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Lega Serie A outlines targets for domestic rights tender

Lega Serie A, the organising body of the top division of Italian club football, has issued the tender documents for its next set of domestic broadcast rights, with €570m ($675.4m) set as the minimum price sought to acquire television rights to all 380 games per season.

Lega Serie A posted the documents on its website on Saturday, having approved the process on Thursday. The rights on offer are for the three seasons spanning 2018-19 to 2020-21, and two separate documents have been issued – one for pay-television operators, digital terrestrial television platforms and internet outlets, along with a subordinate tender intended for independent financial intermediaries.

Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport said the minimum price for all the packages offered to traditional operators equates to €1.05bn per season. Highlights of the tender include the A and B packages reserved for pay-television and digital terrestrial television platforms, which include the matches of Juventus, Napoli, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina, along with two other clubs, for a total of 248 games per season priced at a minimum of €260m.

The C package includes the same matches for internet platforms and has been priced at €160m per season. The D1 and D2 packages contain the exclusive matches of Serie A’s other 12 teams, including Roma, and can be purchased for any of the audiovisual platforms. 

Offers under the tender process will be accepted through to January 22 and the Corriere said bids will be assessed from the traditional operators on the same day. The Lega will then decide whether to award the rights or proceed to private negotiations on January 25 ahead of another meeting on the following day.

If these offers are still not satisfactory then bids from the tender targeted at independent financial intermediaries will be assessed.

The Lega has been forced to draw up a new rights auction after Italian media group Mediaset refused to participate in the last tender and the only bidders tabled offers that did not meet expectations.

Mediaset refused to participate in protest after filing a complaint to Italy’s antitrust authority, the AGCM, over the structure of the sales process, which the broadcaster claimed favoured pay-television rival Sky.