Advanced Television

Sky Italia, Perform score Serie A rights

June 14, 2018

From Branislav Pekic in Rome and Colin Mann in London

Sky Italia and Perform have been awarded the Italian TV rights to the Serie A for the 2018-2021 seasons for €973 million per year.

The satellite broadcaster won two packages available, bidding €780 million, while the Internet platform will pay €193.3 million for the third package of league matches.

The final figure is slightly below the target of €1.05 billion, but a slight increase on the previous three years at €943 million. If the foreign TV rights to the Serie A are taken into account, the Italian Football League will receive around €1.5 billion.

Sky Italia and Perform could later reach an agreement to exchange the TV rights and enable their subscribers to watch all matches with a single decoder or app.

The bidding resumed after Spain’s Mediapro lost its appeal against the decision of the Italian Football League to scrap the original TV rights auction from February.

Pay-TV platform Mediaset Premium had also been in the running, but decided not to submit a bid.

Sky has acquired exclusive rights to broadcast 266 live games per season, meaning that Sky Sports in Italy will be the exclusive home to seven games out of 10 on each match-day – more than twice as many exclusive matches versus today – and will feature 16 of the 20 biggest matches each season. Under the terms of the new deal, Sky will pay around a third less for each exclusive match versus the current agreement.

Each week, Sky customers will enjoy two early kick-off matches on Saturdays (at 3pm and 6 pm), two Sunday afternoon matches at 3pm, the 6pm fixture, in addition to the Sunday evening late kick-off match at 8.30pm and the Monday Night match at 8.30pm.

For the first time ever, football fans will be able to watch the Italian championship in the way that’s most convenient to them, as Sky’s Serie A will be shown across different technology platforms: not only via satellite but also through digital terrestrial television (DTT), streamed via NOW TV, and across fibre, continuing Sky’s focus on taking its services to the customer. Sky Q customers will also be able to watch the matches in UHD for what Sky says is an unprecedented and immersive viewing quality.

Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, Sky said: “With this agreement we will be giving our customers in Italy more exclusive football than ever before.  Alongside our recently-announced plans for our Italian business, customers will be able to enjoy Sky on every single platform and access the content they love in ways that suit them.  Taken together, we are confident we can reach even more sports fans in Italy, increasing our sports subscribers, and we have never been in a better position to grow.” 

Sky Italia CEO Andrea Zappia said: “We are proud to be able to continue to guarantee the best and most extensive coverage of Serie A football to our customers through an unprecedented exclusive offer. We have always striven to enhance the storytelling of Italian football, highlighting the beauty of this sport. Today Sky can proudly offer its customers the most exclusive football coverage, along with the best television experience and convenience of choice thanks to the possibility of watching content across multiple platforms including Sky Sports on DTT for the first time.”

DAZN, the live and on demand sport streaming service, will now expand into Italy following parent company Perform Group’s successful bid to secure exclusive multi-platform broadcast rights to 114 Serie A matches per season over the next three years. This is the first time a pure live and on demand streaming service has been awarded exclusive Serie A rights in Italy.

From the start of the 2018/19 season, DAZN will be the new and exclusive digital home for some of Serie A’s biggest matches. The exclusive rights package includes the Saturday night match at 8.30pm, and matches on Sunday at 12.30pm and 3:00pm, plus three exclusive games for every midweek round of fixtures. In addition, DAZN will show highlights of all games.

According to the company, DAZN’s launch in Italy will be a game-changer for Italian sports fans, giving them a smarter, more accessible and affordable way to watch sport, how and when they want. All matches streamed by DAZN will be available both live and on demand, on a wide range of devices, including smart TVs, PCs, smartphones, tablets and games consoles. Fans will be able to watch their favourite sports their way, with a single affordable subscription of €9.99 per month. Every fan gets a one-month free trial, no contract, and can cancel or pause their subscription at any time.

James Rushton, CEO of DAZN, said: “The sport industry is ripe for disruption. Consumer behaviour has been transformed by technology, with streaming becoming the new norm for viewing content. DAZN suits the changing needs of today’s sports fans. Since launching almost two years ago, we have disrupted the industry in multiple markets as we change the way the world sees sport.”

“DAZN is the world’s first pure sport OTT offer, which will do for sport what Netflix did for TV and what Spotify did for music. We are already the world’s largest sport broadcaster based on volume, streaming more than 100 million hours of content to fans each year. Our entry into Italy with Serie A rights is the first of many announcements we expect to make in the coming weeks as we reveal a range of premium domestic and international sports rights to create a multi-sport offering that is accessible, affordable and lives up to our fans first philosophy.”


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