Mediapro hits back after ruling on Serie A rights appeal

Mediapro has claimed it acquired a non-compliant product after the Court of Milan rejected its appeal against a ruling that led to Lega Serie A, the governing body of the top division of Italian football, scrapping its deal with the agency.

A panel of three judges has upheld the ruling on May 9 from Judge Claudio Marangoni, who last month ruled that Mediapro and Lega Serie A had to re-evaluate a tender launched in April, following a challenge lodged by pay-television broadcaster Sky.

Sky initially secured the suspension of the tender process following a ruling on April 16. Marangoni stated that the tender must be cancelled as it was not properly formulated and breached antitrust rules, a verdict that Mediapro had appealed against.

The series of rulings last week saw the Lega move into private negotiations with broadcasters for rights to the next three seasons, from 2018-19 to 2020-21, having cancelled its contract with Mediapro on May 28.

Lega Serie A in February accepted an offer for its domestic broadcast rights from Mediapro for the three-season period spanning 2018-19 to 2020-21. The Lega said the agency had made an offer worth €1,050,001,000 ($1.26bn) per season, exceeding the minimum revenue target of €1.05bn that had been set, but the deal has been met with challenges ever since it was struck.

Responding to the latest ruling from the Court of Milan, Mediapro said in a statement reported by Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra: “We read from the reasons that the decision refers to the provision that the (antitrust watchdog) AGCM made against the Lega Serie A on March 14, 2018, provision that has invalidated the announcement prepared by the Lega Serie A on January 6, 2018, then awarded to Mediapro, still subject to appeal to the TAR of Lazio. 

“Mediapro would have acquired a product (that of the rights put up for sale by the Lega) that did not conform to what it could do by the rules in force.”