Canal Plus Secure National Rights for Polish Ekstraklasa
May 16, 2011
Canal Plus Poland, the national Pay-TV channel, has retained the Polish broadcast rights for the country’s elite soccer division – Ekstraklasa.
The deal has been renewed to run for the next three seasons, with Canal Plus receiving the live broadcast rights to all of the league’s matches in high-definition, as well as exclusivity of the best three matches per gameweek, marking a significant gain for the channel. At present, Canal Plus only shows three games per week, with Orange Sport broadcasting the other five.
Free-to-air broadcaster Polsat Digital and Eurosport have replaced Orange Sport as sub-licensees to show selected Ekstraklasa matches throughout the next three years. Polsat is the biggest winner having secured the rights to four matches a week, whilst Eurosport will reportedly screen one game in each round, available in 20 countries worldwide.
The deal is believed to be worth around US$40m a year, $4m less than the current contract’s valuation. However, the Ekstraklasa has written a clause into the contract that agreements can be terminated at the end of any season should it develop its own channel to show the matches – an idea the league is pursuing.
Ekstraklasa chairman Jacek Masiota stated: “Even if the clubs were to get less money than expected, you must take into account the increased promotional value. Thanks to the greater number of spectators at Ekstraklasa matches, it will be easier to get attractive sponsorship contracts.”