Italian Serie A

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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.

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.

In the latest interactive monthly data report, SportBusiness Media analyses the role of agencies in the media-rights market globally.

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.

In the latest interactive monthly data report, SportBusiness Media analyses the media-rights landscape in the Middle East and Africa.

Milan’s civil court has hit pay-television broadcaster Sky Italia with an injunction after an appeal from Lega Serie A over a missed rights fee payment by the broadcaster amid the Covid-19 shutdown.

Italian football’s Lega Serie A has decided to continue to examine proposals from private equity investors following a general assembly meeting.

Cash-strapped Serie-A clubs could find it difficult to agree a deal with a private equity investor because of internal politics and deep-seated rivalries, according to leading Italian financial journalist…

Pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports lifted its Italian Serie A blackout after reaching a financial compensation deal with the league and international rights distributor the IMG agency for lost exclusivity…

Features

The IMG agency has sealed a deal for rights to Spain’s LaLiga, Italy’s Serie A and the US’ Major League Soccer in Sweden with media group Bonnier. The deal signals the end of its OTT experiment in the country as it had previously been broadcasting the properties on its Strive streaming platform.

The Mediapro agency’s offer for the domestic media rights to Serie A for the next two cycles, covering the six seasons from 2021-22 to 2026-27, is a plan B for the league in case it is unable to sell its rights in a competitive tender. The offer is the same as that made by the Spanish production house for the current cycle – an offer accepted by the clubs last year but later rejected.  

The Italian competition authority’s investigation into the sale of rights for Serie A is ostensibly a disaster for MP & Silva and B4 and a let-off for IMG. But MP & Silva and B4 are no longer active and IMG could yet face a major problem. The agency could be hit with a substantial damages claim by the league for lost earnings.

The IMG agency has initiated a damages claim against the Italian football league, Lega Serie A, for €50m ($57m).

ESPN has paid a premium to secure Serie A and Ligue 1 rights in Latin America and the Caribbean, boosting its European football portfolio after missing out on the English Premier League

The expected collapse of Eleven Sports’ UK business has pushed IMG back to square one in its bid to stir up competition in the country and ruined the best-laid plans of multiple mixed martial arts promotions.

DAZN will pay $30m per year for the Copa Sudamericana in Brazil Streaming service to pay about $10m per season for Serie A; $5m per season for Ligue 1

Eleven Sports’ decision to break one of the golden rules of UK sports broadcasting – the ‘3pm blackout’ – has created a legal quandary that could result in it being scrapped altogether. Eleve

Interview with Andrea Radrizzani, owner of Eleven Sports, on the reasons behind the broadcaster's decision to break the UK's '3pm' blackout rule

• IMG has secured big increases in most major markets for Serie A but is still likely to lose money • Agency was given discount for favouring visibility over price in US in ESPN / beIN face-off • O

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV is in discussions to renew rights to three of its most important football properties: the Uefa Champions League, Germany’s Bundesliga and Italy’s Serie A.
USA

ESPN's deal with IMG for rights to Serie A and the FA Cup has shown how US sports broadcasters are desperate not to be left without premium European football on their platforms.