The Lega Serie A will meet from today to decide on the allocation of television rights for 2015-18, as uncertainty remains between the broadcasters.
The television broadcast rights for the Italian top flight for the seasons 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 came up for auction last week, split into five packages based on the following:
- Satellite broadcast rights for home and away matches for eight teams including Inter, Juventus, Milan and Napoli, total 248 matches [Package A]
- Digital broadcast rights for home and away matches for eight teams including Inter, Juventus, Milan and Napoli, total 248 matches [Package B]
- Direct access - interviews, cameras in the changing rooms and various extras [Package C]
- Broadcast rights for direct matches between 12 teams, including Roma, total 132 matches [Package D]
- Internet broadcast rights for three games per round, excluding evening matches [Package E]
Sky Sport Italia tabled the highest bids for Packages A, B and C, outbidding Mediaset and Fox for Package A with a €357m offer, the same two companies again for Package B with a €422m offer and just Fox for Package C with an offer of €15m.
Mediaset, who provisionally hold Package D with a high bid of €306m, have taken issue with Sky’s winning bids for A and B and are reportedly threatening legal action arguing that under a ‘no single buyer rule’, the corporation cannot hold the rights for both digital and satellite broadcasts.
Sky are seen as countering this stance in holding that rules do not directly prohibit holding Packages A and B.
Nobody bid for Package E, but there remains a potential total windfall for Serie A, should Sky keep A and B and Mediaset take D, of more than €1.1bn, representing a €286m increase on the current three-year package that runs until the end of next season.
However, the Lega Serie A will meet from today to vote on the allocation of the television rights and it is seen that part of their decision will be based on balancing the potential increase in income against the risk of any legal action being taken by unhappy parties.
Suggesting a situation that may see the highest bidders miss out on certain packages, the League have until Thursday to reach an agreed-upon settlement.
The Gazzetta dello Sport report that any increase in television revenue to around the €1bn mark would see Juventus surpass €100m for their particular share, and the likes of Inter, Roma, Milan and Napoli all edge closer to nine-figure broadcast revenue streams too.