Mediaset appoints former AC Milan chief ahead of Serie A rights auction

Italian media company Mediaset has appointed Adriano Galliani, a long-time senior executive at AC Milan, as president of pay-television unit Mediaset Premium as it gears up for the new domestic rights tender for Serie A, the top division of Italian club football.

Galliani (pictured) served as a senior executive at AC Milan, and a highly respected figure in European football circles, from March 1986 through to April this year. He left the club after former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s holding company, Fininvest, completed the sale of its 99.93-per-cent stake in Milan to Luxembourg-based Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux.

Mediaset vice-president Pier Silvio Berlusconi said: “On the eve of the new 2018-2021 Serie A TV rights auctions, the presence at the top of a high-profile figure in the world of sports and TV rights assures the company the authority of an absolutely high standard.  

“With the arrival of Galliani – who joins managing director Marco Leonardi appointed last March – this completes the new version of Mediaset Premium to guide the company in the coming seasons and to start the process of digital transformation.” 

Mediaset president Fedele Confalonieri last month confirmed that the media company will participate in the new sales process for domestic rights to Serie A, when it is launched later this year.

Mediaset filed a complaint to Italy’s antitrust authority, the AGCM, over the structure of the recently-aborted sales process, which the broadcaster claimed favoured pay-television rival Sky.

Mediaset refused to participate in the latest tender and the only offers that were submitted did not meet the expectations of Lega Serie A, which operates the division. Bids for the rights covering three seasons, from 2018-19 to 2020-21, were due in by June 10.