Poland’s TVN Discovery Group will offer its viewers “ground-breaking” coverage of skiing events this winter.
Shown on TVN, Eurosport 1 and player.pl, it will include the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and follows an agreement between Discovery Sports and Infront. The move has angered the public broadcaster TVP, which referred to it as “an unprecedented situation” as it has been broadcasting ski jumping for several decades. It added that “despite many months of negotiations, the Discovery group decided not to sub-license TVP the rights to broadcast ski jumping, depriving the public broadcaster of most competitions in one of the most important sports disciplines, and socially – to an event uniting millions of Poles”.
Significantly, TVP added: It is difficult not to associate this decision with an attempt to include sport in the political dispute around TVN and to use ski jumping as a kind of hostage in this dispute. TVP received signals that our partners from the Polish Ski Association were also concerned about this situation”.
Infront holds the European rights to International Ski Federation (FIS) events. TVP says “tried to obtain rights for the Polish market directly from Infront but was not given the opportunity to participate in a fair and market tender. The Discovery Group acquired rights for the whole of Europe (over 40 national markets) by preventing TVP from negotiating, while ensuring that it would grant a sub-license to the public broadcaster”.