Italy

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Pay-television platform Sky Italia and Perform Group’s OTT service DAZN will probably both be happy with the outcome of an intense period of rights negotiations in Italy.

Italy’s Lega Serie A is set to earn €973m ($1.13bn) per season for its domestic live rights in the next cycle following last week’s deals with Sky and Perform. This can be considered either a success or a failure depending on which benchmark it is measured against

Italy’s Lega Serie A moved into private negotiations with broadcasters this week for rights to the next three seasons, from 2018-19 to 2020-21, having cancelled its contract with Mediapro.

Lega Serie A and its media-rights adviser Infront are on a collision course with the Mediapro agency, which was appointed intermediary for the league’s domestic live rights, after the Spanish agency failed to meet this week’s deadline to pay its guarantee. 

Geopolitics, as much as commerce, is likely to determine whether the value of Coppa Italia international rights continues to increase dramatically.

Spanish agency Mediapro said this week it wanted to create and distribute a Serie A league channel on the same model as the LaLiga channel it distributes in Spain. But Italian law may make this impossible.

Italian public-service broadcaster Rai has bounced back from losing out on rights to this summer’s Fifa World Cup by agreeing three important football deals.

Pay-television operator Sky Italia believes its acquisition of exclusive rights to motor racing’s Formula One world championship can expand its subscriber base, which has been stuck at 4.7m to 4.8m for more than five years.

Italian media group Mediaset said this week it expected to make a healthy profit on its acquisition of 2018 Fifa World Cup rights by showing all matches free-to-air.

Italy’s Lega Serie A is hoping to earn €1.05bn ($1.26bn) per season for its domestic live rights in this month’s tender process. To hit that figure, or even come close to it, the league will need to do something it has failed to do in previous auctions: secure an offer which meets its valuation of its OTT rights.

Italian public-service broadcaster Rai is understood to be close to a sublicensing deal with Discovery Communications to acquire rights to the 2018 and 2020 Olympic Games.

Rai, Mediaset and Sky were all expected to bid this week for a cut-price 2018 Fifa World Cup. The rights in Italy have plummeted in value since the national team failed to qualify for the tournament, losing a play-off to Sweden.

Rights-holders are keenly following negotiations between French conglomerate Vivendi and Italian media group Mediaset, which could unblock the impasse over Vivendi’s takeover of the Mediaset Premium pay-television platform.

Fox Sports Italia has filled the Euroleague-shaped hole in its midweek schedule and rounded out its North American sports coverage by acquiring rights to the CEV Champions League and NCAA college basketball and football

The Six Nations last week secured a long-term deal with media company NBCUniversal in the US, but is understood to have suffered a 40-per-cent fall in the value of its rights in Italy.

Eleven Sports will begin showing live Serie A matches in Italy this weekend, in a deal which will cost the company nothing but could have multiple advantages.

Italy’s third-tier professional football league, Lega Pro, is heading for a substantial increase in the value of its domestic media rights after holding its first formal tender processes for both national and local broadcast rights.

July 26 and 27, 2017, are two days that could completely reshape the sale of Serie A international media rights.

It is thought Fox was Discovery’s only rival bidder, but the broadcaster’s limited budget for sports rights did not allow an aggressive bid. Discovery, on the other hand, was very keen on the rights