Soccer DAZN, Sky retain Italian Serie A rights in $4.8 billion deal

  • Serie A chooses to stay with DAZN, Sky for Italy rights
  • Napoli owner lashes out at deal
  • The Serie A boss says the total value will top the current deal

MILAN, Oct 23 (Reuters) – DAZN and Sky will hold the rights to screen live Serie A matches in Italy for the next five seasons after Italian clubs approved bids worth at least 4.5 billion euros ($4.8 billion) on Monday, league officials said.

After four months of negotiations, Serie A clubs met in Milan on Monday to review the final offers from streaming services DAZN and Sky, worth €900 million a year until the end of the 2028/2029 season. Current contract value.

Seventeen of the 20 clubs backed the offer, but the decision drew harsh criticism from Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis.

„It’s a total failure of Italian football, these contracts will be the death of Italian football,” he told reporters, interrupting Serie A chief executive Luigi Di Ciarvo during a press conference.

TV rights are important revenue for Serie A teams such as this year’s champions Napoli, Juventus ( JUVE.MI ) and Milanese clubs AC Milan and Inter.

DAZN paid about 700 million euros to screen all Serie A matches for five seasons in Italy, Di Ciorvo said.

Comcast’s ( CMCSA.O ) unit Sky Italia paid 200 million euros to simulcast three of 10 Serie A games per matchday.

Under a three-year deal that expires next June, Serie A earns around 930 million euros a season by selling its TV rights in Italy, with DAZN again taking the lion’s share.

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The new contracts, tied to revenue shares and hitting 1 billion euros, could match or top the value of existing contracts, Di Ciorvo said.

Playing safe

The value of Serie A rights is much lower than that generated by the English Premier League.

That is, when the Italian league was the pinnacle of European football in the 1980s and 1990s, many of the world’s best players were attracted to English clubs.

In recent months, Serie A has explored creating a media platform to distribute matches to other TV outlets and launching a home-run live video subscription service.

„The figures were below our initial expectations and below current contracts…but I think it is right to continue our relationship with Sky and DAZN,” Torino president Urbano Cairo told reporters after the meeting.

„Creating a Serie A TV channel now… would add more risk to a risky business like football,” said Cairo, who runs his own media group.

Statement by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Valentina Jha and Keith Weir

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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