Advanced Television

Mediaset wins Champions League rights

February 11, 2014

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

football-RonaldoMediaset has snatched the exclusive Italian TV rights for the UEFA Champions League from Sky Italia, paying almost €700 million for the period 2015-2018.

The deals will see live coverage on Mediaset’s pay-TV and FTA channels, as well as live streaming on all fixed and mobile devices.

Two years ago, Sky Italia (which owns the exclusive rights for the 2014-2015 edition) and Mediaset reached a deal to exchange the TV rights for the Champions League and Europa League. However, the agreement expires in June and the parties – at least for the moment – do not seem interested to extend it.

With 2.2 million subscribers, Mediaset Premium has yet to generate a profit, but has at least has stopped losing money after having written down €200 million in rights last year. According to analysts, in order to balance the books, the pay-TV operator needs to reach the threshold of 2.5 million subscribers, an achievable goal with the addition of the Champions League to the offer.

The contract should also help Mediaset find a strategic international partner for its pay-TV activities in Italy and Spain.

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