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Infront rejoin Serie A as APAC media rights partner

The new deal will come into effect from next Serie A season

Italian men’s soccer’s top-tier governing body, Lega Serie A, has reappointed international sports marketing agency Infront to exclusively manage the media rights for its Lega Serie A, Supercoppa Italiana, and Coppa Italia matches in 36 Asia-Pacific (APAC) territories.

The deal commences with the 2024-25 season and runs until the end of 2026-27. It also includes a prolongation option post-2026-27. This agreement will see Lega Serie A leveraging Infront's expertise and regional knowledge to identify successful strategies for increasing their televisual reach across APAC. Notably, this region now also encompasses Australia and New Zealand.

This arrangement ensures that Infront retains a portion of its rights concerning selling Lega Serie A media rights. Throughout the current broadcast cycle (2021-22 to 2023-24), Infront has been responsible for selling packages globally. However, it was previously stated by the league that they would adopt a different approach in many regions for the next three-season period - often engaging directly with broadcasters without an agency's involvement.

Serie A chose the agency route to get deal in APAC

The decision comes after Seria A clubs gave their permission for Lega to begin discussions with APAC broadcasters in mid-December. Interestingly though, instead of direct negotiations as initially planned, Serie A chose an agency route specifically for APAC territories.

Anna Guarnerio is leading this process after joining the league in a senior media rights role late last year following her tenure at Infront Italy spanning over two decades.

Luigi De Siervo, Lega Serie A chief executive, said:

"In line with our new strategy, Lega Serie A is selecting the best solution for each region. Our relationship with Infront has developed over more than a decade and this decision is a testament to their unparalleled expertise in Asia, an area where Serie A has always had a very large fanbase of passionate fans who follow our League with great interest.

“For this reason, each season starting from the next, four Serie A matches involving teams qualified for the European competitions will be scheduled in prime time in Asia."

According to reports, this deal came about through direct negotiations between Infront and the 20-team league rather than via a tender process.

Infront will have to finalise deals in APAC before August

The APAC rights encompass all languages, platforms, and methods of content distribution. This forms the latest stage in the long-term collaboration between Infront and Serie A that began when Infront was named as a media advisor to the league in 2010. The territories covered under this deal include Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, North Korea, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Infront will be focusing on finalizing deals with stakeholders in these regions in the months leading up to the next Serie A season which starts in August 2024. This strategic move is expected to significantly enhance Serie A's visibility across APAC territories while also strengthening its global footprint.

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