Sky Italia, the dominant Italian pay-television operator, will continue to broadcast European soccer’s club competitions after renewing its rights deal with governing body UEFA for the 2024-27 cycle.
The three-year renewal will see Sky retain its exclusive rights package to broadcast 185 of the 203 top-tier Champions League (UCL) matches per season, as well as all 342 second-tier Europa League and third-tier Europa Conference League matches starting from the 2024-25 season.
The package also includes rights to the UEFA Super Cup, the match that traditionally sees the winners of the UCL and Europa League face off at the start of the season in a neutral venue.
Sky Italia chief executive Andrea Duilio said: “We are really excited to continue being UEFA’s partner and to offer our subscribers exclusively the big matches of these important European competitions until 2027.
“A confirmation of our commitment to investing in high-quality content to bring Sky families a varied and quality offer, which combines Italian and international cinema, entertainment, TV series, and big sport with the best possible viewing experience.”
The renewal builds on the current exclusive rights deal between the two, running from 2021-22 to 2023-24, through which Sky airs 121 of the 137 UCL games per season, as well as all 282 Europa League and Europa Conference League matches.
UCL and Europa League rights were also held by Sky Italia for the 2018-19 to 2020-21 campaigns in a deal worth around €300 million ($354 million) per season.
The increase in UCL matches for the next deal corresponds to the new format of the competition starting next year. The number of participating teams will increase from 32 to 36, with each side in the initial group stages to play eight games, up from six at present.
Amazon Prime Video, the streaming platform of the global tech and retail giant, holds the 2024-27 rights in Italy to the remaining UCL matches through a deal struck in February.
Under that deal, Amazon has the top-pick Wednesday evening game from the UCL for three seasons, as it does during the ongoing three-year cycle running through 2023-24.
UEFA began its tender process in Italy for the UCL, Europa League, and Europa Conference League in mid-January, with a deadline for offers of February 14.
The Sky extension follows on from multiple other UCL rights tie-ups having been concluded in Europe over the last few months.
Existing partner Canal Plus has renewed in France, Netherlands telecom operator Ziggo has snapped up all rights, while coverage will be split between BT Sport and Amazon in the UK.
In other key territories, Paramount Global, the major US broadcast network, has retained English-language rights to the UCL through a six-year deal starting in 2024.
Rights have also recently been allocated in Austria and Switzerland.
Elsewhere, Sky Italia holds a rights package for UEFA national team matches in a two-year deal struck in 2022. That deal covers rights to UEFA Nations League group stage matches and the finals, as well as qualifying matches to the 2024 European Championships and centralized friendly matches.
Meanwhile, Sky Italia has struck a carriage deal with public broadcaster Rai covering the semifinals of this season’s Europa League.
The deal will see Rai broadcast the two matches featuring Italian teams, with Juventus taking on Spain’s Sevilla and Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen facing Rome.
The public broadcaster will also air the final on May 31 live if an Italian team is competing.
The deal comes as part of the country’s broadcast regulations which require pay-television broadcasters to partner with a free-to-air broadcaster to make events relevant to the national interest accessible to the public.
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