The European Handball Federation has approved the start of negotiations with the Infront agency and digital sports content and media group Perform over the audio-visual and marketing rights to a raft of the organisation’s competitions.
The decision signals the final stage in a tender process that was launched on September 18, 2017.
The rights include proposals for a revamped club competition system, with a new format in the Champions League, the creation of a ‘European Handball League’ on the second tier of European competition and a new EHF Cup to replace the existing Challenge Cup. The EHF Euro national team tournament is also included, along with youth events and beach handball competitions.
Seven initial bids from agencies and media companies were received for the rights, and the EHF confirmed that three “firm offers” now remain on the table.
The EHF said last June that it would switch to a new method of marketing its rights for its showpiece competitions. Infront is currently responsible for the marketing of EHF Euro events, with the MP & Silva agency marketing Champions League rights.
Infront has tendered for all of the EHF’s club and national team rights in a joint bid with Perform. Negotiations between the three parties will now begin. The EHF said that the two remaining bids, details of which were not disclosed, will be considered if an agreement with Infront and Perform cannot be reached.
Interested parties were asked to bid for seven audio-visual rights packages and three marketing packages on a modular basis across all club and national team competitions.
The EHF made the announcement ahead of yesterday’s (Sunday’s) men’s EHF Euro 2018 final in Croatia, which saw Spain defeat Sweden 29-23 to win the competition for the first time.