Spring Media to distribute Chelsea international programming block after linear channel closes

The Stockholm-based Spring Media agency has added another piece of new business, signing an agreement with Chelsea for exclusive distribution of the Premier League club’s international programming block.

Having taken over the exclusive international distribution of Arsenal’s programming block and in-house content, Spring Media has now assumed a similar role with Chelsea in a deal running from 2019-20 to 2021-22.

The agency has been awarded global licensing responsibilities for the international programming block, including all Chelsea matches (subject to holdbacks), press conferences and behind-the-scenes programming and archive content.

Chelsea TV no longer exists as a linear television channel but Spring Media will distribute the three-hour international programming block to broadcasters around the world.

The linear channel was available up until the end of last season in Australia (Foxtel), the Caribbean (Flow Sports), Cyprus (Cyta), Malta (Go), Myanmar (Canal Plus), Poland (Telecoming), South Africa (Cell C) and Switzerland (Teleclub).

The linear channel is also no longer available in the UK and Ireland on Sky’s pay-TV platform, but live streaming of selected friendly games, club programming, documentaries and archive content is broadcast on the Chelsea.com website and via the new official club app.

Discussing the agency’s international remit, Jose Moreno, partner at Spring Media, said: “We will focus all of our resources across rights licensing, production, media management, content creation, and digital distribution to expand into untapped markets globally while raising overall revenue across traditional broadcast as well as social- and digital media platforms.”

Earlier this year, Spring Media replaced MP & Silva as the distributor of Arsenal’s international programming in the wake of the agency’s financial collapse.

During a busy 2019 for the agency, Spring Media has also been named as the exclusive international media rights advisor for Belgian football’s Pro League (until the end of the 2019-20 season).

Deals have also been agreed this year to distribute global media rights to the Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour and the new European Cricket League, along with the purchase of Fanseat, a sports streaming service created by Finnish telco Elisa.