Italian top-flight Serie A has seen four media companies vying for the league’s broadcast rights in the upcoming 2021 to 2024 cycle.
Serie A is looking to move into its next phase of a broadcast rights agreement, seeking €1.15bn (1.81 billion AUD) a year.
The four bidders – Sky, DAZN, Mediapro and Discovery, were all unable to match Serie A’s requirement of an 18 per cent uplift on its current deals. Serie A executives will talk with each bidder about a possible increase in their offers.
Amazon were one of the potential bidders for the Serie A rights but they were seeking a limited package. It would’ve been akin to the digital giants’ rights deal with the English Premier League, but that is not what Serie A is after.
“I think there is room to improve the offers, they were not so bad as some could expect given the situation with the coronavirus pandemic,” Lega Serie A chief executive Luigi De Siervo said.
“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.
“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.”
While there is no clear frontrunner, it appears promising for DAZN. The UK-based digital sports media company has a secondary package of domestic Serie A rights, but they are aiming to take a step up and become the league’s main broadcaster.
“DAZN is a well-known brand and has become a dominant platform in other territories,” De Siervo said.
“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.”
Il Sole 24 Ore reports that Sky and Infront had submitted bids that would see them establish and manage a branded Serie A channel. However, advanced talks will only occur if a deal can’t be reached in private pay-TV contract negotiations or the second round of conversations with bidders.
Discussion with the four bidders begins on February 5th, with the plan of finalising a deal by February 8th.