Ekstraklasa set to renew domestic rights deals after clubs’ approval

The Polish Ekstraklasa is poised to finalise negotiations with its domestic broadcasters to renew the current deals for a further two seasons, covering 2021-22 and 2022-23.

At a meeting between shareholders of the Ekstraklasa, which includes 16 clubs and the Polish Football Association, the management board of the league received approval to finalise agreements with pay-television broadcaster Platforma Canal Plus and public-service broadcaster TVP.

The league has existing two-season deals with the two broadcasters, covering 2019-20 and 2020-21 and worth a combined PLN250m (€56.8m/$66.8m) per season 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, achieving a 60-per-cent (annual) increase on the previous domestic revenues in the 2015-16 to 2018-19 cycle.

The renewed deals will reportedly be on the same financial terms.

The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic is reported to have expedited the negotiations over the new broadcast rights contracts. The league has been in negotiations with Canal Plus to extend its agreement after the 2020-21 season was reduced from 37 to 30 match weeks as a result of the late start to the new campaign, thus reducing the broadcaster’s inventory.

At the shareholders’ meeting, the model for dividing the centralised media and marketing model was approved for 2020-21. This will be the same as the current season, with PLN225m being distributed to clubs according to seven different criteria.

The PLN225m total is over 45 per cent more than the centralised revenues paid to clubs in the 2018-19 season and a record for the league.

Marcin Animucki, president of the management board of Ekstraklasa SA, has said that the payments will remain the same in 2020-21, “despite the very difficult situation in connection with the pandemic”.

The Ekstraklasa has also agreed to subsidise the costs of Covid-19 tests during the 2020-21 season, providing each club PLN100,000.