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Serie A hoping to generate more than €7bn from next domestic rights sale

Published: Updated: 11:31, 24 May 2023
Chief Executive plans to aim for longer and more lucrative deals with broadcasters for the next rights cycle

According to Reuters in Italy, the country's elite football competition Serie A is targeting revenues of more than €7bn when it signs its next domestic broadcast rights deal.

The current agreement with broadcasters ends in June 2024 and sees live streaming disruptor DAZN hold the lion's share of the rights, with Sky Italia also owning a slice.

This deal is worth €2.8bn to the Italian top flight, but the league's chief executive sees room for almost threefold improvement when the time comes to put pen to paper on the next deal.

Luigi De Siervo, Chief Executive at Serie A, said last week:

"We have tapped [the] market in the past months and we found that operators are keen on longer contracts as they see higher returns from their investment."

De Siervo will aim to increase revenues generated from domestic media rights deals considerably in an attempt to compete with the English Premier League, who collected more than double what Serie A did during their most recent agreement.

Could Serie A launch its own media platform?

While outlining the league's plans for the next rights cycle, which involve innovative new approaches to generating attractive bids from broadcasters, De Siervo teased the possibility of creating a dedicated Serie A media platform if unsuccessful.

As he has done before, the chief executive said that if the bids coming in from broadcasters for the next set of media rights aren't satisfactory to the league, they will begin accepting bids from investors in order to form a partnership and create a dedicated media platform on which to air Serie A games and other content. There are already reportedly several banks and other parties interested in investing in such a strategy.

However, before such a bold new step is taken, Serie A will be accepting bids for the various tenders it is putting out for its domestic media rights for 2024 and beyond.

In an attempt to generate more revenue from this, De Siervo has said that the league will allow more nuanced bids from broadcasters, including the ability to purchase the rights to individual games rather than whole packages, something which could even attract the attention of pay-TV broadcasters and smaller potential partners.

Will Serie A reach its lofty goals?

An almost tripling of domestic media rights revenues cycle-to-cycle is a big ask for Serie A but it could theoretically be achieved. If bosses take the approach which De Siervo has outlined, diversify the sale of their rights across many various parties, and offer innovative new ways for all parties to benefit, they could be successful.

Ultimately, if they do not generate what they expect to, it does appear that Serie A will become the first major European league to take the leap and launch its own media service, probably a dedicated live streaming platform.

Premier League fans have been calling out for a live streaming service for years, and within the next decade they will surely get one, but for now consumers in the UK remain at the mercy of several different broadcasters, a fate which, based on what the Serie A chief exec has to say, could befall Italian football fans come the end of next season too, at least in the short term.

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