Serie A clubs have voted to accept a domestic media rights offer from current partners Sky Italia and DAZN for the next five seasons. The decision was made on Monday, October 23, marking a significant milestone in the Italian football industry.
The bids from Sky Italia and DAZN, the incumbent rights-holders, are worth at least €4.5 billion in total, which equates to €900 million per season until 2029. This represents a slight decrease from the current fees paid by the two companies, which amount to €930 million annually.
The current three-season deal was unveiled in early 2021. Despite the slight drop in value, Serie A chief executive Luigi De Siervo has stated that the new deal's value could potentially exceed that of the current agreement, possibly reaching €1 billion when considering variable components such as revenue shares.
Breakdown of the offer
DAZN will pay €700 million per year to cover every fixture across the five seasons. Sky, on the other hand, will contribute €200 million annually to co-broadcast three weekly games out of the 10, alongside DAZN. This means that out of the 380 games each year, 266 will only be available with a DAZN subscription.
Out of the 20 Serie A clubs, 17 were in favour of the offer. Napoli, however, are unlikely to have been among these teams, with their owner Aurelio De Laurentiis expressing his dissatisfaction with the deal, stating, "It's a total defeat for Italian football, these deals will be the death of Italian football."
Shay Segev, chief executive of DAZN Group, said:
“DAZN has worked incredibly hard over the past five years to deliver for Serie A, its clubs and their fans. We are grateful for the trust they have put in us for the next five years to keep delivering, innovating, and driving the enjoyment and passion that Italian football is renowned for. It’s a fantastic outcome for all parties.”
The process and future plans
The voting follows a lengthy and at times challenging process over five months to determine the next destination of the rights for the next cycle, which runs from the start of 2024-25 to the end of 2028-29.
The packages include exclusive and co-exclusive options for the league’s 10 weekly matches, as well as an opportunity for a free-to-air game on Saturday evenings. Italian communications regulator AGCOM and antitrust body AGCM have both approved Serie A to sell its domestic broadcast rights over a five-year cycle, a move it has not been able to make in the past.
Serie A’s overseas rights sales process is also currently underway, having started in August, with a tender issued for rights across Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
This new deal marks a significant shift in the Italian football industry, with potential implications for the future of the sport in the country. As the process unfolds, fans and stakeholders alike will be watching closely to see how it impacts the game.
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