Ekstraklasa renegotiates packages with Canal+ and TVP to secure media rights revenues until 2022-23 season

Ekstraklasa has announced it and its major TV partners Canal+ and TVP have reached an agreement on a renegotiation of their existing contract that gives Ekstraklasa a guarantee of stability, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The TV broadcasters are supporting the Polish top football league, PKO Bank Polski Ekstraklasa, given the rearrangements of its own and major tournaments over the next year.

These arrangements include, among other things, possible disruptions to the games which may result from modifications to the calendar of international football events.

As a result of the renegotiations, Ekstraklasa has secured the revenues from media rights until the end of the 2020/21 season and signed contracts with Canal+ and Telewizja Polska (TVP) for next two seasons; 2021/22 and 2022/23.

Marcin Animucki, president of the management board of Ekstraklasa, explained: “The coronavirus pandemic not only destabilised this year’s games, but also greatly complicated the still not very favourable international calendar in the following years. The European Championship has been postponed to next year, the European U-21 Championship will be held in 2021 and the World Cup in Qatar in 2022. So next season we won’t be able to play 37 rounds, as initially assumed in the contracts with the broadcasters, because the league will start much later and there will be no possibility to extend the season.

“In addition, by the end of the year we will not have any available dates in the middle of the week, as they have all been booked by UEFA. We will therefore be playing 30, not 37 match weeks, without a final part, although it increases the attractiveness of the games and was important from the broadcasters’ perspective,” continued Animucki.

Animucki added: “It will not be there in the next two seasons either, because according to previous decisions we will play a match and rematch 34 rounds with 18 teams. At the same time, it should be remembered that the threat of a recurrence of the pandemic is still hanging over our heads, which is assumed even in the autumn by both the WHO and the Polish government.”

Thanks to new agreements, the total value of contracts during four seasons (2019/20 – 2022/23), together with the costs of TV signal production by Ekstraklasa Live Park in 4K and UHD, will amount to PLN 1 billion. PLN 250 million of this sum for the 2019/20 season has already been settled.

“The new arrangements with the broadcasters significantly secure interests of the league, spreading the risks evenly between the parties. Important support in the process of negotiating these conditions was provided by the clubs’ presidents Dariusz Mioduski, Cezary Kulesza and Grzegorz Jaworski, delegated to this task on behalf of the supervisory board, for which I would like to thank them very much,” added Animucki.

During the term of the contract, Canal+ will, as before, broadcast all PKO Bank Polski Ekstraklasa matches, while TVP will show one game in each round in the open band, parallel to Canal+.

Both broadcasters, as part of the purchased packages, will also show replays of matches as well as publish highlights in news programmes and league magazines.

Canal+ will also be able to publish highlights and an online magazine on its official website as part of its increased extended range of digital rights. The broadcaster has also extended its rights to publish the most important match situations as part of the so-called “digital near live clips”, ie, video material with key match actions that is made available immediately after their appearance during the matches. Canal+ will be able to use them not only in its mobile application, but also in its own social media.

Match highlights and digital near live actions will also be shown in the league OTT platform – Ekstraklasa.TV – and in the Ekstraklasa app.

Commented Edyta Sadowska, president of the management board at Canal+: “We have been bound with Ekstraklasa since 1995 and for a quarter of a century we have the privilege to accompany footballers and fans of Polish clubs as the main broadcaster. Such a long and stable relationship is not only the know-how resulting from many years of cooperation and experience, which is a guarantee of the highest quality of TV production and service, but also a commitment to fair play in difficult, unpredictable times.

“That is why we have started talks about such a renegotiation of the agreement, which gives Ekstraklasa a guarantee of stability – regardless of external circumstances over which we have no influence. The result of these talks is the agreement just signed. In the next three seasons, all matches of PKO Bank Polski Ekstraklasa will therefore continue to be available for watching in Canal + on a satellite platform, in the offer of cable and online TV providers, thanks to the new Canal + service TV via the Internet. It remains for us to say – we play on, see you later, live in Canal+ and hopefully live in the stadiums.”

Said Jacek Kurski, president of the management board of Telewizja Polska: “This is a great success for Telewizja Polska. We have extended our contract with the football Ekstraklasa for two years on much better conditions. In the seasons 2021/22 and 2022/23 we will have either the first or second choice of the game in each round. This guarantees that the best matches will be available in every Polish home.”

Concluded Animucki: “As the last months have shown, ensuring the stability of the league competition also has an important social and economic dimension. I am glad that together with the broadcasters we were able to work out solutions that will allow us to protect this common good and undisturbed development of Polish football.”

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