Arena Sport, the pay-TV operator owned by Telekom Serbia, has renewed its exclusive rights deal in the Balkans for Italian soccer’s top-tier Serie A until the end of the 2023-24 season.
The three-year agreement was brokered by Infront and is the first secured by the international sports marketing agency as the league’s exclusive global media rights partner.
Under the deal, Arena Sport will continue to show Serie A in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. The deal additionally includes Kosovo on a non-exclusive basis.
The renewal sees Arena Sport retain rights it has held to the Italian top flight since the 2011-12 season.
Luigi de Siervo, chief executive of Serie A said: “We are extremely pleased with the renewal of the agreement with Arena Sport. This is a mutually satisfying continuation of a relationship that has been consolidated over many years, in an area with many fans who follow our championship with great passion.”
Amikam Kranz, Infront vice-president of media sales and operations, added: “We really wanted to hit the ground running when it came to the international media rights for Lega Serie A and are happy to kick-off this new partnership with a long-standing partner like Arena Sport.
“This is the first in a number of agreements which we’ll be announcing in the coming weeks and we are excited to bring the league to new and familiar audiences.”
Serie A awarded the Switzerland-based agency a three-year contract to distribute its international rights in April in a deal valued at €139 million ($170.3 million) per year, or €417 million over the course of the contract, from 2021-22 to 2023-24, in all territories bar the USA and the Middle East and North Africa.
The league had entered into private negotiations with bidders for the international rights for the next three-year cycle after receiving offers from 35 broadcasters and 14 intermediaries by the deadline in January.
CBS, the US national network, was recently awarded the rights in the USA after outbidding incumbent ESPN, while there is a separate ongoing sales process for the contract for 24 territories in the MENA region.
In the Balkans, Arena Sport also holds rights to the Uefa Champions League and Europa League, as well as the top French, Portuguese, Belgian, Swiss, Serbian, Polish and Czech leagues, with Spain's LaLiga to come on board next season.