Sky and Perform win Serie A domestic TV rights

Gianluigi Buffon brings his Juventus career to a fitting end by lifting the Scudetto after the Old Lady’s seventh straight Serie A title.
There wasn’t a dry eye in sight at Allianz Stadium, as Gianluigi Buffon came off to a standing ovation and guard of honor in his last game for Juventus.

British broadcaster Sky and sports media group Perform won the rights to screen Serie A matches in Italy, paying a combined total of more than €973 each season, the league’s chairman said.

Sky and Perform outbid Mediaset, Italy’s biggest commercial broadcaster, which had strained its finances to buy rights in the previous three-year tender. The league has been trying for a year to auction the rights for 2018-21.

“The sale of TV rights has finally reached a conclusion,” chairman Gaetano Micciche said.

Micciche said Sky had secured “the main chunk” of the matches, which were sold in bundles.

Under the terms of the sale, the league is entitled to a further €100m each season based on results achieved by Sky and Perform in terms of subscriptions and revenues, he said.

Sky said in a statement that it had secured exclusive rights to broadcast live 266 matches every season, or seven out of 10 games being played on a given day.

Serie A kicked off a new bidding round for 2018-21 rights earlier this month after it cancelled a contract awarding them to the Spanish multimedia group Mediapro.

The decision was taken after the Chinese-owned Mediapro failed to present the necessary bank guarantees.

Mediapro had been expected to auction the rights to other operators but its tender was also cancelled by a Milan judge in May on grounds that it breached antitrust rules. This followed a legal challenge from Sky’s Italian subsidiary.

Mediapro did not take part in Wednesday’s auction for the rights of the 400 matches, Reuters reported earlier on Wednesday.

The 2017-18 season of Serie A, which ended in May, was aired by both Sky’s Italian subsidiary and Mediaset’s pay-TV arm Premium.

Mediaset said in a statement it had offered a total of €600m over three years and would now contact the winners of the tender to secure a deal in order to give its pay-TV customers access to some of the matches.