Serie A Sell Live Rights Package to Sky Italia and Mediaset

September 19, 2011

Serie A, Italy’s Premier Soccer league, accepted bids for its live rights for the next three seasons worth €829 million ($1.136 billion) per season.

Rupert Murdoch’s satellite pay-television platform Sky Italia will pay an average of €561 million ($766.6mn) per season while Silvio Berlusconi’s digital-terrestrial pay-television service Mediaset Premium will pay an average of €268 million ($366.3mn) per season.

The fees represent an increase of around five per cent on the value of the same packages in the current deals.

The rights-fee payments will rise across the three seasons, as follows: 2012-13 – Sky €558 million ($762.8mn), Mediaset €259 million($354mn); 2013-14 – Sky €561 million ($766.7mn), Mediaset €268 million ($366.3mn); 2014-15 – Sky €564 million ($770.8mn), Mediaset €277 million ($378.6mn).

Andrea Locatelli, vice president of Infront Sports & Media, the league’s media adviser, said: “We are satisfied. This income will provide stability for Italian football. We wanted to push ahead with the tender process because the television industry needs to plan in advance.”

Sky’s fee represents a reduction of €14 million ($19.1mn) per season on what it paid for the rights in the current two-year deals, 2010-11 and 2011-12. Mediaset, on other hand, is paying over €50 million ($68.3mn) per season more. As in the current deals, Sky’s deal gives it the rights to all 20 Serie A teams, while Mediaset has acquired the rights to 12 teams, with the first choice of 10.

The league had put seven packages of rights up for auction but did not receive bids at the reserve prices for the other five. It will now enter into private negotiations for a second package of live pay-television digital-terrestrial rights, two packages of pay-television highlights rights, one for satellite and one for digital terrestrial, free-to-air highlights rights and radio rights.

With the international rights, the rights to the Coppa Italia and non-exclusive new media and local television rights to be sold later this year, the league is well on course to meet its hopeful target of €1 billion ($1.36bn) per season. The league currently earns about €930 million ($1.27 billion) per season.