Serie A domestic rights tender set for January launch

Lega Serie A, the organising body of the top division of Italian club football, will launch a new rights tender for its next set of domestic broadcast rights in January, according to multiple reports.

Italian news agency Ansa said a meeting of the Lega’s television rights committee yesterday (Tuesday) settled on a provisional launch date of January 4 for the tender. Bids for the five packages on offer will then be accepted through to January 22.

The launch was initially scheduled for later this month, but Ansa said yesterday’s decision was made so that interested parties and the Lega would not be forced to work on the process over the Christmas holiday period.

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.

In October, the IMG agency and state broadcaster Rai emerged triumphant in the international media rights sales process run by Lega Serie A, sealing agreements worth a total of €1.113bn ($1.289bn).

IMG secured global rights to Serie A, while Rai landed the Italian Communities package, across the three seasons spanning 2018-19 to 2020-21. Rai’s contract is for a dedicated Italian-language package specifically intended to serve expatriate Italian communities. Lega Serie A said the deals will be worth €371m per season in total.