Italian public broadcaster Rai has secured free-to-air broadcast rights for the ATP Finals, one of the biggest tennis tournaments in the world, from 2021 – 2023.
The broadcaster has claimed the first pick of matches on each game day after the deal was agreed with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) commercial arm, ATP Media, and the IMG agency. Commercial broadcaster, Mediaset were reportedly interested in securing the ATP rights for the tournament.
The Italian channel’s media rights will cover the first three years of ATP Finals’ five year hosting agreement with Italy. This coincides with a similar deal Sky Italia has secured for the finals over broadcasting rights.
Along with the ATP Finals package, SkyItalia acquired exclusive rights in the country to the nine ATP 100 Masters tournaments. Whilst also acquiring rights to select ATP 500 and 250 events, plus the Wimbledon grand slam tournament through to 2022.
Rai’s agreement with ATP comes just as the tournament will move from the O2 Arena in London to Turin after 12 years in England. This will be the first time Italy will host the tennis competition.
It was reported that SuperTennis would assume the ATP Finals broadcasting duties after the president of the Italian Tennis Federation, Angelo Binaghi, confirmed a deal at the official unveiling of Turin hosting the competition. However, the Italian terrestrial and satellite television channel ultimately failed to acquire any rights.
Insider Insight: Rai’s agreement to air the ATP Finals in 2021 and beyond is a massive deal for Italian tennis fans. It is considered one of the biggest television broadcasters in the country and now fans will be able to watch the finals without having to pay for a subscription. Rai will also be ecstatic with the deal considering one of its major rivals, Mediaset, were also wanting to claim broadcasting rights.