EXCLUSIVE: Sky Italia acquires German Bundesliga rights

Italian pay-television broadcaster Sky Italia has acquired exclusive rights for German football’s Bundesliga in a two-year deal, from 2013-14 to 2014-15.

The Deutsche Fussball Liga, which runs the Bundesliga, was unable to agree a deal with a major broadcaster in Italy for this season, 2012-13. Sky had the rights between 2009-10 and 2011-12, but declined to renew them. Rival pay-television broadcaster Mediaset Premium rejected this season’s rights for scheduling reasons.

The new deal comes as Qatari pay-television operator Al Jazeera appears to be preparing to enter the Italian pay-television market. The Pitch International agency’s acquisitions in the last two months of rights in Italy for the English Premier League, in 2013-14 to 2015-16, and the Spanish Liga, in 2012-13 to 2014-15, have been interpreted by the market as evidence of Al Jazeera’s plans. Pitch works closely with the broadcaster and often acquires rights on its behalf.

Digital sports specialists Perform Group have live and highlights rights on digital platforms in Italy for the Bundesliga in 2012-13. The DFL agreed deal agreed at the beginning of the season, after failing to find a mainstream broadcast partner.