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Ekstraklasa seals Match TV rights deal in Russia

Ekstraklasa Live Park camera operator during Ekstraklasa match (Photo by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Poland’s Ekstraklasa has furthered its international reach with a new deal in Russia with pay-television broadcaster Match TV that will run until the end of the 2020-21 season.

The deal began with the match played last night (June 9) between Piast Gliwice and Górnik Zabrze. The Gazprom-owned broadcaster will show two fixtures per match week.

Previously, Ekstraklasa matches in Russia were available only via the league’s Ekstraklasa.tv OTT streaming platform.

Match TV is the leading sports broadcaster in the country, currently holding key rights in the country such as Uefa’s club competitions and the Russian Premier League.

Since it was announced that the Ekstraklasa would return on May 29 from its suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the league’s in-house media rights team has agreed a host of international deals.

It has been marketing non-exclusive rights to two fixtures per match week to international broadcasters.

The league has struck deals in: the UK and Ireland (with free-to-air channel FreeSports); in Denmark, Norway and Sweden (with the Spring Media agency); and in Israel (with pay-television broadcaster Charlton). It also expanded its existing deal in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (with Sportdigital Fussball).

Last week, it also agreed a deal with digital media company Dugout to distribute bespoke Ekstraklasa content which will be shown through Dugout’s embedded video player to global audiences (excluding Poland and the Balkans).