Wondering where to catch live sport on TV in Wrocław? If so, you've come to the right place! You'll find everything you need to know here.
The question about where to catch the big match in Wrocław is one that regularly crops up on social-media. Unfortunately it isn't an easy one to answer though, hence the need for this guide.
The first thing you need to know is that there is no venue whatsoever in Wrocław with Sky Sports or BT Sport. Not only does that rule out watching sport in the pub with English commentary, but it also means that certain sports not broadcast on Polish TV (e.g GAA, which is popular in Ireland) are never shown.
Just about every other major city in Poland has a bar with English or Irish satellite TV, so it is a bit of a mystery why Wrocław is left without one. The word on the street is that the "Guinness Mafia" (see our reference to Guinness Pub later) are responsible for this, however that rumour could turn out to be nothing more than an urban legend.
So with no bar having access to Sky Sports or BT Sport, it's time to get familiar with what sports are broadcast on the various Polish sports channels. This inevitably brings us to the 1st part of guide.
Is the sport I want to watch on Polish TV?
Although some sport is broadcast free on terrestrial TV, most live sport in Poland is shown by three major pay-TV broadcasters over two different platforms. This is important as some pubs will be unable to show two sporting events simultaneously that are broadcast on the same platform.
The two established players on the market are NC+ and Polsat, who both have their own satellite systems. Generally pubs will need two decoders to show sport from both these providers – so you will need to check your local pub has the right decoder depending on what sport you want to watch. The new player on the market is Eleven Sports, which is available on both the aforementioned platforms.
So what do the various channels show? Here's a summary of the football:
|Canal + / NC+ (various channels)||Polsat Sport (various channels)||Eleven Sports (various channels)|
|Champions League (until the end of 2017-2018 season)||World Cup and European Championship Qualifiers||La Liga (Spain)|
|Europa League (until the end of 2017-2018 season)||Champions League (from the 2018-2019 season)||Ligue 1 (France)|
|The English Premier League||Europa League (from the 2018-2019 season)||Serie A (Italy)|
|T-Mobile Ekstraklasa||Russian League||Bundesliga 1 and 2 (Germany)|
|Copa Del Rey (Spanish Cup)||Chinese League||Scottish Premiership|
|Dutch League||Jupiler League (Belgium)|
|Polish 1st Division||English Championship|
|Polish Cup||FA Cup|
|Carabao Cup (English league Cup)|
Please be aware that although these channels have access to the competitions above, they will not be able to show every game. Canal+ only broadcast selected English Premier League games, while Eleven Sports have the rights to so many leagues that they have to pick and choose which matches to broadcast.
If football's not your thing, then here's a quick summary of other sports or big sporting events on the various channels. Please note they are subject to change as time passes and broadcast rights are won by different providers.
The Olympics and Winter Olympics – TVP (free to air)
Rugby – the 6 Nations is broadcast on Canal+, while Polsat Sport have traditionally covered the World Cup. One-off internationals are generally not shown.
Rugby league – no live coverage
Cricket – no live coverage
GAA – no live coverage
Ozzie rules football – no live coverage
NFL – Eleven Sports
NBA – Canal+
NHL – TVP Sport
Polish Speedway League – Canal+
Formula 1 – Eleven Sports
Moto GP – Polsat Sport
Tennis – most ATP and WTP tournaments are broadcast on Polsat Sport, which also shows Wimbledon. The other Grand Slams are exclusive to Eurosport.
Handball – most international tournaments are broadcast on Polsat Sport
Volleyball – most international tournaments are broadcast on Polsat Sport
Winter sports – most skiing tournaments are shown on TVP Sport or Eurosport
Golf – most big tournaments shown on Canal +
If you want to check the Polish TV listings, you can do so at teleman.pl.
Ok, my match is being broadcast. So where can I see it?
The good news is that Wrocław has a number of bars that show live sport, particularly the big matches. The bad news is that in all my years of living in Wrocław I have yet to come across a reliable 'go-to' place that can give you a cast-iron guarantee they'll show the big (or not so big) game.
There are a few reasons for this. First and foremost, a number of bars that broadcast live sport also attract crowds for parties on Friday and Saturday nights. So during this time many pubs choose not to broadcast football or any other sport with the commentary on as it spoils the party vibe. This is understandable but also annoying if you are a sports fan.
Another issue is that some pubs rarely show any loyalty to a particular group of regulars. For example, even if some bars make a tidy profit on showing English Premier League football, one day when you turn up you'll find the bar has decided to cash in by showing a major volleyball, handball or speedway event. Fortunately instances such as those are few and far between, but it's still something to bear in mind.
Finally, some of the bars that show sport don't open in the afternoon, so if the sport you want to watch happens before to be before 2pm you may find your choice of venues restricted.
