Serie A channel could launch in 2018, Infront Italy chief says

Lega Serie A, which operates the top division of football in Italy, could launch its own television channel as early as 2018, according to Marco Bogarelli, the president of the Infront Italy division of the Infront Sports & Media agency.

Bogarelli told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper that the new channel will be necessary to satisfy the appetite of fans, as “interest in football is very high and the room for growth is crazy.”

Infront is serving as the league’s adviser on media-rights sales through to the 2017-18 season, with the possibility of extending the agreement for a further three-year cycle until 2020-21.

Bogarelli added that the league needs to “grow on other fronts,” and said: “We would like to be the league’s adviser for stadia and marketing.”

He said: “The stadium is the key to everything. For an investment of a few million euros, you can make stadia friendly today. At the moment the fan at home has too many advantages over those who follow the action live [at the stadium] – with replays, commentaries and statistics. Many clubs feel the need to put more effort into production, but the core business has remained the same.

“If the stadia had WiFi, instead of five screens there could be a thousand televisions co-ordinated by a director, then the viewer [at the stadium] could enjoy the arrival of the team coach, interviews, footage from the dressing rooms, highlights and replays,” he added. “You have to make sure that people spend more time at a stadium and consume, like it is in a shopping centre.”