Advanced Television

Sky Italia blocks football TV rights tender

April 17, 2018

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

Sky Italia has revealed that a Milan court has suspended the tender for national TV rights to the Italian Serie A for the seasons 2018-2021. The satellite broadcaster requested checks on whether the process that awarded the football rights to Spain’s MediaPro was in line with Italian laws.

According to Sky Italia, the tender “rises so many perplexities, making it necessary to verify its legality before presenting any important offers”. However, it adds that it “intends to continue to guarantee subscribers a quality product, full freedom and journalistic and editorial autonomy in a non-discriminatory system and free competition between operators”.

In February, the Italian Football League announced that MediaPro had won the bidding process, offering slightly over €1.05 billion. For Sky Italia, the decision was inadmissible, pointing out that the competition was for companies acting as “independent intermediaries” while MediaPro was actually a communications group.

The deadline for broadcasters to express interest in buying the rights was initially expected for April 21st, but the process has now been suspended until May 4th.

MediaPro had proposed 13 Serie A packages for interested broadcasters (satellite, DTH, IPTV, mobile), but there are not many potentials buyers other than Sky Italia, following the recent pay-TV deal with Mediaset.

Meanwhile, the Italian Football League is preparing a tender for the Italian Cup TV rights, both national and international, with the asking price expected to surpass €50 million per year.

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