TVP and Sportfive strike late deal for World Handball Championship rights
TVP, the Polish public-service broadcaster, has secured domestic rights to the remainder of the World Men's Handball Championship after reaching a “compromise” with Sportfive, the international sports marketing agency.
A late deal was finally struck with Sportfive, which distributes the International Handball Federation’s media rights, after the two parties were initially unable to come to an agreement prior to the start of the competition in Egypt last week.
Up until this point, Polish fans had to watch their national team’s opening group stage matches against Tunisia, Spain and Brazil via the IHF’s official YouTube channel.
However, TVP was able to strike a deal in time for Poland’s main round fixture against Uruguay yesterday, which the country won 30-16.
The broadcaster will also show Poland’s upcoming matches against Hungary on Saturday and Germany on Monday.
TVP will provide coverage of all of the national team’s games as well as the semi-finals, the third-place play-off and the final on 31 January, which are protected in Poland by the country’s listed events legislation and must be shown free-to-air.
Poland games will be shown on the broadcaster’s main TVP1 channel and streamed on its website, mobile app and YouTube channel.
Ahead of the start of the tournament, Poland was the only major market without a rights deal in place.
Marek Szkolnikowski, TVP Sport’s director, announced the deal on Twitter, saying a “compromise” was reached with Sportfive “after several rounds of negotiations” and added that “in business there is no room for emotion, but for rational thinking in the public interest.”
In recent weeks, Szkolnikowski has faced criticism from fans for failing to land the rights to the competition from the outset.
Speaking on the matter last week, he wrote on Twitter: “When we win important tenders in a very competitive market, the ‘experts’ say that with such a budget everyone would win. However, when it turns out that we care about public money and do not overpay for the rights, there is outrage.”
Sportfive distributes media rights on behalf of the IHF in a six-year deal running to 2025.
Poland’s opening match against Tunisia attracted 389,000 international viewers on the IHF’s YouTube channel, while the games against Brazil and Spain generated 500,000 views and 669,000 views respectively.
Eurosport, the pan-European sports broadcaster, held the rights in Poland to the 2019 World Men's Handball Championship, a tournament the nation failed to quality for.