OneFootball has partnered with Eleven Sports to live telecast football matches from nine European leagues for free. This deal covers Danish, Icelandic, Kazakh, Latvian, Northern Irish, Norwegian, Polish, Slovak and Swiss top flights.
The European leagues formed an association and announced earlier this year that they would bundle their rights into a single package. The association of the European leagues which had previously brokered deals for sports data on behalf of its members, worked with Octagon to sell the rights and found willing partners in OneFootball and Eleven.
Both the partners are set to show live matches free-to-air which will be backed by shoulder programming and original content, and supported by advertising. This partnership would welcome more engagement and innovative approaches.
“Historically, international rights for smaller leagues have been an agency deal and there’s been very little distribution or data and insight to who’s watching. What we have is a nice solution and we hope is the start of a long-term project. We hope more leagues will join in the future because of the flexibility this partnership provides,” explained Chris Gerstle, head of business development at European Leagues, which promotes the growth of professional soccer in Europe.
OneFootball shows matches from several leagues around the world on its mobile application. Eleven sports operates both on the OTT platforms and linear channels in some markets. Both the companies are set to provide the leagues with valuable viewers data to target new fans and enable more opportunities for monetisation in the future.
“We are happy to be part of the deal as international coverage will increase our reach, giving us linear exposure in key markets and tap into areas where we are weaker like South America and Asia,” said Malgorzata Borkowska, media rights consultant at the Ekstraklasa.
OneFootball has made strides in acquiring media rights for smaller leagues recently, The Liga MX in Mexico is under the new deal in partnership with Mediapro to live telecast matches from Mexico’s league. OneFootball will also be providing free-to-air coverage for Copa Intelbras do Brasil in partnership with Klefer. Following several deals, they are turning their attention towards the European market with this deal with Eleven Sports.