Ekstraklasa partners with Content Arena to further grow global audience
The Ekstraklasa will be able to market rights in territories where its games are not presently shown.
However, it insisted dealing with Content Arena will not halt the growth of Ekstraklasa.TV, the league's over-the-top streaming platform, which it is eager to develop further.
Marcin Animucki, Ekstraklasa president, said: “We are constantly looking at the global media rights market and developing tools to effectively reach out to an even wider range of broadcasters from different countries. Experience shows that fans from different countries are interested in our league. Therefore, we are constantly looking for opportunities to enter new markets. We also want to make it even easier for foreign buyers of media rights to access the broadcast of Ekstraklasa games and cooperate with us.
“Content Arena is an innovative platform that is rapidly growing and attracting more partners, both sellers and buyers. Using this platform is part of our strategy to increase the range and availability of games in an increasing number of countries, including through external partners. We must not forget that all our matches are available live in every corner of the world, except for countries with exclusive licenses, via the Ekstraklasa.TV platform. We will also continue to develop this service.”
The OTT platform primarily targets the 20 million-plus Poles based abroad, with the live coverage of all 296 Ekstraklasa games per season being complemented by free-to-air highlights, news and other videos on the Ekstraklasa.TV website and app.
It is available worldwide, except for Poland and several Balkans countries covered by a separate exclusive rights deal, and fans can access matches for €2.99 ($3.63) each, or pay for a monthly subscription costing €6.99 or a season-long subscription priced at €49.99.
Last month, the Ekstraklasa launched a tender to find a new service provider to operate Ekstraklasa.TV, with the aim of having the provider in place for the start of the 2021-22 season.
Over the past six months, the league has been building up an international network of broadcasters, and this season has deals in place covering 17 territories, including Russia (Match TV), Sportdigital (German, Austria and Switzerland), Premier Sports (UK and Ireland), Charlton ((Israel), Planet Sport TV (Balkans) and Channel 11 (Portugal).
In addition to a global digital sales channel, Content Arena Manager will provide Ekstraklasa with a tool that enables carrying out the full rights sales process and at the same time simplifies it.
It also reduces the transaction time with its Availability Engine – structured access to a list of available rights depending on the parameters chosen (such as the licence period, the range of rights, the territories in which they are available) – and Contract Generator, the option to automate all or parts of the legal processes.
Lukas Zajancauskas, director of strategy and business development, added: “Content Arena is thrilled to kick off this partnership with the Polish Ekstraklasa – we look forward to using our technology expertise to streamline and digitize Ektraklasa’s commercial and legal processes. We are confident that by using the Content Arena Manager, its media rights business will be more efficient and, in the end, even more profitable.”
Content Arena, which has mostly been focused on small-to-mid-tier sports properties since its launch in 2018, takes a percentage commission from the rights-seller of the value of any deal facilitated, without charging the seller.