VIENNA, March 23, 2018 - After 14 rounds and 176 matches, the decisive phase of the VELUX EHF Champions League is about to start, with the remaining 14 teams still in the race for a place at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne on 26/27 May 2018.
The Last 16 will be played over two legs during the next two weeks; last year’s finalists HC Vardar and Paris Saint-Germain Handball are already through to the quarter-finals having topped their respective groups.
Passion and top performances characterise not only the action on court but also the work behind the scenes by the EHF and its marketing arm, EHF Marketing GmbH, as they strive to push the development of the competition and deliver handball at its very best to millions around the globe.
Here are the developments so far this season:
Reach continues to grow
The EHF Champions League underlined its status as the most-followed club competition in international handball during the group phase; the competition’s social media channels now having attracted more than 550,000 followers.
Coverage also increased on TV with more territories than ever before showing the action from the VELUX EHF Champions League. A record number of TV partners are now broadcasting live matches on a regular basis; 42 TV companies broadcast the VELUX EHF Champions League during the group phase to more than 80 territories.
From Iceland to Greece, from Argentina to Macau, the VELUX EHF Champions League is growing both in Europe and globally. An average of 11 TV partners broadcast the matches of groups A/B; the match Paris Saint-Germain Handball vs Telekom Veszprém (round 7) was broadcast by 22 TV partners.
4K first for handball
EHF Marketing is extremely proud to have produced the very first handball match in 4K/Ultra HD. The match between SG Flensburg-Handewitt vs PGE Vive Kielce on 11 February was fully produced in UHD and broadcast on UHD channels both in Germany and Poland. The match was a test for an upcoming production in UHD of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 2018, the first of its kind for a major indoor sports event.
The EHF’s OTT platform, ehfTV.com, continued its development this season with
a new interface and the addition of new features, such as multi-view live
streaming, in order to improve the user experience on the platform.
New merchandise range
EHF Marketing launched the very first EHF Champions League official merchandising collection in the first half of the season, offering handball fans the opportunity to purchase the official range produced by the official sports outfitter, Salming. A new collection for the EHF FINAL4 will be launched in the coming weeks.
Last 16 fixtures
MOL-Pick Szeged (HUN) vs THW Kiel (GER)
PGE Vive Kielce (POL) vs Rhein-Neckar Löwen (GER)
HC Meshkov Brest (BLR) vs HBC Nantes (FRA)
IFK Kristianstad (SWE) vs SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER)
Skjern Handbold (DEN) vs Telekom Veszprém HC (HUN)
Montpellier HB (FRA) vs FC Barcelona Lassa (ESP)