Italian men’s soccer’s top-tier Serie A has begun the process of issuing specific media rights tenders for the next cycle – beginning next season – with Austria, Germany, and Switzerland (DACH) the initial countries covered.
The league – which is altering its approach to the sale of its international media rights, focusing more on a direct approach and less on using agency partners – has issued a request for proposals (RFP) in those three markets.
Interested parties are able to make offers covering three seasons – 2024-25 to 2026-27 – or five campaigns running through to the end of 2028-29.
Bids are due by September 25 and can be referred either to each of the three countries individually, or to country bundles.
The current Serie A broadcaster in Germany and Austria is OTT sports broadcaster DAZN, through a deal running until the end of the current 2023-24 campaign. In Switzerland, meanwhile, the competition is presently being shown by Sky Deutschland and Teleclub.
The tender also covers the Coppa Italia knockout competition and the annual Supercoppa Italiana match between the winners of the previous season’s league and Coppa Italia.
The DACH region is the first where Serie A has sent out a specific media rights RFP, having already begun direct conversations with broadcasters on a private basis in several other markets.
There are currently around 15 players from the DACH region contracted to Serie A clubs – with Italy having always been a popular destination for Austrian and Swiss players in particular.
An RFP covering international betting streaming and data rights was also issued earlier this month, with a deadline of August 31 for the receipt of offers.
Up to this point, Serie A has struck deals for its international rights primarily with agencies on a global or near-global basis but will now go about the process separately in key markets.
The league has said the new approach will “allow Serie A to be fully responsive to the specific demands and needs of each market.”
The Swiss-based Infront agency currently deals with Serie A for its broadcast rights in all territories except the Middle East and North Africa, for the 2021-24 cycle. Before that, the agency of choice was IMG.
This process is being headed up by Anna Guarnerio, who joined the league in a senior media rights role in December after spending 25 years at Infront Italy.
While at Infront, she worked closely with the league given the agency’s role as Serie A’s international rights partner of choice in most markets.
Last year, internal Serie A documents obtained by media showed that for the cycle starting in 2024, the league is aiming to secure at least €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion) from international rights deals – roughly the same as for the next domestic rights cycle (for which the tender process is taking place now).
However, Serie A’s domestic media rights tender for the next cycle – also beginning in 2024-25 – is currently on hold with no deals struck despite months of negotiations with interested broadcasters.