A request from DAZN to sublicense a package of rights in public places to pay-television broadcaster Sky Italia has been welcomed by Lega Serie A, the governing body of Italy’s top club football league.
On the same day of the announcement, the league also announced the launch of an Arabic-language YouTube channel, which will broadcast five matches per match week in the Middle East and North Africa.
After signing an €840m ($991m)-per-year deal in March, DAZN is gearing up for the start of the 2021-22 Serie A season on August 21.
A deal with Serie A clubs will give DAZN exclusive rights to seven matches per match week and co-exclusive rights to three. It was worth €973m per year in previous deals with Sky and DAZN from 2018-19 to 2020-21.
This past June, DAZN rejected Sky Italia’s offer of €500 million for Serie A carriage, which would have allowed Sky Italia’s customers to keep their access to the league. According to multiple reports, Sky made a last-ditch offer to continue carrying the DAZN app on its set-top boxes and satellite service. DAZN, on the other hand, was determined to retain the rights on an exclusive basis, according to reports.
While the league negotiates with broadcasters, the YouTube coverage will continue for up to a year. When a new broadcast deal is secured, the YouTube channel will be shut down.
Following an unsuccessful auction and subsequent negotiations to secure a new rights-holder in the region, the league has launched a new channel.
In June, the league announced that it would enter a new phase of negotiations to maximize the value of its rights in Asia.
An offer received by the league’s previous deadline of June 18 was turned down, prompting the league to enter into a new round of negotiations. BeIN was dissatisfied with the initial sales process, which allowed for country-specific bids instead of a pan-regional product or service offering.
During the 2018-21 season, there were tensions between BeIN and the league. As a result of the ongoing tensions between the league and Saudi Arabia and the country’s links to the pirate channel beoutQ, BeIN blacked out its coverage of the league last year.
For the 2018-19 to 2020-21 seasons, the broadcaster’s original Serie A rights agreement was worth about $170m (€144m) per season in various territories, including France, Australia, and Mena.
“All of their friends and intermediaries have been prohibited from making offers for their countries,” Lega Serie A chief executive Luigi De Siervo told AP in March.
“BeIN was worth 50% of our package, but they’ve decided not to participate in our auction,” he lamented.