Italy’s top flight football league Serie A has made the decision to enter into private negotiations with its broadcasting rights bidders, as American consumer giant Amazon also expresses interest.

International rights to the tournament are currently held by IMG as part of a deal running from the 2018-19 season until the 2020-21 season, but the league officially launched the bidding process for the 2021-22 to 2023-24 seasons earlier this month.

IMG initially acquired the rights in a deal worth an estimated €380 million per season. Serie A has valued the new tender as being worth between the current IMG fee and €500 million.

A total of 49 bidders, of which 35 were broadcasters and 14 were media agencies, have submitted offers for the international rights, including international, continental and national bids.

The league also set a deadline of 26 January for domestic coverage earlier this month, which has seen Amazon, Sky and DAZN express interest.

Three separate packages have been issued: Package A covers satellite platform rights at a cost of €500 million per season, Package B concerns exclusive digital terrestrial rights at €400 million, and finally Platform C covers co-exclusive internet, IPTV and mobile platforms at €250 million.

If Amazon is successful in obtaining domestic rights to the tournament it will represent a significant expansion of its Italian broadcasting operations, having secured an €80 million per season deal to provide coverage of Champions League games in the country.

The American online retailer has become a formidable force in the field of sports broadcasting in recent years, providing coverage of Premier League football matches and the ATP Tour and US Open tennis tournaments.

Further expansion could be made into rugby union with the possibility of Six Nations and English Premiership Rugby moving to the company’s Prime Video platform, whilst Formula One CEO Chase Carey disclosed that the racing tournament had been in ‘substantial talks’ with the firm in December 2020.