Canal+ Poland offers elite Ekstraklasa fixture for free on YouTube

Canal+ Poland resumes its coverage of Poland’s elite football league the Ekstraklasa this week after the winter break. And in a first for the league, the pay TV broadcaster will be streaming a top game for free on its Canal+ Sport YouTube channel.

The fixture in question is between Stal Mielec and current champions Lech Poznan – and takes place on Friday January 27. Both clubs are near the top of the table, which makes it an exciting prospect for fans, who typically have to pay a subscription to view the league. Later in the evening, Canal+ Sport will also show the fourth episode of the documentary series about Lech Poznań, though this won’t be on YouTube.

Canal+’s decision to air a free fixture is part of a wider trend in European soccer which has seen PayTV platforms offer occasional fixtures for free in order to drive consumer interest – and perhaps encourage subscriber take up. In this case, Canal+ recently signed a record-breaking renewal for Ekstraklasa live matches, paying around €270m for a new four-year deal (2023/24-2026/27). The company is planning to increase its coverage of the league across online and social media platforms from next season – so this one-off offer is presumably a way of creating familiarity with this among fans.

YouTube is also likely to be watching the fixture with interest. The online platform has become increasingly active in live sports rights and will welcome anything that represents the normalisation of live football coverage across its service.

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