HomeNewsItaly

Italy regulator places 3-year block on Sky digital rights exclusivity

Italy’s antitrust authority, the AGCM, has ordered that Sky cannot strike exclusive rights deal for content and linear channels across internet platforms for three years as part of its approval of the pay-television broadcaster’s agreement with Mediaset on the future of the latter’s DTT platform, R2.

The AGCM said the combination of Sky and the DTT platform had created “obvious” and “irreversible” anti-competitive effects, despite Mediaset retaining control of R2 after the regulator in April declined to grant unconditional approval of the sale of the unit last month.

To address these concerns, the AGCM has elected to impose, for a period of three years, restraints on Sky’s digital rights dealings as a means to restore competition to the pay-television market.

In a statement, the regulator added: “In this way, the Authority considers that the potential competition of pay-TV offers via the internet can guarantee, in the future, adequate competitive pressure, which allows for a reduction in prices for consumers and an increase in audiovisual content available to them.”

Most recent

Social media giant Facebook’s challenges around its Copa Libertadores coverage in Latin America have convinced it that non-exclusive rights models form “one of the best ways” of breaking into markets where entrenched viewing habits restrict the potential for exclusive rights to grow engagement with the platform.

The Football Association rejected a higher bid for domestic FA Cup rights for the 2021-25 cycle from incumbent pay-television broadcaster BT Sport in favour of commercial broadcaster ITV, SportBusiness Media understands, in a move that took the competition exclusively free to air in the UK.

Spanish football’s LaLiga extended its rights deal in China with Wuhan DDMC Culture in May without going to market, where it would have faced a tough task maintaining its income, SportBusiness Media understands. The Chinese rights market has cooled since the previous deal was agreed, and DDMC is thought to be paying the league a strong rights fee.

South African pay-television operator Multichoice is facing the biggest challenge in its 26-year history in the form of a two-pronged regulatory attack on its dominant position in the country’s sports-rights market.