Serie A Clubs Finally Agree TV Income Distribution

July 12, 2011

The 20 clubs of Italy’s top soccer league, discount Lega Serie A, have finally reached an agreement to settle the long-running dispute about the distribution of media-rights income.

The dispute centred on about US$290m from the 2010-11 season which is to be distributed in proportion to the size of each club’s supporter base.

After months of lengthy negotiations, in which a split emerged between the top five clubs – Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Roma and Napoli – and the rest, the breakthrough came at Friday’s league assembly. The income is to be distributed taking into account surveys of supporter bases, the results of which had been fiercely contested by the clubs, and audience ratings for live Serie A matches.

The key to the settlement was the 15 small clubs agreeing to a significant reduction in the weight given to audience ratings compared to the survey findings.

The clubs also agreed the guidelines for their sale of media rights for the next three seasons, from 2012-2013 to 2014-2015. The guidelines will now be sent for approval to the country’s antitrust and communications authorities.

If the guidelines are approved, the league, and its media adviser, Infront Sports & Media, will be able to auction the rights in the autumn.