In Poland, as the Handball World Championship is slowly approaching the knockout games, handball euphoria has dropped noticeably. The Polish national team choked its way into the main round by beating Saudi Arabia and immediately lost there to Spain. With no chance of progressing at the tournament, which takes place on home soil and in Sweden, it wasn’t good for the mood.
The situation in Germany is completely different, where enthusiasm grows from victory to victory. It is also a great team that gives hope that the handball nation Germany will return to the elite after years of starvation. The most important representative of the world’s largest handball association, which likes to boast of the best league in the world, gradually stumbled out of the same after the European title and Olympic bronze in 2016.
The current selection, however, is really fun again. And it is well received, which of course is also due to the TV broadcasts. The public broadcasters have been there from the start, there is hardly a news program in which the World Cup is not mentioned, not a morning, noon or afternoon magazine in which no handball player smiles at the camera. And the odds are right, in addition to the team from Qatar, the RTL trash from the jungle camp (4.26) was easily swept away in the opening game with 4.85 million television viewers.
The German players speak of a wave on which they surf. And the nation is happy to ride along as long as the results are right. That is the basic requirement for a sport to function in the media. Only football has the unique selling point that it experiences an unshakable interest even with terrible ideas.
You honestly have to say that the handball players got a good time. When the big tournaments are held, it’s deep winter. People like to sit in the warmth in front of the television, football is on pause, and apart from winter sports there is not much on offer. There are even a few slightly stocky, well, athletes with cheats in the midst of a kind of carnival party on the screen.
The kickers woke up from their hibernation on Friday, handball will nevertheless remain interesting: as long as the results are correct and the public broadcasters are broadcasting.
Their attention cannot be taken for granted: the basketball players recently had a European championship in their own country. The great team with numerous NBA players was a lot of fun and managed to revive German basketball by winning bronze. Except for the special interest channel Magenta Sport, this was nowhere to be seen, RTL only got involved from the quarter-finals. But the European Basketball Championship was in September, people like to be outside, there are other leisure activities, and the Bundesliga is on. Nevertheless, it would be exciting to see whether things could be different if ARD and ZDF got involved. The opportunity would already present itself next September: that’s when the basketball world championships will take place.