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EHF points to uplift in live Champions League coverage

Blaz Blagotinsek of Veszprem and Borut Mackovsek try to block Dainis Kristopans of Vardar during the VELUX EHF Champions League final (Photo by Juergen Schwarz/Getty Images)

The EHF Marketing division of the European Handball Federation (EHF) has announced viewing patterns for its men’s and women’s Champions League competitions, with the number of broadcasts having increased significantly over the past two years.

The figures publicised today by EHF Marketing show that an average of 15 out of the 42 broadcast rights-holders for the men’s competition are showing live coverage of each match in 2019-20. This represents an increase of 50 per cent on the last two seasons.

The round 5 clash between Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain on October 19 proved to be the most popular match of the season so far, with 29 broadcasters showing live coverage.

The average number of rights-holders showing matches from the women’s competition has also doubled in the last two seasons, with more than 10 broadcasters airing live games. A total of 17 of the women’s competition’s 24 broadcast rights-holders showed the match between Rostov-Don and CSM Bucuresti on November 16, making it the most popular fixture so far.

The figures highlight the Nordic countries as the region where the competitions are proving particularly popular. Games featuring Danish teams that were broadcast on Sundays received an average market share of close to 25 per cent, while Swedish club IK Sävehof also organised a double-header for its men’s and women’s teams to play at the same venue on the same day.

The EHF recently introduced a Match of the Week initiative, which has featured 10 clubs from nine countries in a move designed to raise interest in, and spread coverage, of the tournament. The women’s tournament has also implemented MOTW coverage and the initiative will continue for the remainder of the season.

Miguel Mateo, head of TV and media at EHF Marketing, said: “We believe the spectacle of the matches on the court and the atmosphere in the arena, mixed with the high quality production and additional behind-the-scenes content are clearly having an impact on why our partners are deciding to show more and more matches.

“However, this is just the start – we are working hard to ensure we bring the best club handball action to an even wider audience with rich, engaging and high-quality content when the thrilling knockout rounds begin next year.”