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Report: Amazon set to bid for Serie A rights

Digital giant likely to battle Sky and DAZN for domestic rights package.

14 January 2021 Tom Bassam

Getty Images

  • Serie A’s rights tender includes packages with streaming carved out
  • League seeking a minimum of €1.15bn per season with bids due 26th January

Digital giant Amazon is set to bid for the 2021/22 to 2023/24 domestic broadcast rights to Italian soccer’s top-flight Serie A, according to Bloomberg.

Serie A issued its tender documents for the next rights cycle earlier this month with a deadline for bids of 26th January. Incumbent broadcasters, Comcast-owned Sky Italia and global digital sports media company DAZN, are both expected to bid as the league seeks to raise a minimum of €1.15 billion (US$1.4 billion) a season for the three-year contracts.

Private equity firms CVC Capital Partners, Advent International and Italy’s FSI agreed to acquire a stake in a new media unit that is being created by Serie A. That €1.7 billion (US$2 billion) deal is yet to formally close, but it is thought to be in its final stages, with financiers acquiring ten per cent of the league’s new media company.

Should Amazon be successful it would bolster its Italian offering, which from next season will include top pick Wednesday matches from the Uefa Champions League elite European club competition.

Serie A has made three separate packages available for bidders. Package A covers satellite platform rights and is worth a minimum of €500 million (US$603 million) a season; Package B is worth a minimum of €400 million (US$482 million) for exclusive digital terrestrial rights, and Package C is priced at a €250 million (US$303 million) minimum covering co-exclusive internet, IPTV and mobile platform rights.

Buyers can top up acquisitions with a ‘gold’ package of ‘accessory rights.’

There is an alternative set of bidding packages which are numbered and priced at a minimum of €750 million, €250 million and €150 million respectively. Package one is for exclusive rights across all platforms. Package two similarly covers all platforms, but internet, IPTV and mobile broadcasting rights are non-exclusive. The final package is the other part of the internet, IPTV and mobile rights held with the winner of Package two.

If the report is accurate, Amazon will likely be bidding for the digital packages as it has demonstrated no desire to get into satellite broadcast with its previous acquisitions. However, the option remains to buy the other packages and sub-licence out the rights to companies offering traditional content distribution.

Serie A’s current domestic broadcast deal with Sky Italia and DAZN is worth €973 million (US$1.18 million) a year over its duration, meaning the minimum annual fee being sought by Serie A is an 18 per cent uptick.

Amazon is set to bid for the 2021/22 to 2023/24 Serie A domestic broadcast rights

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