Wednesday August 21 2019
Juve call for earlier kick-offs

Juventus have called on Serie A to introduce earlier kick-off times so Asian audiences are better served.

Serie A has only one early kick-off slot on Sundays at 11:30 BST, while all of the opening fixtures for the new season will be played at 17:00 or 19:45.

“We have to find the right balance between domestic and global audiences,” Giorgio Ricci, Juve’s chief revenue officer, told BBC Sport.

“It is not just about the broadcasting times, it is also about the rights distribution and who is showing the games.

“In that sense, the difference between the Premier League and Serie A is huge. This is a very old story and one of the more frequent reasons for fights with the League.”

In the meantime, the Old Lady have become the first Italian club to open an office in Hong Kong, despite the recent civil unrest in the country.

Federico Palomba, head of their Asia-Pacific operation, described the region to the British broadcaster as one ‘with huge scope for growth’.

“In the 1990s, Serie A was very popular in China. Now it is coming back again,” he added.

Juve toured East Asia as part of their preseason preparations, although their experience was marred by Cristiano Ronaldo’s no-show against K League All-Stars, which provoked legal action from unhappy fans in South Korea.

Arch-rivals Inter are owned by Chinese conglomerate Suning Group and previously accused Serie A of not doing enough to cater for global markets.

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