Serie A media rights guidelines approved

The guidelines for the sale of the media rights to Serie A, the top division of Italian football, for the three seasons from 2015-16 to 2017-18 have been approved by the country’s antitrust authority and communications authority.

An auction for the domestic rights is expected to take place in the next few weeks, following a league assembly which is due to take place just after Easter.

Antonio Preto, a commissioner at the communications authority, said that the process had been conducted with an unprecedented level of transparency and participation from interested parties. For the first time, the league’s proposed guidelines had been published on the internet. This had led to feedback which encouraged the authority to make a number of changes to the guidelines.

One key point which the authority has stressed to the league, and its adviser, the Infront Sports & Media agency, is that rights must be awarded by a transparent auction process and that the league should only enter into private negotiations with broadcasters if it has failed to obtain adequate offers after a second round of bidding.

Another point that the authority stressed was that, whether the league opts to make rights available for separate technology platforms, or on a platform-neutral basis, content has to be made available for all distribution mechanisms, including tablets and smartphones.

Preto said that the authority had also asked the league to lower the fees it charges operators for technical access to the match signal, which the league had agreed to.