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Serie A expand media rights tender to Poland

Polish market has gone through major changes with emergence of new players

Italian men's top-tier soccer, Serie A, has extended its media rights tender process for the next multi-year cycle starting from 2024-25 to Poland. This move follows initial media reports and confirmation that a request for proposals (RFP) process was initiated on April 12 with a deadline set for April 26.

Currently, Polish fans of Serie A can enjoy the action via the Eleven Sports broadcaster until the end of this season. The league had been waiting to launch this tender until after the conclusion of the Polish media rights process for UEFA Champions League between 2024-25 and 2026-27. These rights have now been sold to Canal Plus.

Notably, well-known Polish players such as Wojciech Szczęsny of Juventus and Piotr Zieliński of Napoli are contracted to Serie A clubs.

Serie A rapidly capturing deals in other regions after changing method

This development comes shortly after AMC Networks International Group secured rights in Czech Republic and Slovakia for the next Serie A cycle. From now through till 2028-29, Sport 1 and Sport 2 channels will broadcast Serie A coverage along with Coppa Italia Cup games and Italian Super Cup.

In these two countries, Nova Sport and Premier Sports currently hold Serie A rights through sub-licensing deals with Saran.

Serie A has significantly altered its approach towards selling media rights across future cycles. Previously dominated by Infront agency which then sold them on, now a considerable proportion of negotiations are being conducted directly by the league with broadcasters across various markets.

The tie-ups with Czech Republic and Slovakia were first announced late November last year without disclosing AMC’s name publicly. Since then both parties have been engaged in detailed negotiations leading up to contracts being voted through late December by leagues in Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Balkan area.

Retention and increase in value of media rights

In late February, Portugal’s Sport TV announced it had retained Serie A rights through 2026-27. The channel has been broadcasting the Italian league since 2015. Reports suggest that the overall value of international media rights deals signed so far is up by 14% from those covering the current cycle.

The contract with the most value among those voted through in December was signed in the Balkans amounting to €24 million ($26.3 million) each season. Anna Guarnerio, who joined Serie A in a senior media rights role last December after spending 25 years at Infront Italy, is leading this process.

Earlier this month, Serie A concluded a short-term rights deal for free-to-air coverage of select games from remainder of 2023-24 with UK commercial broadcaster ITV via Infront. As part of this agreement, ITV will offer live coverage of one match each Saturday during final weeks of season on its streaming service ITVX.

As for future broadcast partners for next cycle, Serie A is currently engaged in multiple conversations and negotiation windows.

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