Ekstraklasa makes record club payments from centralised commercial revenues

Poland’s Ekstraklasa will pay a record high of PLN225m ($58.1m/€50.7m) to its clubs from the league’s centralised media and sponsorship rights in 2019-20.

The record total is over 45 per cent more than the centralised revenues paid to clubs in the 2018-19 season. This season, the club placed third in the league will earn more (PLN20.9m) than last season’s champions (PLN18.2m).

Payments from the league to clubs are divided up according to seven different criteria.

There is a fixed-rate fee that is shared equally amongst the club which amounts to 44 per cent of the total awarded. This equated to PLN6.19m per club.

Other fees paid include those decided by: Historical ranking (20 per cent of the total); sporting performance based on final league placing (18 per cent); payments to those competing in Uefa club competitions (14 per cent); solidarity payments to the bottom eight clubs (0.5 per cent); a payment for those clubs involved in the ‘Pro Junior System’ youth development programme (2.5 per cent); and a parachute payment for relegated clubs (one per cent).

The winners of the Polish Cup will receive an additional PLN3.2m (Cracovia face Lechia Gdańsk on Friday in the final).

Legia Warsaw, this season’s champions, received PLN31.3m, the highest amount of all clubs.

The overall revenue distribution increase is largely thanks to improved domestic broadcast deals running from 2019-20 to 2020-21. The two-year agreements with pay-television satellite operator NC Plus and public broadcaster TVP are worth around PLN250m per annum in rights fees and production costs.

At the time, the Ekstraklasa announced the deals as representing the highest amount it has received for its media rights, and a 60-per-cent increase on the previous domestic revenues in the 2015-16 to 2018-19 cycle.

Internationally, the league has been proactive in seeking new deals during the Covid-19 pandemic. The league has struck deals in: the UK and Ireland (with free-to-air channel FreeSports); in Denmark, Norway and Sweden (with the Spring Media agency); in Israel (with pay-television broadcaster Charlton); and in Russia (with state-backed sports broadcaster Match TV).

It also expanded its existing deal in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (with Sportdigital Fussball).