Ekstraklasa set to renew with Canal Plus and TVP to 2023 on same terms
By Jonathan Rest
The leadership of Polish soccer's Ekstraklasa has been given approval to finalise new domestic rights deals with incumbents Canal Plus, the pay-television operator, and TVP, the public-service broadcaster, without a formal tender process.
The contract for the the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons could be completed before the end of the month, Sportcal understands.
Approval was granted at a meeting between shareholders of the Ekstraklasa, which includes 16 clubs and the PZPN, the national soccer association, and the league's management board this week, with Wisla Krakow the only dissenting voice.
It is believed the two-year extension has been agreed in principle on the same terms as the existing 250 million zlotys ($67 million) per annum in rights fees and production costs paid out by Canal Plus and TVP.
The Ekstraklasa is set to expand from 16 teams to 18 from 2021-22, when the new rights cycle begins, meaning there will be one more game per round.
However, the total number of games each team plays will actually drop, from 37 to 34, with teams simply playing each other home and away.
At present, the Ekstraklasa splits after all 16 teams have played each other twice (a total of 30 games), with the top eight then battling for the title and European places and the bottom eight to fight off relegation.Sportcal understands that the coronavirus outbreak and the subsqeuent uncertainty it has caused in the market convinced the Ekstraklasa to turn to direct negotiations with the incumbents rather than launching a tender.
Canal Plus and TVP's present two-season deal, which has one more year to run, is worth 60 per cent more per annum than the previous deal covering 2015-16 to 2018-19.
Canal Plus televises all 296 matches per year, of which up to 37 can also be shown by TVP (one per round, either on a Saturday or Sunday).
Also at this week's shareholders’ meeting, the model for dividing the centralised media and marketing revenue was approved for 2020-21 and, despite the impact of the pandemic 225 million zlotys will again be distributed to clubs, as was the case for the 2019-20 campaign,
The figure is 45 per cent higher than under the previous domestic rights contract.
Champions Legia Warsaw earned 31.3 million zlotys for 2019-20, compared with the 18.2 million zlotys that 2018-19 title winners Piast Gliwice received. Indeed, Gliwice earned more this season for finishing third (20.9 million zlotys) than for winning the title.
The Ekstraklasa distributes money to its clubs based on seven criteria:
- 44 per cent is shared evenly, equal to 6.19 million zlotys to each club;
- 20 per cent historical ranking;
- 18 per cent on sporting performance, based on final league position;
- 14 per cent to the clubs that competed in Uefa competitions;
- 0.5 per cent solidarity payments to the bottom eight clubs;
- 2.5 per cent to clubs involved in the ‘Pro Junior System’ youth development programme; and
- 1 per cent parachute payment for relegated clubs.