Sky Italia attacks Serie A clubs as cold weather hits matches

Jacques Raynaud, vice-president of the Sky Sport channels at Italian pay-television operator Sky Italia, criticised clubs in Serie A, the top tier of the Italian football league, for failing to prevent match postponements due to adverse weather conditions.

Raynaud said that a lack of investment in facilities such as under-soil heating had contributed to two Serie A matches being called off on Tuesday and three games being postponed on Wednesday due to freezing temperatures. Sky Italia is a Serie A rights-holder.

“Pay-television has nothing to do with the conditions of the facilities, which cannot be said for some local authorities and the football clubs, which have received more than €1.6 billion ($2.01 billion) from subscribers to pay-television over the past two years,” Raynaud said.

“Unfortunately, the football clubs – with the exception of Juventus – have invested almost nothing of this extraordinary figure in the stadiums where their fans are welcomed every Sunday.”

Sky Italia is in the final year of a two-year deal, from 2010-11 to 2011-12, for live Serie A rights. It also has a deal for live rights in the next three-year cycle, from 2012-13 to 2014-15.