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Ekstraklasa unveils OTT pricing and platform developer

The Ekstraklasa, the top division of Polish club football, has officially launched its new OTT platform for international markets, setting a price of €2.99 ($3.30) for live games bought on a pay-per-view basis.

The Ekstraklasa first revealed its plans for Ekstraklasa.tv last month, but has now provided further details behind the project, including the development of the platform by the Iceland-based OZ Sports.

Following a one-month free trial period, matches will be available on a pay-per-view basis or as part of an ongoing subscription. A monthly subscription to the service will cost €6.99, with a season pass priced at €49.99. Content outside of live matches, such as match highlights, league news and archive content, will be provided free of charge.

The platform will offer fans living outside Poland the chance to watch live match broadcasts with Polish commentary and with plans to launch an English version of the platform soon.

It will be available in countries where the Ekstraklasa has not awarded exclusive broadcast rights. The service will be geo-blocked in the Balkans, for instance, given Telekom Austria-owned broadcaster Planet Sport’s recently-signed two-season rights deal.

Previously, Ekstraklasa games were streamed internationally on Dailymotion, the Vivendi-owned video sharing website. The service gained particular traction in the likes of Germany, the UK and the US, given the large Polish expatriate populations.

The Ekstraklasa has been advised on its OTT project by Stefan Felsing, a former leading media rights executive at the Lagardère Sports agency who now heads up his own consultancy.

The new OTT service is compatible with Chromecast and Airplay, allowing content to be streamed from mobile devices to television screens. The service is currently offered for internet browsers at www.ekstraklasa.tv, with iOS and Android apps being tested. In the next few months, Ekstraklasa.tv will be available on Smart TV and Apple TV.

Marcin Animucki, president of the management board of the Ekstraklasa, said: “Changes in the media market are inevitable. We are trying to figure out today the future preferences of broadcasters and fans for the next five, even 10 years.

“We want to be prepared strategically and technologically, so we can make optimum use of all the possibilities and provide our fans with the best possible product – in a convenient and easily accessible way.

“This is our largest technological project, as it offers entirely new opportunities regarding the league’s global reach, direct contact with fans, understanding their expectations and monetisation of media rights abroad.”

The Polish top flight promotes itself as one of Europe’s leading leagues in the technological space and has invested PLN30m (€6.8m/$7.5m) in technology projects over the last two years, including the purchase of outside broadcast trucks.

Ekstraklasa Live Park, the league’s host broadcast subsidiary, will provide all the video content for the platform.

OZ Sports, the platform developer, already works on streaming projects with Concacaf, the Swedish women’s league and the top-tier league in the Dominican Republic.

The 2019-20 Ekstraklasa season kicked off on 19 July.