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July 19, 2022

Lega Basket doubles domestic rights value as Eleven ousts Eurosport

Eleven Sports will replace Eurosport as the domestic rightsholder of Italian basketball’s top-tier Lega Basket Serie A.

By Tariq Saleh

Eleven Sports will replace Eurosport as the domestic rightsholder of Italian basketball’s top-tier Lega Basket Serie A (LBA) after beating off competition from its pay-TV rival.

LBA has awarded rights to the broadcaster for three seasons from 2022-23 to 2024-25 following private negotiations that took place on July 12.

The league has doubled the value of its broadcast rights with Eleven agreeing to pay more than €10 million ($10.2 million) in total over the next three years.

The deal will be ratified by the league’s extraordinary assembly on Thursday (July 21) in which Eleven will present its “pay rights enhancement plan” for the three-year period to the clubs.

The league revealed early last week that Eleven Sports and Eurosport, as well as the Mediapro agency, were in private negotiations over local rights to the league for the new cycle.

On Friday (July 15), however, the LBA announced that following a deadline for those operators to present new offers, negotiations had only continued with Eleven Sports and Eurosport, becoming a two-way battle between the pay-TV broadcasters.

Despite Eurosport holding rights in Italy since 2017, LBA has opted for a new partner in Eleven.

Eurosport’s previous deal included rights to show all regular-season matches, the championship playoff, Super Cup, and knockout Coppa Italia.

The new deal bolsters Eleven’s basketball rights portfolio in Italy which already includes Europe’s EuroLeague and EuroCup clubs competitions and FIBA national team tournaments such as the 2022 EuroBasket and 2023 World Cup.

Last year, Eleven Italy relaunched on the subscription broadcaster’s Elevensports.com global streaming service.

As well as its basketball coverage, the local platform shows Italian soccer’s third-tier Serie C, alongside domestic handball, waterpolo, and motorsports.

Umberto Gandini, president of the LBA, said: "We are very satisfied with the result achieved. Despite the difficult period of the pandemic that has heavily penalized the last two seasons, thanks to the great commitment of the clubs and their important investments we have doubled the value of the license reaching an overall total of over €10 million for the next three years. 

“This is a confirmation of the increased value of Serie A to which Eurosport has contributed in the last five seasons, and I thank them for the competence and passion with which they have followed us.”

LBA’s domestic tender also included free-to-air rights but the league is yet to award this package.

Public service broadcaster Rai held free-to-air and radio rights for the last five seasons.

Rai televised the late Sunday Lega Basket game as well as highlights, which it could show from 11PM CET on the last day of that week of matches.

It additionally aired selected matches from the Coppa Italia. The radio package included all games.

The Mediapro bid was tabled by Euroscena, the Spanish agency’s production firm and Italian subsidiary. The firm had bid for both pay-TV and free-to-air rights but dropped out of the running for the respective packages.

The LBA could seemingly reissue a tender for the free-to-air portion.  

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