Ekstraklasa goes to market with domestic betting media rights
Polish soccer's top-tier Ekstraklasa has launched a tender for domestic betting media rights for the next two seasons.
The league will work closely with long-term domestic media rights partner nc+, the pay-television satellite operator, on the commercialisation of betting rights for 2019-20 and 2020-21.
A domestic betting agreement will supplement a recent international betting rights deal with IMG, the international sports marketing agency, covering the same two seasons.
Licensed bookmakers in Poland will initially be invited to submit bids, with contracts to be signed by 30 April.
There will be two packages on offer to bookmakers: 296 games exclusively; or up to four licensed companies sharing the rights on a non-exclusive basis.
Marcin Animucki, chairman of the board at Ekstraklasa, said: "After the success of contracts for the rights to domestic television broadcasts, we are beginning to sell smaller packages. This is very important for us due to the additional funds that will be provided to clubs and the role of promoting games among fans.
"This year, for the first time ever, we want to offer rights to bookmakers operating in Poland. We have already had a series of meetings with their representatives and as a result of discussions with nc + have developed packages to show Ekstraklasa games on bookmaker platforms."
Last month, Polsat, the Polish commercial and pay-TV broadcaster, acquired rights to air the Ekstraklasa Games, the new eSports Fifa soccer tournament organised by ESL, the Ekstraklasa, and EA Sports, the video game maker.
The tournament began with a qualification stage from 5 March, with the final taking place on 26 May.
Sportcal reported in early January that the Ektraklasa was poised to go to market to sell additional broadcast rights, including domestic betting rights and media rights to an eSports league, following on from the sale of its main rights packages.
In December, the league announced two-year deals with nc+ and TVP, the public-service broadcaster, bringing in nearly 250 million zlotys ($66 million) per annum in rights fees and production costs.
League officials are also looking to sign off new international broadcast deals before the end of the current season.
Negotiations with interested broadcasters are now being handled by the league and Ekstraklasa Live Park, the league’s host broadcast arm, following the financial collapse of MP & Silva, the agency that previously distributed the broadcast rights worldwide.