Italian soccer’s top-tier Serie A has awarded international broadcast rights in eight European countries for the next cycle, achieving an increase in value in those respective markets of 38% annually.
At a general assembly meeting with the clubs yesterday (November 20), rights deals were voted through in Portugal, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Albania, Kosovo, Israel, and the Netherlands. The deals include rights to Serie A, the Coppa Italia cup competition, and the Italian Super Cup.
GlobalData understands that the specific broadcast partners will be unveiled by the league in one go, in the next six weeks (before the end of 2023), with some final contract negotiations still taking place. It is also understood that in terms of the successful bidders, the list represents a mix of continuity and change from the previous partners in those territories.
Rights across the eight countries are presently held by Sport TV (Portugal), Nova and Premier Sports (Czech Republic and Slovakia), Ziggo Sports (Netherlands), AMC Networks (Hungary), DigitAlb and Tring TV (Albania and Kosovo), and Charlton (Israel).
Serie A’s overseas rights sales process, which got underway in August, will continue in other territories in the coming weeks and months. It is understood there is the potential for a non-European deal to be unveiled pre-Christmas.
The process is being handled directly by Serie A, in a significant change to its previous method of going through the Infront agency.
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The initial overseas markets rights tender – covering Austria, Germany, and Switzerland – has so far gone through two rounds of bidding, with the latter having ended on November 6. Evaluations of a handful of potential partners have been made in the last week, it is understood.
Luigi De Siervo, Serie A chief executive, has now said: “Despite an extremely complex competitive process for other leagues too, we managed, thanks to the great work of the league's new international sales structure, to sign the first agreements for live broadcasts of Serie A abroad.
“We are very satisfied because we have achieved a significant increase in value in these territories – greater than 38% compared to the average annual values of the last three years.”
Serie A has turned its focus to international rights after finally concluding its domestic tender following a drawn-out process.
Current partners DAZN (streaming) and Sky Italia (pay-TV) recently retained domestic media rights to the Italian top-tier for the next five seasons after the majority of clubs voted to accept their offer.
The bids from the incumbent rightsholders through 2029 are worth at least €4.5 billion ($4.9 billion) in total, equating to €900 million per season. This is a small drop from the current fees paid by Sky and DAZN, however, which come to €930 million annually.