Sky Italia has picked up four of the five available media rights packages for the Uefa Champions League for the Italian market between 2012 and 2015 from Uefa Events SA.
The pay-tv broadcaster will have first choice of live matches on Tuesday, as well as the third to 16th pick of the remaining games. It will also air non-exclusive highlights packages on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and share live coverage of the Saturday final each May. Matches will be covered across Sky Italia's television channels as well as on its website, www.skytv.it, and mobile portal Sky Sport 24.
Uefa thanked previous rights holders Mediaset, who are however, according to website sportbusiness.com, set to lodge a complaint set to lodge an antitrust complaint with the Italian regulator l’Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato. Mediaset will argue that Sky Italia is abusing its dominant position in the pay-TV market through its exclusive acquisition of the rights, and that it should now offer digital-terrestrial rights to other broadcasters on fair and reasonable terms.
Uefa Events SA marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein said: "We are delighted to renew our successful partnership with Sky in Italy. Sky's treatment of the competition has always been first class. We value highly their production expertise and we appreciate the immense commitment they have made to the Uefa Champions League. This deal will guarantee that the Uefa Champions League is available to a wide proportion of Italian football fans."
The remaining premium rights package available in Italy includes first pick of live coverage on Wednesday matchdays, along with shared live coverage of the final and the Tuesday and Wednesday highlights programmes. The rights to coverage of the Uefa Europa League is also still available for this period as Uefa Events SA is yet to receive a suitable bid.