Rai agrees deal for limited package of Serie A highlights rights

Italian state broadcaster Rai has agreed a deal with the Italian football league, Lega Serie A, for the free-to-air highlights rights for Serie A for three seasons, from 2012-13 to 2014-15.

Rai is thought to be paying €14.5 million ($18.9 million) per year, made up of €11.5 million for television rights and €3 million for radio rights. Under its two-year current deal, which expired this season, Rai pays €24.6 million per season for television rights and €3 million per season for radio rights.

Under the new deal, Rai’s rights will be more limited than before. It has retained the rights to its flagship early-evening highlights programme Novantesimo Minuto and the late-night round-up show Domenica Sportiva. However, it will be forced to drop its popular and long-running afternoon football-and-entertainment show Quelli che il calcio.

The league rejected an offer from Rupert Murdoch’s Sky Italia for exclusive rights to a goals round-up at 6pm which the broadcaster planned to show on its small free-to-air channel Cielo.

The league is shortly expected to tender the rights for the Coppa Italia, the domestic cup. According to the Gazzetta dello Sport it is targeting a 30-per-cent increase on the value of its current deal with Rai, which is worth about €11.5 million per season.