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Serie A clubs approve DAZN’s €2.5bn media rights offer

Streaming service ousts Sky as Italian soccer league's main domestic broadcast partner.

26 March 2021 Michael Long
  • Contract includes exclusive rights for seven out of ten fixtures per match day until 2024
  • 16 of Serie A’s 20 clubs vote in favour of DAZN’s €850m per season offer
  • League will now enter talks with Sky over non-exclusive rights package, reports Reuters

Sports streaming service DAZN has secured one of its biggest rights deals after clubs in Italian soccer’s Serie A finally voted to award the company a domestic contract worth more than €2.5 billion (US$2.95 billion).

The deal, which runs for the next three seasons, covers all Serie A matches between 2021 and 2024, including exclusive rights for seven out of ten fixtures per match day.

DAZN, which only launched in Italy in 2018, beat off competition from pay-TV incumbent Sky Italia, which reportedly offered €2.25 billion (US$2.65 billion) to air coverage of matches across its TV and digital services.

DAZN’s bid, which equates to roughly €850 million (US$1.02 billion) per season, was due to expire on 29th March, but 16 of Serie A’s 20 clubs voted in favour of accepting the offer during a virtual meeting on Friday. 

In a previous vote, nine clubs had abstained from approving the deal, which has been backed by Italian telecoms operator TIM to the tune of €1 billion (US$1.2 billion).

A content distribution and technical support contract agreed between DAZN and TIM will see the latter stump up around €340 million (US$413 million) a year, equating to about 40 per cent of the total rights fee.

As per its current Italian distribution, DAZN plans to make Serie A matches available on its over-the-top (OTT) subscription platform and via its branded linear network carried by TIM and Vodafone, as well as Sky’s sport packages.

Under Serie A’s existing three-year domestic contract, which expires at the end of the current campaign, the league receives €973 million (US$1.17 billion) per year from DAZN and Sky, the latter of which has the bulk of the matches.

Serie A had been hoping to achieve an 18 per cent uplift on its current €973 million (US$1.17 billion) per year deals, but none of the bidders reached the €1.15 billion ($1.40 billion) per season minimum being sought.

According to Reuters, Serie A will now enter talks with Sky over a deal for non-exclusive rights to three fixtures per match day over the course of the next three-year cycle.

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