DAZN seals six-year EHF deal in German-speaking countries and Spain

International sports streaming service DAZN has acquired rights across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Spain to European Handball Federation club competitions for the next six seasons in a deal with the Infront agency.

The deal, which include rights to the men’s and women’s EHF Champions League, will run from 2020-21 to 2025-26.

Pay-television broadcaster Sky Deutschland has broadcast the EHF Champions League for the last six seasons, with its most recent three-season deal running from 2017-18 to 2019-20. That deal included exclusive rights in Austria and non-exclusive rights in Switzerland.

In August the Comcast-owned broadcaster ruled itself out of renewing the rights, telling Quotenmeter, the German media website: “Our clear focus in handball is on the long-term broadcasting of the Liqui Moly Handball Bundesliga. With this in mind, we have decided not to renew our contract for the EHF Champions League.”

The deal was brokered by Infront on behalf of the EHF and the EHF Marketing commercial arm.

Infront and DAZN Group co-market EHF media and marketing rights, having agreed a ten-year international rights contract with the federation beginning this season. The agreement, which includes the men’s and women’s EHF Euros (from 2022 to 2030) as well as the EHF club competitions, is worth €500m ($593m) in rights fees alone, with an additional spend on production and services.

Of those markets in which DAZN is active, Infront sells the rights.

Speaking at January’s Spobis conference in Düsseldorf, DAZN Group executive vice-chairman John Gleasure addressed the perception that DAZN could face a conflict of interests.

Gleasure, said: “We are a buyer but there has to be a transparency. In Germany or any market that we’re in there has to be that clear transparency. This is something that we’ve always built into every partnership we’ve done.”

Due to the revenue-share element that DAZN Group and Infront would enjoy over and above the minimum guarantee, both parties are incentivised to derive the largest fee from any particular market (as opposed to awarding the rights automatically to DAZN).

David Szlezak, EHF marketing managing director, said today (Friday): “EHF Marketing welcomes DAZN and as a new broadcast partner of the EHF Champions League.

“The platform is well known in the sports market for the high quality and the innovative approach to its broadcast, therefore EHF Marketing is convinced about the success of these partnerships.”

Infront also, today, agreed a three-season deal, from 2020-21 to 2022-23, for EHF club competitions in Belarus with public broadcaster BTRC.

The agency is also close to an agreement in France before the start of the season with pan-European broadcaster Eurosport.

The 2020-21 EHF Champions League season is due to start on September 16.