Ekstraklasa exposure widens with Match TV deal in Russia
Match TV, the Russian sports broadcaster owned by Gazprom Media, has snapped up rights to the Ekstraklasa until the end of the 2020-21 season, further broadening the exposure of the top Polish soccer league.
The agreement begins this week with the remaining fixtures of the delayed 2019-20 season and will cover the entirety of the next campaign.
Match TV will televise Wisła Płock versus Silesia Wrocław tonight.
The broadcaster recently retained exclusive rights to Uefa club competitions until 2024, and also shows the Russian Premier League, as well as the top leagues in Belgium and Portugal.
Until now, live coverage of the Ekstraklasa has only been available in Russia via Ekstraklasa.TV, the league's international over-the-top streaming platform, which costs €2.99 ($3.40) per game, €6.99 per month or €49.99 for the season.
The Ekstraklasa returned from the coronavirus-enforced suspension on 29 May, and ahead of the resumption the league began marketing two extra games per week to broadcasters outside of Poland for the remainder of the season.
The matches are being offered non-exclusively, as they are also available on Ekstraklasa.TV.As with Match TV, deals struck late last month with Sports Channel, the cable and satellite sports broadcaster in Israel, and Canal 11, the TV channel of the FPF, the Portuguese soccer federation, run to the end of 2020-21.
The Ekstraklasa is now being shown in 18 countries, with Premier Sports, the pay-TV operator in the UK and Ireland, carrying two matches per week for the remainder of this season.
Sportdigital, the German subscription sports television and internet broadcaster that already shows 30 Ekstraklasa games per season in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, acquired an additional 10 games for both 2019-20 and 2020-21, while Spring Media, the Stockholm-based sports media and marketing agency, landed a more significant package of 50 matches (with the option of all remaining 88) to sell on in Sweden, Denmark and Norway.
An exclusive rights deal is already in place in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Slovenia and North Macedonia, where Telekom Austria's Planet Sport TV shows matches.
As a result Ekstraklasa.TV does not offer live matches in the Balkans.
Last week, the Ekstraklasa teamed up with Dugout, the digital media platform co-owned by top European soccer clubs, to distribute short-format content from the league via Dugout’s embedded video player to a global audience of 60 million soccer fans via its network of 85 publishers. However, there will be no live match coverage on the platform.