NC Plus scores Ekstraklasa rights extension – reports

Polish pay-television operator NC Plus has agreed a deal to extend its rights partnership with the Ekstraklasa, the top division of football in the country, 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.

The Wirtualne Media website said NC Plus’ new contract will cover the three seasons from 2015-16 to 2017-18, while sports publication Przeglad Sportowy said the deal will run for four seasons from 2015-16.

NC Plus has reportedly agreed to sublicense some of the rights to pan-regional broadcaster Eurosport, which is set to show two matches – probably those played on Fridays and Mondays – per round of games.

The Ekstraklasa had set a deadline of June 3 for final bids from the four parties in contention for its pay-television rights.

In September, the MP & Silva agency agreed an advisory deal with the league for the six seasons from 2015-16 to 2020-21. However, a broadcast rights deal had yet to be agreed for the period commencing next season, with the 2015-16 campaign due to begin on July 17. The league did not disclose the identity of the four broadcasters in contention for the rights.

Polish internet company Onet and the Polish division of media company Ringier Axel Springer last month agreed four-season extensions to their digital rights packages for the Ekstraklasa.

The new contract, which will run from 2015-16 to 2018-19, represented the first domestic deal agreed under the Ekstraklasa’s next media rights window.