Poland’s Ekstraklasa league signs with streaming platform Screach to bring Polish top flight football to fans in the UK
Poland’s top-flight football league, PKO Ekstraklasa, has teamed up with the Screach streaming platform to deliver live coverage of its matches to commercial venues across the UK.
The deal means that when the 2022-23 season gets underway in July, thousands of bars, cafés and clubs across Britain will be able to stream live action from Poland’s elite football league for the first time.
The UK has a long-established, extended Polish community and is home to 696,000 Polish citizens – the largest group of foreign nationals in the country – making it a highly attractive market for Ekstraklasa.
But the club stated that the conventional broadcast model – licensing content to a UK television channel – has never offered Ekstraklasa an easily scalable way to deliver its coverage to enterprise venues in Britain.
Screach’s cloud-based streaming platform changes that, enabling Poland’s most successful football league to break into a lucrative developmental market for the first time.
While its partnership with Screach initially just covers the UK, the deal opens the door for PKO Bank Polski Ekstraklasa to reach thousands more fans among the sizeable expat Polish communities around the world.
The Screach app, which is already available in 157 countries, aggregates live sports services and gives venues access, via subscription or Pay-per-view, to HD quality events that drive footfall and sales.
The platform, which was developed by the UK tech firm Screenreach and is also being used by the NFL to distribute its content in Poland, also comes with integrated venue marketing and advertising capabilities – enabling venues to monetise their existing TV screens, boosting sales and generating incremental revenue to help offset their investment in live sports.
Robert Rawlinson, CEO of Screenreach, commented: “Britain is home to a large and close-knit Polish community, for whom the PKO Bank Polski Ekstraklasa provides a powerful link to their homeland. From July, Screach will enable the owners and operators of bars, clubs and cafés across the UK to harness the power of that connection to attract and retain Polish football fans in their venues.
“The Screach platform was designed and built to help venues gain access to more live sports content at the best prices and help them get payback on their investment. Our streaming technology also enables the owners of sporting rights like PKO Bank Polski Ekstraklasa and the NFL to monetise their content in developmental markets worldwide. Screach offers a frictionless, turnkey solution that allows rights owners to reach and engage fans wherever they are, opening up lucrative new markets globally,” Rawlinson concluded.
Marcin Animucki, president of the board of Ekstraklasa, added: “PKO Bank Polski Ekstraklasa is consistently expanding its presence across international markets and looking for new ways to reach fans outside Poland. In our country, football fans tend to watch matches primarily at home. But many Poles living in the UK have embraced the excitement and spectacle of watching a game in the pub with their friends.
“Thanks to our cooperation with Screach, the Polish Ekstraklasa will be widely available in such venues from the next season. Fans of Polish football will be able to watch games together outside the home, and our league will gain an additional opportunity to increase its recognition and audience.”