Amazon drops out of Serie A rights bidding contest

The race for acquiring the domestic rights of Italy’s Serie A has narrowed down as US multinational firm Amazon drops out of the proceedings. According to Serie A Chief Executive Luigi De Siervo, Amazon was interested in a limited package, similar to their rights deal with English Premier League, which did not fit with the Italian league’s model.

“We knew that Amazon had asked for a package on the model of the Premier League, which covers three days and that would upset our strategy,” he said. “We consciously believed, in design of the packages not to have to change our approach to the market. In this historical moment interest from with certain operators is lower, but this should not change our approach so that viewers have to subscribe to an additional platform.”

With the digital giant’s elimination from the bidding contest, the focus is now on Sky, DAZN, Mediapro, and Discovery,  who have made bids for Serie A’s pay-TV rights for the 2021-2024 cycle. However, since the league is seeking an 18 percent uplift on its current deals and none of the bidders has reached the €1.15 billion per season (minimum being sought), Serie A executives will now start private talks with the broadcasters to increase the offers.

At this point, DAZN appears to be the frontrunner in this rights competition. The London-based media agency, best known for its boxing coverage, already carries a secondary Serie A package and are now pursuing a full rights deal. De Siervo addressed their’s and Sky’s bids and said, “DAZN is a well-known brand and has become a dominant platform in other territories. It aims to take on the biggest central broadcast role Sky has had for many years. [Sky] also has the opportunity and resources to compete, reach and overcome a ‘big offer’ in the second phase of negotiations.”

In the meantime, Sky and Infront have submitted bids for the package that would see them establish and manage a branded Serie A channel. However, that approach will be discussed only if a deal cannot be reached in the private negotiations regarding the pay-TV contracts. Negotiations between Serie A and the prospective broadcasters will resume on February 5, with the goal of confirming a broadcaster by 8 February.

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