Italy: RAI loses Champions League rights
June 28, 2019
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Italian public broadcaster RAI has lost the battle for FTA broadcast rights to the UEFA Champions League for the period 2019-2021.
This follows a decision by the Italian court to reject an urgent appeal submitted by RAI against Sky Italia, according to a report in Il Sole 24 Ore.
This will enable the pay-TV broadaster to enter into negotiations with Mediaset for the FTA rights to the competition for the next two-years. The daily claims that an agreement between the two parties has already been reached, but for the moment there are no official confirmations.
Sky Italia acquired the rights for the seasons 2018-2011 for €900 million. In January 2018, it signed an agreement with RAI to broadcast one match free-to-air on Wednesdays, as well as the two semi-finals, the final and the European Super Cup, all for around €40 million.
RAI intended to make use of the option (signed in January 2018) to continue broadcasting the UEFA Champions League. However, Sky Italia had conditioned the deal to the awarding of the TV rights to the entire Serie A, which ended up divided with online platform DAZN.