Sky Italia nets final Serie A package after waiving legal action

Pay-television broadcaster Sky Italia has been assigned a second, non-exclusive domestic rights package for the next cycle of the Italian top-tier Lega Serie A.

Under the terms of the tie-up, Sky will screen 114 Serie A fixtures per season on a co-exclusive basis, which equates to three matches per round for the next three years, covering the 2021/22 to 2023/24 seasons. The games will take the Saturday 8.4pm, Sunday 12.30pm and Monday 8.45pm kick-off slots.

Furthermore, the first year of the contract will see Sky cash out €85 million, with the following two terms increasing to €87.5 million and €90 million respectively.

According to the Ansa news agency, 16 of the 20 top-flight Italian clubs voted in favour of the deal, with two abstentions from Napoli and Lazio whilst Crotone and Parma sat out the vote, having already been relegated to the Serie B next season, sitting 19th and 20th respectively in the league rankings.

Sky will share the rights package with DAZN, which landed the bulk of the domestic rights in late March, following a long and drawn-out bidding process that saw the digital sports streaming service and Sky go head-to-head for the coveted broadcast package.

At the beginning of the month, the Italian football governing body opted to postpone the vote to award the second package amid Sky’s legal dispute with the division, after the pay-television operator lodged an appeal with the Milan Court over the DAZN’s deal with Serie A.

Sky missed out on the major rights deal, being pipped to the post by DAZN’s €840 million per season offer for seven exclusive games per matchweek and co-exclusive rights to three further matches. Sky and DAZN’s existing agreements with Serie A are valued at around €973 million per year.

Subsequently, the broadcaster attempted to block the contract by arguing that the awarding of the coveted rights package violates the ‘Melandri Law’, which prevents a single operator from acquiring all the rights to Italian football fixtures and thus, placing the balance with one broadcaster.

However, Serie A confirmed that Sky had dropped its case against the Lega in its statement, which allowed the vote to go ahead, shortly after the football authority lowered the asking price for the second package for the next rights cycle down from €250 million to €150 million per season.

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