As you can see, Wrocław is really crying out for a dedicated sports bar aimed at the international community. For the moment though, there are fortunately a few venues in town worthy of consideration.
Here's a list of the 'usual suspects' where you can see live sport in Wrocław:
The first name on most people's lips when it comes to sport in Wrocław is the Winners Pub, which is handily located on Włodkowica street next to Mleczarnia.
Winners Pub is probably the city's most refined and civilised sports bar, a facet that brings its own pros and cons.
On the plus side, it's one of the few places where you can enjoy a meal with your beer and see the game at the same time. The burgers and steaks there have recieved glowing reviews for a few years now. Winners Pub is clean, tidy and generally well run, while they also have table service – so there's no need to queue for the bar in the middle of the match. On top of that, they have a large projector as well as many HD screens that have been properly rigged up.
However, the prices at Winners are definitely above average for a sports bar. Expect to pay around 30zl for some of the cheaper main meals (starter-sized meals can be purchased for less) and 9-12zl for a beer (from an established brewery rather than a craft one). If you go to Winners Pub a few times a month, the cost of making the place your local for live sport is sure to mount up. The decor isn't to everybody's taste either; I'm not a fan of the giant Bacardi adverts and I find the cream seats to be a bit naff.
On occasion you may also have to tolerate the fact that the game you wish to see has been punted down the pecking order due to a big Polish match or another major sporting event.
Despite those cons, Winners Pub remains a decent option for watching sport in Wrocław. It's central location is fantastic, while they do tend to show a lot of Premier League and La Liga games. The fact they do decent grub is convenient too.
Just to complicate matters, last year another venue using the name "Winners" turned up – "Winners Sports Bar". It appears to be a chain sports bar owned by the Tyskie company.
The bar's address is on Ofiar Oświęcimskich, however the entrance is found on Szewska street. This is a basement bar – so you'll need to look for the sign above the door to find your way in.
Like the Winners Pub, Winners Sports Bar has no shortage of HD screens, however it is noticeably bigger than its similarly named rival. The prices at Winners Sports Bar are also a few złoty cheaper, making it more accessible to the masses. That said, there is no food available aside from the usual bar snacks (crisps, peanuts, paluszki).
I feel this place has potential, however they need to be more consistent with their information flow on social media. On some days you know exactly what they will show, while on other days you haven't a clue. I've also found the staff at Winners Sports Bar to be a little indifferent at times, although that could easily have changed since I last visited.
If you are a fan of Real Madrid however, this is definitely the bar for you – the local fan club gather here for all the big games.
Sport Pub 21 is the go-to sports venue for many students and locals thanks to their rock bottom prices. You can still grab one or two kinds of bottled Czech beers there for just 6zł.
The low prices do come at the cost of comfort and service though. None of the TV monitors at Sport Pub 21 have been set up to show HD pictures properly, while there is usually just one bored and demotivated bar-tender to deal with the huge crowds that sometimes gather for big games.
Unfortunately Sport Pub 21 rarely update their Facebook page, so it's difficult to predict what sport they will show. That said, the pub generally show a lot of Premier League games, and this is especially true of the Manchester United matches as the local fan club meet in strong numbers there for every match.
Pre-match banter with the Man Utd fans in the pub is pretty much non-existent though, as right up until kick-off most of them choose to sink cheap booze from the local shop by the pub's rear-entrance. The atmosphere the guys create is awesome if you are a Man Utd fan, however the constant singing from start to finish will do your head in if you support any other team.
Things canoccasionally get heated at Sport Pub 21 when some WKS fans find the pub has switched over from the Ekstraklasa to a foreign game (although I've never seen such situations escalate beyond a shouting match(. Another issue is that in spite of its name, Sport Pub 21 is one of the places that occasionally ditches the sports commentary on Friday and Saturday evenings. The music that's put in is place can also be kitsch to the extreme.
Although Sport Pub 21 has a few drawbacks and can feel a bit primative compared to the other pubs in town, it is a place where you can commune with the locals. The low prices shouldn't be sniffed at either. In addition, there is an option to watch what you wish via wifi by plugging in your android box or laptop to one of the screens. I've done it on countless ocassions before for Aberdeen games, and the staff have never said anything (but please check before doing so yourself).
Pub Felicita is probably the first port-of-call for the international community in Wrocław when it comes to live sports.
Felicita is the only pub in Wrocław that has a foreign decoder of any kind; they have a Sky Italia box at their disposal which allows them to broadcast Serie A with Italian commentary. It also gives the pub the possibility to show different combinations of games that other pubs can't, as they have a Polish satellite TV setup too.
The pub attacts large numbers of italians for the big Serie A games; they also show plenty of matches from La Liga, the Premier League and the Champions League.
Friday and Saturday evenings are unfortunately an issue at Felicita as they don't broadcast the games with commentary (unless it's a massive final). On Sundays it's a different ball game altogether though, and you can bump into fans from all over the world watching different games and talking about the ins and outs of their various teams.
