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Polish Ekstraklasa set to launch OTT platform

Poland’s top-tier Ekstraklasa has announced the launch of an OTT platform to provide coverage in select international markets and a new media-rights deal with Telekom Austria-owned broadcaster Planet Sport covering seven Balkan countries.

From the 2019-20 season, the Ekstraklasa’s new platform will stream all matches, and highlights, in territories not covered by broadcast deals.

The subscription-based platform will target the global Polish diaspora, which is said to number close to 20 million.

Marcin Animucki, chairman of the Ekstraklasa, said: “In 2012, we decided to build in our team competence in the field of independent transmission of matches. It was a hit. At present, no one will deny that our league is well shown.

“What’s more, this year during the (Fifa) U-20 World Cup, our Ekstraklasa Live Park company was the main production partner, which Fifa entrusted with the production of match broadcasts from its event.

“The images we have produced have been shown all over the world. Now we have decided that it’s time to take the next step and in response to the changing media consumption we want to develop our own channels. We will commercialise the content we produce, just like the largest sports organisations in the world, such as the NBA, Uefa or LaLiga, do.”

The English Premier League is also believed to be assessing the merits of launching its own OTT offering, as it evaluates alternatives to traditional rights sales from the 2022-23 season onwards.

Meanwhile, Planet Sport has acquired rights to the Ekstraklasa in Serbia, Croatia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Slovenia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. The deal will take in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.

Małgorzata Borkowska, a consultant for media rights at the Ekstraklasa, added: “We are still talking about the rights to show Ekstraklasa matches with Sportdigital, which wants to broadcast 30 of our matches in the seasons 2019-20 and 2020-21 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This is a channel available, among others on the Sky platform, which will provide Ekstraklasa with a wide range in the region.

“We also talking with American broadcasters through the agency Cubillos and an Indonesian broadcaster who is interested in broadcasting matches involving Lechia Gdańsk.”