The new rules for the awarding of the Serie A TV rights (per product and not per platform as before) may end up negatively impacting the pay-TV market in Italy.
Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano believes that there is a realistic possibility that the 4.87 million subscribers that Sky Italia had at the end of the 2017 financial year are likely to drop rather than increase.
Currently, Italian football fans spent €36.80 per month (€21.60 for the mandatory package + €15.20 for Sky Calcio) to subscribe to all 10 weekly Serie A matches.
However, from this season, the same amount will buy only seven games out of 10. In order to see the other three, purchased by Perform, Sky Italia subscribers will have to pay an extra €7.99/month to subscribe to online sports streaming platform DAZN.
In order to access the DAZN app, they will need a Q Platinum (€199 activation, plus €12.40/month) or Q Black digital box (€79 activation, €5.40/month) from Sky Italia, or another digital device (Smart-TV, PlayStation, Xbox console or tablet). Of course, they will also need an internet subscription (€16-25 per month).
Further confirmation of the problems faced by pay-TV operators comes from a Doxa-Findomestic survey, which shows that only 29 per cent of respondents say they intend to subscribe to a TV subscription, compared to 37 per cent in 2107. Furthermore, 14 per cent plan to follow matches online via free streaming portals, while 6 per cent will do so via radio commentaries.
Besides the financial impact on fans, the new auction rules have also led to the reduction of competition on the market, after the closure of premium sports services Fox Sports and Premium Sport in recent weeks.