Polsat lands range of volleyball European Championships rights to 2018
Polsat, the multi-platform broadcaster in Poland, has acquired exclusive media rights to a host of indoor and beach volleyball European Championships over the next four years, in a deal brokered by Infront Sports & Media, the Switzerland-based international sports agency.
As part of the agreement, Polsat will be host broadcaster of the 2017 CEV Men’s European Volleyball Championships, which will be staged in Poland.
The rights deal covers the 2015 CEV Men's and Women’s European Volleyball Championships in Bulgaria/Italy and Belgium/Netherlands, respectively, the 2017 women's edition in Azerbaijan/Georgia and the next four editions of the annual CEV European Beach Volleyball Championships.
Polsat has acquired exclusive live, delayed and highlights rights across all TV, online and mobile platforms for all competitions, with Polish national team matches definitely to be aired live.
Under amendments to Poland's legislation regarding listed sports events, set to be enacted on 3 December, all matches involving the national team at the indoor European Volleyball Championships must be aired on terrestrial TV.
Piotr Pykel, deputy head of sports at Polsat, said: "We are happy to extend our cooperation with the CEV and Infront. Polsat has provided extensive coverage of the CEV European Championships since 2009, reaching peak audiences of more than 8.5 million viewers in 2009 when the Polish men’s team won the title in the final against France in Izmir, Turkey."
Poland are also the reigning indoor FIVB Men's World Champions, having defeated Brazil on home soil last year. The final drew almost 10 million television viewers on Polsat after Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski intervened to ensure that the broadcaster showed the game on its free-to-view channel after a vast majority of the tournament had only been available to paying subscribers.
Pykel continued: "With volleyball as one of the top sports in the country, the CEV European Volleyball Championships are an essential feature of our sports programming and very much anticipated by our viewers."
Stephan Herth, executive director of summer sports at Infront, said: "Through this new agreement with Polsat, we have secured a key volleyball market for the long-term and guaranteed Polish fans comprehensive coverage of the CEV flagship events."
Two years ago, Infront extended its deal with the CEV, the European Volleyball Confederation, to continue distributing its international media rights until 2021, adding European beach volleyball tournaments to the contract for the first time.
Rights to the CEV Beach Volleyball European Championships were previously held by the Sportsman Media Group, the Munich-based agency.