Competitive bid process in Italy as Champions League rights deadline passes
First round bids for Uefa Champions League rights in Italy were due this morning, with as many as five parties expected to have submitted offers.
The tender for European club competitions for the 2021-22 to 2023-24 cycle was launched in the country by Uefa and its Team Marketing on 21 September, with interested parties given until 10am (CET) today to submit first round bids.
Incumbent Sky Italia, the pay-television broadcaster, is known to want to retain the Champions League, with DAZN, the over-the-top subscription streaming platform, Amazon, the online retail giant, public-service broadcaster Rai and commercial broadcaster Mediaset also vying for packages.
As with all other sales processes launched for the 2021-22 to 2023-24 cycle, there was one tender for the Champions League and Super Cup and one for the Europa League and new Europa Conference League, which is being established for the benefit of clubs in smaller markets.
Champions League and Europa League rights are presently held by Sky in a three-year contract worth around €900 million ($1.06 billion) in total. It is the first cycle in which four Italian clubs are guaranteed a place in the Champions League group stages.
In the first season of the contract, Sky sub-licensed Champions League rights to Rai, but then turned to Mediaset for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 campaigns.
Sky also holds Europa League rights.
Under the terms of a ban imposed by the Council of State, Italy's top administrative court, in June, Sky cannot acquire and distribute exclusive content on its digital platforms until 2022.
The provision was originally enforced by the AGCM, the country's antitrust authority, in May 2019 following Sky's purchase of R2, the pay-TV services and technical platform of Mediaset Premium, the digital terrestrial TV service.Sportcal