Serie A Rights Tender Upcoming - Fabio Guadignini Share PDF Print E-mail
Expert Columns


It’s bound to be of one of the hottest springs for Italian media, with the assignments of the TV rights of Series A, Serie B and Champions just round the corner.

Tomorrow, Lega Calcio Serie A will publish the main guidelines of its next audio-video rights tender for the 2018-2021 period. The new tender should be substantially oriented to follow the existing packages, that "horizontally" split the 20-club Serie A in different groups and technologies, respecting the “Melandri-Gentiloni” law approved in 2008 that centralizes the sale of these rights, and imposes balanced packages not acquirable by a single operator.

A different approach to English Premier League, where the principle of exclusivity based on timeslots contributed in making English football the richest in the world, worthing £8.3 billion in three years just from TV rights.

The shared goal of both Lega Serie A and its advisor Infront is to match or eventually improve the achieved benchmark of about €3.5 billion collected in the current triennium.

The crucial point in tomorrow’s debate will be certainly how these incomes will be shared among the clubs.

Six of them (Juventus, AC Milan, F.C. Internazionale, Napoli, Roma, and Fiorentina) keep having a negative response on the idea to privilege and improve the sharing based on the results at the expense of the size of the fan base. Understandable, since these six clubs, in aggefate, cover about 80 percent of the total Italian football fan base.

Finding a deal won’t therefore be easy, adding the facts that yet there is not a common view on the identity of the new President (a vacant position ruled by outgoing Massimo Beretta), and the debate on how to set a new governance to the League is still open and quite unclear.

Uncertainties that intersect with the existing TV market where the digital terrestrial Pay TV Mediaset Premium (the legal dispute on it between its shareholders Mediaset and Vivendi is still underway) does not seem capable to be a consistent bidder. It could in fact consider to change its strategy acting as a platform partner for some other bidders just to make the  top italian football available to its customers.

Lega Serie A’s  goal is to be able to publish the new tender in late spring, soon after the UEFA Champions League’s one, another case worthing in Italy the potential value of roughly €700/750 millions for three years.

In this uncertain outlook, Sky remains the strongest and more determined contender, but other companies, such as Discovery or Telecom, could join the contest.

One thing is sure, the outcome of tomorrow’s Serie A assembly could unveil more indications for the Italian football fans on how to watch and follow their favourite teams until 2021. filesmonster