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Serie A stalls talks with CBS Sports

CBS Sports were reportedly leading the race for US media rights

CBS Sports and Italy's top-flight league, Serie A, are currently in a deadlock over the renewal of US media rights. This comes as CBS Sports is in its final season of Serie A coverage from the deal signed in 2021.

The exclusive US rights run through until the end of the 2023/24 season. After launching the process to sell its US media rights in June, industry insiders expected that a deal would have been announced by now. However, talks have hit a major roadblock.

Sources revealed that executives from both Serie A and CBS Sports have been unable to agree on a renewal. There is speculation that CBS Sports may likely walk away from the renewal deal.

Dynamics have changed for CBS Sports drastically

As recently as September, CBS Sports was optimistic about renewing the rights to Serie A. An executive told the media that they were having conversations about renewing the deal and had gained momentum with it.

However, for Serie A everything changed in October when its domestic rights deal with DAZN and Sky failed to generate an increase in fees desired by clubs competing with Europe’s bigger teams. The agreed five-year deal worth approximately $4.91 billion put more pressure on Serie A to generate greater revenue overseas.

Serie A has been unable to get what it wants - higher fees for its US media rights than what CBS sports currently pays ($75.8 million per year). Meanwhile, CBS Sport's valuation for their offer is significantly less than what Serie A expects leading them into an impasse.

A spokesperson for CBS Sports stated that they do not comment on ongoing negotiations while there has been no response from Series' spokesperson yet.

Serie A is lagging behind other leagues in media deals

For international media right deals spanning 2021/22 through 2023/24 seasons, Series secured approximately $762 million in rights fees. This is a ninth of the sum earned abroad by the Premier League media rights.

Serie A has a lot of work to close this gap, but it shouldn't come at the cost of losing CBS Sports, an essential partner in the United States. 

The current stalemate presents a significant challenge for Serie A as they seek to increase their revenue and compete with larger European teams.

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