Serie A switches overseas TV rights agency to IMG in €371m deal

October 12 – Sports agency IMG has won the international TV sales rights to Italy’s Serie A in a three-year deal reportedly worth €371 million per season. The price marks a doubling of the value of the Italian overseas rights as well as a switch in agency.

The award of the international TV rights was shrouded in controversy earlier this year when Italy’s antitrust police opened an investigation into potential collusion between the MP & Silva, B4 Capital and IMG agencies over the destination of the rights. The investigators raided agency offices in Italy.

With the process under close scrutiny, 18 of the 20 Serie A clubs are reported to have voted for a switch to IMG from the MP & Silva which had paid €186 million a season for the previous period, from 2015 to 2018.

Swiss-based rights agency Infront Sports & Media advised Serie A on the rights tender. Infront signed a deal with Serie A in May 2014 to advise on their rights, guaranteeing the league a minimum of €5.94 billion over six years.

While the uplift is significant for Serie A, it still falls a long way short of the £1 billion earned annually by the English Premier League, the highest of Europe’s big five leagues. However, it does move the league into third spot in terms of global TV rights value behind the EPL and Spain’s LaLiga, but now ahead of the Germany’s Bundesliga.

IMG’s bid was with carried out jointly with Italy’s public broadcaster RAI who will have rights for its international channel focussed on broadcasting to Italian communities abroad.

Domestic TV  broadcasting rights for the 2015 to 2018 period in Italy reached €945 million per season.

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