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BeIN backtracks on Coppa Italia rights claim

Pay-television broadcaster beIN Media has backtracked on its claim to have acquired broadcast rights to the 2018-19 Coppa Italia club football knockout competition in France, Australia and New Zealand.

It told SportBusiness Media that negotiations with the rights-holder, Lega Serie A, “are still ongoing”, and that it does not hold the rights to the competition in these three territories.

BeIN was poised to begin its coverage this week of the Coppa Italia semi-finals and final. Its premium French channels had even scheduled the first legs of the Lazio v AC Milan and Fiorentina v Atalanta semi-finals. The former was held on Tuesday (February 26) while the latter is held today (February 27).

BeIN Sports HD 2 has now removed the Fiorentina v Atalanta game from its schedule.

BeIN last held the rights to broadcast Coppa Italia games in France from 2012 to 2015. It currently also holds rights in France to Italy’s Serie A until 2021.

The Coppa Italia has been without a linear broadcaster in France since the end of Eurosport’s tenure last year. Lega Serie A has been forced to show this season’s games on its OTT YouTube channel in the meantime.

Lega Serie A took on direct responsibility last year for selling international rights to both competitions after previously using the B4 Capital agency as a distributor.