Thursday December 20 2018
De Siervo: 'Piracy is Serie A problem'

New Lega Serie A CEO Luigi De Siervo has outlined his plans to increase revenue from TV rights. “The biggest problem in Italian football is piracy.”

De Siervo is already a well-known figure within Calcio, as he was CEO of Infront, who were advisors to the Lega Serie A when it came to selling international TV rights.

Today he was voted in as new CEO of the Lega Serie A itself – a union of the 20 top flight clubs – and will continue his battle to close the money gap with the Premier League and La Liga.

“The biggest problem in Italian football is piracy,” De Siervo told reporters today.

“So far, there has been too much tolerance in Italy. We need to look to the practices used by France and England, so those who break the law must be pursued.

“The industrial system of content, whether cinematographic, musical or sporting, cannot be the business of organised crime. The system has to be remunerative.

“Today some European clubs have more resources because they live in a ‘safer’ system where piracy does not exist. More people pay, but they therefore also have to pay less.”

A meeting is planned soon with the Italian Government and De Siervo dubbed the ban on betting companies advertising during sporting events as “completely stupid. I can understand and appreciate the intent to avoid pressure on viewers to bet during a game, but the resources of advertising banners create an anti-trust problem.

“In England, 14 out of 18 tams have a betting sponsor on their jerseys. Betting companies are now the biggest investors in football and we must try to avoid damaging Italian football. There is a formula to keep everything together, so the limitation the Government is asking for can be just applied to television.”

While Eleven Sports have reportedly struggled in the UK and Ireland, streaming service DAZN is doing well in Italy, largely because they struck a deal with Sky Sport Italia to carry games on the Sky Q box.

“When the DAZN figures are released, you will all be surprised. It’s too early to say if we will create a new Lega Serie A channel, but the Lega does need to work on a strong product identity and reach the maximum number of people. We want to analyse every possible scenario.”

Image via @SerieA