Italy

The high-value deals agreed by Italian state-broadcaster Rai for football’s World Cup and Champions League mark a major change in the sports-finance

Football: Spanish Primera Liga champions FC Barcelona agreed a long-term deal with the Mediapro agency which guarantees the club at least €1bn (£685m) for its domestic and international television rights for the seven years from 2006-07 to 2012-13.

Italian state broadcaster Rai won the live, free-to-air rights for football’s Champions League, taking them from commercial rival Mediaset

The plan of commercial broadcaster La 7 to launch a 24-hour sports channel on its digital-terrestrial platform will help the company make the most of its investment in sport

Fifa has agreed or is in the process of agreeing deals for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups in the top five European television countries

Pay-television operators in four of the five top European television markets reported growing numbers of subscribers

Football World Cup agency Infront is close to acquiring the Milan-based agency Media Partners in a €130 million cash deal.

Uefa expects to enjoy a significant increase in the value of the next round of Champions League rights in Italy

German viewing also falls, Spain and Italy see audiences rise

A look at television production of football matches in France, Germany, England, Italy and Spain

The revamped Golden League athletics series has still to win television coverage in two of Europe’s top five television markets.

Italy’s government is seizing upon the match-fixing scandal which has engulfed Serie A to push through new measures on television rights for football.

Football:  Italian pay-television operator Sky Italia acquired the pay-television rights to all 64 matches of the 2006 World Cup, 39 of which it will show exclusively, in a deal with the Infront agency.  Sky is paying an estimated €40m (£27.3m) for the rights.  The deal also includes the rights to this year’s Fifa Confederations Cup, the Fifa World Youth Championships and the 16 26-minute preview programmes produced by Infront (page 1).

Uefa, European football’s governing body, plans to expand the central selling of the television rights and sponsorship of the Uefa Cup

Dramatic tournament attracts best-ever audiences in four key markets

Rai, Mediaset and Sky will be the big losers if Serie A champions Juventus are relegated to Serie B next season as a result of the match-fixing scandal.

Mixed news for European domestic cup football audiences