Handball is back: The DELO EHF Champions League returns
The much anticipated return of top-flight women’s handball will finally be over this weekend when the DELO EHF Champions League 2020/21 season throws off.
A new era for the competition gets under way on Saturday following a busy summer which saw the European Handball Federation and EHF Marketing start the exclusive media and marketing contract with Infront and DAZN Group.
Fresh changes for a historic season
Despite the challenging circumstances faced as a result of Covid-19, the 2020/21 campaign will begin with DELO as title sponsors for the second successive season.
And with a new 360-degree digital strategy, which includes a new website, social media channels and OTT platform, the partnership with Infront and DAZN promises to raise standards even higher on and off the court this season and beyond.
One of the most striking new additions for 2020/21 is the competition format itself, as 16 elite teams from 10 countries across the continent go head-to-head in 132 matches with the goal of reaching the DELO EHF FINAL4.
For the first time in the competition’s history two groups of eight clubs will compete in the group stages with the top two teams in each group advancing straight into the quarter-finals. The teams placed third to sixth in each group will then face each other in the play-offs to determine the line-up of the DELO EHF FINAL4 in Budapest.
For the first time there is no differentiation between the men’s and women’s competition look, which includes a new trophy and the competition’s overall new brand identity, incorporating a new logo, a new website and, for the first time, a unique brand sound.
Raising the bar for TV production
Something that has not changed in the DELO EHF Champions League, however, is the interest and demand for women’s top-flight handball, with every game broadcast live across Europe.
With higher levels of TV production guaranteed for the upcoming season, plus the relaunch of EHFTV as a quality OTT platform, fans across the world will be able to view top-class handball every weekend.
Miguel Mateo, Director Media Operations EHF Marketing, said: “The fact that a number of our strong TV partners have once more committed to broadcasting elite level European women’s handball is thanks to their support of the competition and their own top-quality production. With their support, the DELO EHF Champions League is the benchmark competition in the European women’s sport market.”
The DELO EHF Champions League also welcomes DAZN as a new partner with matches broadcast in Austria, Germany, Spain and Switzerland for six seasons up until the end of the 2025/26, starting from the second round of matches on 19-20 September.
The opening weekend of the season will enable handball fans in Austria, Germany, Spain and Switzerland to tune in and watch the first round of matches for free on EHFTV.
Furthermore, an agreement to show live matches in France and Poland on Eurosport is expected to be finalised in due course to further increase the profile of the women’s top-flight. First round matches will be screened live on EHFTV for free.
Broadcasters for the 2020/21 season
ALB – Arenasport
AUT – DAZN*
BIH – Arenasport
CRO – Arenasport
CZE – SportTV
DEN – TV3 Sports
ESP – DAZN*
FIN – NENT Group
FRA – Eurosport**
GER – DAZN*
GEO – Silknet
HUN – Sport TV
KOS – Arenasport
MKD – Arenasport
MNE – Arenasport, RTCG
NOR – NENT Group
POL – Eurosport**
ROU – Digi Sport, Telekom Sports, Look Sports
RUS – Match TV
SLO – Arenasport
SRB – Arenasport
SUI – DAZN*
SVK – Sport TV
SWE – NENT Group
Worldwide - ehfTV.com (Geo-restrictions could apply)
*First round matches on 12-13 September live for free on EHFTV.
**Expected to be confirmed in due course. First round matches free on EHFTV.
Get ready for the weekend
In an action-packed first weekend, five games throw-off the new season in style Saturday, including 2019 winners Györi Audi ETO KC’s opener away to CSKA at 16:00 CEST, while three games follow on Sunday.
Ahead of the first round of matches the EHF Media and Communications department has released a media guide for the DELO EHF Champions League 2020/21 group phase.
Up until the play-off matches the media guide will provide journalists with essential information on the competition’s history and its future, its new brand and all 16 teams participating in women’s elite club handball competition.
In the 154-page strong guide are team profiles, arena information, head-to-head stats in European club competitions, profiles of all 16 head coaches and 128 key players plus biographical data of all 300-plus players eligible to compete in the continent’s top flight.
To download and read the guide, simply click here.