By Paul Nicholson
June 18 – The controversial on-off sale of Italy’s Serie A TV rights have taken a new technology turn with Perform’s streaming service DAZN picking up a package of 114 matches a season in a three-year deal.
DAZN are reckoned to be paying $700 million over the three years alongside Sky Italia who are paying $900 million a year for a 226 games-per-season package. The total value of the deal is about $1.24 billion and is a significant win for Serie A after various EU competition enquiries into how the rights were being sold and the exit of Spain’s MediaPro.
Mediapro initially acquired the broadcast sales rights for Serie A in February for €1.05 billion, a minimum guarantee set by Serie A’s advisors Infront, after Infront’s negotiationss with Sky had broken down. Sky questioned the legality of Mediapro’s offer and the Spanish agency eventually pulled out after an Italian court forced the rights to be re-tendered.
The new broadcast cycle begins 2018/19 season and for DAZN includes a Saturday evening match (local time), two games on Sunday, three exclusive games for every midweek round of fixtures and highlights of all Serie A matches.
DAZN are pricing subscriptions at €9.99 per month to watch games across all digital devices. It is the first time SerieA has been streamed and is the second of Europe’s Big 5 leagues to announce a streaming component to their domestic TV deal after the Premier League announced a smaller (in terms of matches) deal with Amazon.
James Rushton, CEO of DAZN, said: “The sport industry is ripe for disruption. Consumer behaviour has been transformed by technology, with streaming becoming the new norm for viewing content. DAZN suits the changing needs of today’s sports fans. Since launching almost two years ago, we have disrupted the industry in multiple markets as we change the way the world sees sport.
“DAZN is the world’s first pure sport OTT offer, which will do for sport what Netflix did for TV and what Spotify did for music. We are already the world’s largest sport broadcaster based on volume, streaming more than 100 million hours of content to fans each year. Our entry into Italy with Serie A rights is the first of many announcements we expect to make in the coming weeks as we reveal a range of premium domestic and international sports rights to create a multi-sport offering that is accessible, affordable and lives up to our fans first philosophy.”
The new Serie A domestic deals show a small rise from the 2015 to 2018 rights cycle which reached €945 million per season. Last November Serie A also attracted the services of IMG for the sales of its international TV rights replacing Silva & MP as agency. The three-year deal is reported to be worth €371 million per season.
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