Eleven Sports Network set for Polish launch

Eleven Sports Network, the new media platform backed by co-founder of the MP & Silva agency Andrea Radrizzani, has confirmed it will launch in Poland in August.

Two television channels will be launched in the shape of Eleven and Eleven Sports, with the former focusing solely on football and the latter offering a variety of sports.

Eleven’s content will include football leagues in the shape of Italy’s Serie A and France’s Ligue 1, while Eleven Sports is set to provide the Formula One motor racing series, NFL American football and the European Handball Federation’s Champions League competition.

Both channels will be provided in HD and distributed by cable networks, DTH platforms and over the internet.

Andre Tegner, group managing director of Eleven Sports Network, told the Media2.pl website: “Poland is a very important and attractive market. It is a country that is developing very rapidly and which has a remarkable tradition of football and a large audience who are passionate about the sport.

“In the first stage in Poland we will run two channels. The first will be primarily geared to football fans. In the second we will show other disciplines and football matches that clash with games that are offered on the first channel.”

Tegner added that Eleven Sports was interested in rights to the Ekstraklasa, the top division of football in Poland, but declined to bid in the face of stiff competition. Pay-television operator NC Plus has agreed a deal to extend its rights partnership with the Ekstraklasa, according to multiple reports. The Ekstraklasa’s incumbent rights-holder had been widely considered the favourite to secure rights in the next cycle, however terms of its new deal are unclear at present.

Tegner said: “We were invited to participate in the tender, as an alternate player, but when we realised that in fact we would be competing against the current local broadcaster we decided to withdraw. Still, we think the Ekstraklasa is a very interesting product and we will take part in future tenders for the media rights to the Polish league.”

Eleven will launch initially in Malaysia and Singapore in Asia and Belgium in Europe, ahead of the next football season.