Clubs in Italian soccer’s top-tier Serie A have unanimously approved the league’s next domestic media rights tender with deals of up to five years on offer for broadcasters.
The 20 top-flight teams gave their backing to the tender at an assembly meeting held yesterday (May 16) in Milan.
The invitation to tender (ITT) will be issued by the end of the month and will include packages for three, four, or five seasons from 2024-25.
The ITT will feature a total of eight packages with “different configurations” and broadcasters will have one month to present offers before private negotiations take place.
The packages will include exclusive and co-exclusive options for the league’s 10 weekly matches, as well as an opportunity for a free-to-air game on Saturday evenings.
Various levels of exclusivity will be offered in different packages, including three matchdays awarded solely to one broadcaster with the remaining 35 matchdays split between two broadcasters.
The current split of rights (between two broadcasters) will also be offered, as well as a ‘9+1’ package, although only for a three-year term.
Serie A has a minimum reserve price of €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) per year for the rights over three seasons, which will rise by 10% (€1.32 billion) for four-year offers and a further 10% (€1.44 billion) for a five-year agreement.
Serie A president Lorenzo Casini said: "This is a very important day, the clubs have unanimously approved the amendment to the statute and the invitation to offer for the sale of audiovisual rights for the next cycle.
“For the first time since the Melandri Law, the clubs have recognized the importance of centralizing the marketing of the current archive, thus aligning Serie A with the other European leagues.
“In some ways, therefore, it is a historical day, this decision taken unanimously represents the awareness of the need to change and strengthen the role of Serie A as the organizer of the competition."
Italian communications regulator AGCOM and antitrust body AGCM both recently gave the green light for Serie A to sell its domestic broadcast rights over a five-year cycle.
Italy’s government amended its laws regulating sporting TV rights deals to effectively enable Serie A to extend its domestic rights tie-ups from three to five years.
A switch to five-year deals would make the Serie A domestic rights situation fall in line with overseas rights regulations. Last May, the Italian government changed the law, bringing up the maximum length of the agreement to a half-decade.
Serie A rights in the current 2021-24 period are held by international sports subscription platform DAZN and pay-TV heavyweight Sky Italia.
The amendments would mean the two could theoretically extend their rights until the end of the 2028-29 season.
DAZN presently has exclusive rights to show seven games per week and co-exclusive rights to air the remaining three matches along with Sky. The platform’s contract is worth a total of €2.5 billion.
Serie A will aim to finish the next domestic rights tender following the end of the ongoing 2022-23 season, in June or July.
Serie A chief executive Luigi De Siervo said: "Before drafting this tender, we started by listening seriously to the market and we understood the importance of starting well in advance.
“We will offer a high-quality product, for which we have invested heavily in technology and image enhancement, as well as the necessary fight against piracy which finally sees a point of arrival.”
De Siervo also explained that if bids are rejected after private negotiations, the league will look to issue a tender through an “independent intermediary” or launch its long-mooted Serie A channel with the help of a financial entity.
Image: Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images