared to the former agreement. As a result, direct proceeds of the clubs will grow by at least 70 million PLN each season. Moreover, due to the new contracts Ekstraklasa matches will become more accessible to football fans and wide audiences in the upcoming seasons. The new agreements are proof of Ekstraklasa’s dynamic growth both as a League and a robust product for mass audiences. We now face the immense challenge of appealing to passive football enthusiasts, who haven’t followed Ekstraklasa matches in the recent years, neither from their stadium seat nor via their TV sets. The entire Ekstraklasa team, led by Marcin Animucki, together with the Supervisory Board, who were strongly committed to the project, deserve the words of appreciation and recognition - said Karol Klimczak, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Ekstraklasa SA.
- I would like to express my thanks to the Supervisory Board and all Ekstraklasa Clubs for the trust you have placed in us regarding the process of domestic media rights negotiation. We are pleased that our reputable long-term partner Canal+ stays with us and that TVP positively reacted to our invitation regarding broad cooperation on free-to-air basis. As a result, Ekstraklasa matches will be easily available to the Polish audience. However, these are not the only activities aimed at making the Ekstraklasa football league more popular. We intend to make particularly intense efforts to win over the young generation by making live football matches available on the Internet, as well as provide attractive video footage, including goals and match highlights via the official Ekstraklasa app and the social media of the league and the clubs. Also, our major television partners will largely contribute to promoting the league using new technologies - comments Marcin Animucki, President of the Management Board of Ekstraklasa SA.
As part of their rights packages, Canal+ and TVP will not only broadcast live matches and their repeats, but also highlights in the news programmes and football league magazines. In parallel to the TV broadcast, matches will be shown via Internet simulcast. Canal+ will also present digital near live clips.
According to the new TV broadcasting agreements, the matches will, in principle, be played Friday through Sunday in the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 seasons. Approximately fifteen matches per season may be played on Mondays due to the international match calendars. The television signal will be produced by Ekstraklasa Live Park who will also provide technological solutions in line with the highest internationally-recognized production standards. Already in November 2018, Ekstraklasa’s production subsidiary provided 4K/UHD HDR broadcasts. Currently, nc+ is broadcasting up to three 4K/UHD HDR matches per round. LOTTO Ekstraklasa is the fourth European football league, after Premier League, Bundesliga and LaLiga Santander to broadcast its matches in the 4K/UHD HDR technology.
- We are pleased that our year-long cooperation with Ekstraklasa will continue and the new contract will guarantee our subscribers access to transmissions of all 296 matches in the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 season. This November, thanks to a joint effort of nc+ and Ekstraklasa Live Park, we shifted the Polish league to the 4K UHD. The new contract confirms that we will continue our investment in developing Polish football and clubs, also technologically, this is why our exclusive offer will include up to 100 matches per season in 4K UHD – Manuel Rougeron, CEO of nc+ platform.
- At long last I can say: we’ve got it! I’d promised that Polish Public TV will be the home of the most important football competitions thus making them available to all sports fans. Now that TVP Sport has become a free to air channel, it’s time to top the purchase of the rights to the Polish National Team matches, the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championship with the final piece: one Ekstraklasa match per week across two seasons is our ardent fans’ dream come true. We have kept our promises and haven’t spoken in vain. Never before has Ekstraklasa’s presence been greater on Polish public television. TVP audience will be able to watch live matches not only on TVP Sport, but also on TVP1 and TVP2. Additionally, the live matches, the Ekstraklasa Magazine Show and news clips will be simulcast via Internet and mobile devices. This is the product worth showing, promoting and investing into - said Jacek Kurski, President of the Management Board of Telewizja Polska SA.
New contracts executed with Canal+ and TVP are only the first part of Ekstraklasa’s activities in terms of media rights sales for the upcoming two seasons. By the end of June 2019, the company is planning to select international partners to broadcast Ekstraklasa matches abroad in the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 seasons, as well as domestic partners who will distribute match highlights across TV-, mobile- and Internet- news programmes. Ekstraklasa also intends to market domestic betting rights to broadcast matches and highlights at betting corners and betting applications; as well as e-sports rights. The media rights tender covering the next four seasons: from 2021/2022 through 2024/2025 will be launched after the international football calendar release and after the clubs’ approval of the league’s structure.
- Precision is crucial for us when discussing business terms with broadcasters in order to effectively carry out the media rights sales. Since the calendar of international matches after 2021 has not yet been released which affects our competitions and since the structure of our league may change in subsequent seasons, we have decided to first market only two seasons. This interim solution is all the more advantageous, as it gives us the time to test the new market set-up. For us, this is also a time when both the current partners and the entities willing to participate in the forthcoming tenders, can better prepare, in terms of technology, for the 4K/UHD HDR broadcasts - explains Marcin Animucki.
The success of executing the contracts with Canal+ and TVP is even greater, considering that Ekstraklasa has carried out the negotiations on their own, without using the support of their former agent- MP & Silva, who had been supporting the League across such processes in the past.
- We have built strong media rights sales competencies in-house. This has allowed us to conduct such processes independently and effectively. Not only did we increase the media rights revenues, but also made savings going into millions of zlotys on agency commission - comments Marcin Animucki.
A few months ago Ekstraklasa started activities aimed at terminating the contract with MP & Silva due to the agency’s unstable financial situation. As a result of the termination settlement, Ekstraklasa SA regained direct control over all the media rights of the Polish top football league.