Mediaset wins Champions League rights
February 11, 2014
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Mediaset 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.