It is fair to point out that Felicita isn't the grandest or most comfortable of venues, however the place is primarily aimed at a younger student crowd and this is to be expected.
On the plus side, the Italian owners are very friendly and the pub is a safe haven for everyone regardless of where they come from. Last but not least, Felicita has a reasonable beer selection and the prices are on the money too.
Next up on our list is another chain sports-bar – Piwarnia Warka.
The old Piwarnia Warka, which morphed into the Winners Pub, was a personal favourite of mine. Unfortunately its latest incarnation on Swidnicka street has never managed to repeat the atmosphere of the old place.
On the face of it everything is very much the same, especially the decor. However the most noticeable change when the new Warka opened was unfortunately the prices, which were (and still are) pretty steep considering Warka is one of Poland's more tepid beers. You can get yourself a better deal by buying a pitcher, but that's no use if you just fancy a couple of pints for a Champions League game on a weeknight. The food, although decent, isn't the best value either.
That said, there are some plus points. The bar's location is very practical, and there are televisions galore in the basement, which makes it easy to have a good view of the match. The pub has lots of seats too, allowing you a fighting chance of grabbing a decent place (although you should still book a table for big games).
While the new Piwarnia Warka has lost some of the 'local' vibe that its predecessor had, it does still offer a decent matchday experience thanks to its large interior, food menu and good quality TV screens. So it should remain in your thoughts if you are looking for a place to see the game.
An extremely poor excuse for a Scottish pub, Haggis really shouldn't be on this list. Apart from one Scottish flag and a couple of pictures of Edinburgh, there's nothing even remotely Scottish about the place. They don't have any more Scottish whiskies than your average bar, and there's no Scottish beer available whatsoever.
However if you are Arsenal fan it is worth knowing that the Wrocław Arsenal fan club does tend to meet here, so you may find yourself going there from time to time (particularly on a Champions League night, when other pubs could be showing other teams).
Prices at Haggis are bit cheaper than in the old town, which is nice. That said, the nearby bars under the train tracks still offer better value. The beer selection is above average, with Murphys on tap alongside a couple of varieties of Zywiec. They have plenty of bottled craft beers and Czech beers though, which makes up for the lack of draught options.
Unfortunately Haggis only have one TV and one projector screen, neither of which you can see clearly in the upstairs section of the bar. You can see the screen clearly from the ground floor, however if the pub is busy you may have to sit quite far back due to the bar's narrow shape.
Another issue is the staff, who seem to spend more time amusing themselves than they do serving the customers.
Last but not least, it doesn't tend to open until later in the afternoon, so you couldn't even consider going to Haggis for some of the earlier kick-offs.
Last on the list is ironically the first place a reasonable amount foreigners in Wrocław make their first regular haunt – Guinness Pub.
Although more authentic than Haggis (which isn't saying much at all), the Guinness Pub still falls well short of being a decent Irish pub. If you don't believe me, then ask someone Irish. The most frequent complaint about Guinness Pub I hear from Irish sports fans is that the staff "haven't even heard of Gaelic Football".
The pub is run by an infamous group of locals, and if rumour has it, they are hell bent on stopping anyone else setting up an Irish bar better than theirs (although I must stress again that this is merely the word on the street).
Prices at Guinness Pub are higher than at any other sports bar in town, which would be both reasonable and understandable if they had Sky Sports. They don't though, so you are generally better off going somewhere else.
There are moments when Guinness Pub can be your saviour though. Given that the place is frequented by tourists and the local international community, on an odd day you may find that they are the only bar in town showing the Premier League instead of the Polish volleyball or handball team.
Another benefit of Guinness Pub, particularly if you are new in town, is that you can of course commune in English and enjoy a bit of banter. Even so, you could grow tired of bumping into stag parties or meeting expats who have no interest in integrating with the locals (not to say that everyone who frequents Guinness Pub falls into this category).
Although Guinness Pub does have a number of flaws, it would be wrong to completely rule the place out. The pub can be very useful in an emergency and if you are new in town it may serve as a good place to get started and meet others in the same boat as yourself.
Naturally, there are many more options for watching sport in Wrocław on top of the bars listed above. Below is another list of venues that have a track record of showing sport, albeit less prominently and frequently:
Remont Bar | Fuga Mundi Billiards Club & Pub | Cuba Pub | Papa Bar | U Beatki | Bierhalle Rynek Wrocław | PRL – Klubo-kawiarnia | szynkarnia – local food & multitap | 4Hops | LAMUS | Corso Wine-Bar & Restaurant | Chopper – Bar & Grill | American Dream Restaurant & SportsBar | Sport Bar 24h | WicarZone | Motyla Noga | Stalbet Cafe & Pub | Pub Uno | SPORT PUB (Psie Pole) |