Lega looks for big increase for Coppa Italia rights

The top Italian football league, Lega Serie A, is targeting a large uplift in the value of the rights to the Coppa Italia, the domestic cup competition, over the next three years, from 2012-13 to 2014-15.

In a tender document released on Wednesday June 6, the league set a reserve price of €20 million ($25.6 million) per season for the rights to the competition from the fourth round onwards. The package includes the exclusive live rights to 25 matches from the Coppa Italia, plus the Supercoppa Italiana, the annual season-opener between the league champions and the winners of the Coppa Italia.

Incumbent rights-holder Rai is likely to face competition from rival commercial broadcaster Mediaset, which would be able to spread the matches across its free-to-air channels and pay-television platform, Mediaset Premium, and from Rupert Murdoch’s pay-television platform Sky Italia.

Rai last month recorded its highest-ever audience for the final of the Coppa Italia, and the highest ever in Italy for a Coppa match, for the match between Napoli and Juventus. The average live audience for Napoli’s 2-0 victory on Rai’s flagship channel Rai 1 was 11.586 million, an audience share of 42.44 per cent.

In the last two-year deal, covering the seasons 2010-11 and 2011-12, Rai paid €11.25 million per season for the television rights for the last 16 onwards.

For the first phase of the competition, comprising 10 matches taken from three rounds, the league has set a reserve price of €275,000 per season. In the last rights cycle, the rights to the early rounds were acquired by Telecom Italia Media, owner of the La7 commercial channel, for just under €600,000 per season.

The league has set a reserve price of €280,000 per season for radio rights for all matches in the Coppa Italia plus the Supercoppa final.

The league is also seeking bids for the international rights to the two competitions.

All bids are required by June 14.