Lega meets bidders as Sky enjoys Sunday record

The Italian football league, Lega Serie A, today met the broadcasters who are bidding for media rights which the league was unable to sell when it auctioned its main domestic rights last September. The rights are for three seasons, from 2012-13 to 2014-15.

The rights under negotiation include the digital-terrestrial pay-television rights to eight Serie A teams. Pay-television platform Mediaset Premium has already acquired the rights to the top 12 teams. Bidders for the package include the minor broadcast groups Centro Europa 7 and Pangea. Mediaset did not bid. The league had originally asked for €72 million ($91.4 million) per season for the package but will have to settle for far less.

The free-to-air highlights rights for Serie A were also up for grabs, with state broadcaster Rai, the current rights-holder, facing competition from commercial broadcaster Mediaset. Rai is the only bidder for radio rights.

The league is also offering a package of pay-television highlights rights for digital-terrestrial television, for which Pangea was the only broadcaster to register interest.

Meanwhile, Serie A gave pay-television operator Sky Italia its highest-ever audience on Sunday evening. The derby match between Milan and Internazionale, which Inter won 1-0, was watched by 2.916 million viewers, an audience share of 9.68 per cent. The previous record, of 2.887 million, was for Inter v Milan in February 2009. Sunday’s match was also broadcast in 3D. Sky Italia has just over five million subscribers.