Is football broadcasting destined for 100% live streaming takeover: Serie A media rights won by online platform DAZN

Craig Hanson 6 months ago

Popular sports streaming service DAZN has just won the domestic rights to the vast majority of Serie A matches for the 2021-2024 seasons, beating pay TV provider Sky in the process. What does this mean for the UK and the Premier League in coming years?

by Craig Humpage
Football Writer, Sporticos
Published on Monday 29 March 2021

Serie A DAZN "historic agreement" in media rights deal

Online sports provider DAZN has won the media rights to broadcast Italian Serie A football in Italy for the next three season. Last week's successful bid is worth 2.52 billion euros ($2.97 billion). Group co-CEO James Rushton described the news as an "historic" moment in the world of football broadcasting rights. The network often referred to as the "Netflix of Sport" will now have the exclusive rights to seven fixtures per matchday, with pay TV provider Sky and others fighting over the scraps. The 840m euros per season that DAZN will pay beat out traditional broadcaster Sky's offer of 780m. 16 of the 20 top flight Italian teams voted in favour of the move which for the first time means most of the league's matches will be available exclusively online via live streaming.

Is Italy ready for this transition to online broadcasting?

This may be fine news for DAZN subscribers, and for the young and tech savvy who love to stream, but some have reservations with Italian Minister for Technological Innovation Vittorio Colao estimating that 60 percent of households in the country do not have internet access. DAZN executives dispute this figure and say they are focused on facilitating the digitisation of Italy and making sure there are no hiccups when the time comes.

Could this transition be coming to the UK sooner rather than later?

What does this news mean for the Premier League and pay TV?

The Premier League, like many leagues across the world, is facing up to the prospect of less lucrative rights deals in a post-Covid market. While still holding the world's biggest football rights contracts, the latest round covering 2019-2022 was down on the last one. Even with the emergence of Amazon into the mix, that deal brought in £5 billion, which was down on the £5.1 billion they made in 2016-2019. With the ongoing results of the pandemic, many expect the league's leverage to wain next time around, and this could represent an opportunity for DAZN to bid for at least some of the action or maybe all of it.

Who will win the fight for Premier League rights?

That next time is happening right now with the bidding for domestic TV rights to the Premier League for seasons between 2022 and 2025 having got underway earlier in March. The league is expected to make a decision in May and DAZN are said to be weighing up an offer. Will they look for a small slice like Amazon did, or with BT and Sky in cost-cutting mode, will they go for the jugular and look to bring home the whole pie? Sports rights experts predict the value of any deal for those three seasons could fall by more than £900 million. The live streaming provider already holds exclusive rights to the Premier League in Canada, Spain and Japan but to dethrone the big pay TV providers like Sky and BT on the domestic market would be a big statement. They did it in Italy, and what better time than now to make a move in the UK? The online provider currently operates at a loss but with 9m subscribers they are a growing platform. As things inevitably move more and more digital, this could be the future of football watching for Brits for years to come.

How to watch Serie A in the UK on TV

The days of total streaming domination are not quite here yet and you can still currently watch Serie A games on TV. The current rights holder in the UK is Premier Sports.

Premier Sports offer live coverage of football from across Europe’s biggest leagues. There are a variety of packages available which include their flagship Premier Sports 1 and 2 channels, as well as La Liga TV, or you can subscribe to La Liga TV alone. They have offers for Sky, Virgin Media and Net Gem customers. You can also live stream Premier Sports through their online Premier Player. You can visit their website on desktop or watch on your favourite devices through their dedicated Android and IOS apps. The player can be purchased as part of a TV & online bundle, or you can get the online option alone if live streaming is all you need. They have bundles starting at £10.99 per month.

Click here to find the deal what best suits you.

How to watch Serie A in the UK for free via live streaming service

Live streaming isn't for everyone but if it could be for you.

With Bet 365 you can watch all Serie A fixtures, and many other games involving the world's biggest teams, via their live streaming service on their site or mobile app. Just click the video icon next to the match of your choosing and you are away. As well as offering live coverage, customers also have access to up-to-date stats so you can keep up with the action every step of the way. Terms and conditions apply.

  • Click on this link
  • Login to your Bet 365 account (or create one)
  • Go to the Football tab
  • Click on Serie A and you can start streaming immediately

You will notice that every Serie A game has a small video icon next to it. This indicates that they are available for live streaming.

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