Frank Dunne

Italian pay-television operator Sky Italia has extended its deal for exclusive rights to the FIA Formula One World Championship. The deal was agreed with Formula One Management, the Formula One Group subsidiary that handles the commercial rights to the series.

The ruling this month from Italy’s highest administrative court, which brought an end to the legal battle over Sky Italia’s ability to acquire exclusive internet rights, was ostensibly good news for OTT operators. It prevents Italy’s dominant ‘legacy’ pay-television operator from buying these rights, at least until 2022.
USA

The Thursday Night Football renewal between US tech and retail giant Amazon and the National Football League makes sense for both parties. But it does not mark a staging post from which Amazon could disrupt the make-up of the NFL’s main media-rights partners in the next cycle, US media experts say.

The International Swimming League is working on two fronts to increase exposure and engagement levels ahead of its second season. It is in renewal talks with many of the broadcasters who covered the league’s inaugural season, while pushing ahead with the development of its own direct-to-consumer OTT platform.

Trading in sports media rights has stopped. This has never happened before. The last time global sport came to a standstill was for the Second World War, some time before the sports-rights industry was born.

The investment of Eurosport Events in global rights to the Speedway World Championships and Speedway of Nations series makes sense for the company on several fronts, independent experts say.

Pay-television operator Sky Italia has dropped the wrestling entertainment series WWE after broadcasting it for 18 years. The decision follows similar choices by Sky’s divisions in the UK and Germany.

Sky Italia’s victory this month in its challenge to the restrictions placed on its rights acquisitions by the country’s antitrust authority was comprehensive but not definitive.

The latest rights deals for cycling’s Tour de France and La Vuelta a España represent good business for the buyers, the European Broadcasting Union and Discovery Communications, industry insiders familiar with the deals told SportBusiness Media.

The NFL League is at a pivotal moment in its distribution of media rights outside the US. Deals in two of the league’s most important overseas territories, the UK and China, are up for renewal. The league is also thought to be looking for a new partner for its rights across Europe.

Italy’s Lega Serie A will launch a tender in April for its domestic media rights for the three seasons from 2021-22 to 2023-24, SportBusiness Media understands. The delay opens space for the resolution of several outstanding issues that have, so far, complicated the process.

Belgian Pro League clubs will be able to exploit near-live clips on their own digital subscription platforms in the next rights cycle: the first time European clubs have been able to do so without long hold-back periods.