Italy’s premium football league, Serie A has expanded its YouTube broadcast agreement for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This new deal will include all matches until the end of the current season (2021/22).
Beginning from matchday 24, all ten weekly Serie A matches will be streamed on YouTube for users in the MENA region. Nine of the matches will be broadcast live from the league’s broadcast centre in Lissone, with one per week featuring a local commentary team based in Riyad, Saudi Arabia.
For one match per game week, Serie A will now create a pre and post-match Arabic studio show at the stadium. The Derby di Milano between Inter Milan and AC Milan on February 5 was the first match to feature the expanded coverage followed by Napoli‘s clash with Inter on February 12.
Serie A chief executive, Luigi De Siervo, said, “Given the steady growth of Lega Serie A’s YouTube channel, which is the number one football league channel in the world in terms of subscribers, we have decided, in agreement with the clubs, to further exploit its potential in the MENA region, which has always had many fans of our league.
“Thanks to the technical possibilities offered by the new IBC in Lissone we will offer spectators the full Serie A spectacle and a great pre and post-match event for a big match in every round of the championship, starting with the Derby of Milan. We are confident that this major production effort will bring further international value to our brand and allow us to increase our fan base in a very important area.”
Serie A initially launched a country-by-country MENA broadcast rights tender to replace revenue from its previous regional broadcast deal with beIN Sports. The Qatari broadcaster declined to renew its US$500 million regional rights deal, alleging the league of failing to do enough to fight piracy.
After failing to defend a MENA deal, Serie A signed a deal with Google-owned YouTube to broadcast its games directly in the region for the start of the season. Before the expansion, this deal included five matches per match week with Arabic commentary.