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IHF terminates MP & Silva deal and signs up with Lagardère

The International Handball Federation has today become the latest rights-holder to terminate an agreement with the Chinese-controlled MP & Silva agency, reclaiming global media rights to its flagship World Championships and awarding them to the Lagardère Sports agency.

In February, the IHF awarded rights to its World Championships from 2018 to 2025 to MP & Silva for €150m ($172m). The agreement was set to cover four men’s and four women’s World Championships, which take place biennially in odd years.

The IHF has announced it has terminated the MP & Silva deal due to “financial difficulties on MP & Silva’s part”. It has subsequently appointed Lagardère as its new global media rights distributor, a decision taken unanimously by the IHF council.

The agreement includes the exclusive global media rights distribution for all senior World Championships over the period, as well as broadcast production of these events. Lagardère will manage content creation such as highlights and feature programming and will act as a strategic consultant to the federation to assist in growing the IHF’s global pressence over the next two Olympic cycles.

The deal suggests a change in strategy from Lagardère which has shifted its focus away from media rights almost solely to marketing rights in recent years.

TV Sports Markets exclusively reported last month that MP & Silva was in a state of paralysis and had missed scheduled payments to England’s Premier League and the European Handball Federation. The Premier League subsequently terminated the agency’s deal for rights in selected Asian territories (Taiwan, Mongolia, the Pacific Islands, South Korea and Vietnam). Last week Scotland’s Professional Football League terminated its international rights deal with MP & Silva, as did Premier League club Arsenal.