Sky Italia secure broadcasting package for Serie A

The final package of domestic live rights being marketed by Lega Serie A for the top division of Italian club football’s next cycle has been acquired by television broadcaster Sky Italia. Sky has acquired co-exclusive rights to 114 Serie A matches per season, three for each round of games, for the three-year period spanning between  2021-22 to 2023-24.

The broadcasting firm will pay €85m ($103.2m) for the first season of its rights agreement, rising to €87.5m and €90m, respectively, for the latter two campaigns. The acquisition came through after 16 of Serie A’s 20 clubs voted in favour of the contract at Friday’s Lega meeting.

As per the Italian News Agency Ansa, Napoli, and Lazio abstained, and Crotone and Parma did not vote as they have already been relegated to Serie B for next season. Sky will share its rights with multi-platform subscription broadcaster DAZN, which in March secured the main package of live rights to seven exclusive fixtures per match week and co-exclusive rights to three matches after submitting the leading offer of €840m per season.

Lega Serie A had recently lowered its asking price from €250m per season for the second rights package during the period of 2021-22 to 2023-24 to €150m per season. Sky Italia had previously also offered an average of €87.5m per season for exclusive direct-to-home and digital terrestrial rights, and co-exclusive OTT rights, to three games per round. However, this bid failed to secure the necessary backing from Serie A clubs.

Sky Italia’s current rights consist of two packages. The first is Package 5 that includes rights to three matches per weekend for a total of 114 per season, including the 8.30 pm game on Sunday. The second is package 6 that includes four matches per weekend or 152 per season, including the 8:30 pm match on Mondays.

Serie A’s existing domestic rights deals with Sky and DAZN (from 2018-19 to 2020-21) are worth €973m per year. At the same time, the Lega has made an announcement to confirm that package two to Sky was dependent on the broadcaster dropping its legal action concerning the original rights deal with DAZN. Sky last month lodged an appeal in a Milan court to block the award of the rights. The waiving of the legal action was confirmed late on Friday evening.

In April, Sky Italia acquired non-exclusive domestic broadcast rights to Serie B from 2021-22 to 2023-24, purchasing both available packages, securing rights for all matches from the second tier of Italian football across satellite and digital terrestrial platforms, as well as for OTT streaming and mobile platforms. The deal includes all 380 regular-season matches, along with the play-offs.

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