Serie A seeks to build on broadcast rights status

16 Sep 2013

Lega Serie A president Maurizio Beretta has called on the Italian league to build on its status as Europe’s second biggest competition in terms of broadcast rights, with a meeting set to be held on Friday to determine the future course of what has been a contentious issue in recent weeks.

A Lega Serie A meeting was held on Friday in the wake of reports that the IMG agency had contacted Beretta to express an interest in becoming the league’s new media-rights sales adviser. Serie A’s current adviser is the Infront Sports & Media agency and its deal is due to run until the end of the 2015-16 season. Seven Serie A clubs have complained that the agency had been paid an excessive commission for selling the media rights for the 2012-13 to 2014-15 period. Fiorentina, Internazionale, Juventus, Roma, Sampdoria, Sassuolo and Verona have called for Infront’s deal to be curtailed a year early and for a new tender process to appoint an adviser for the 2015-16 to 2017-18 seasons.

Although Infront’s status was not directly addressed at Friday’s meeting, the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper reports a gathering this week will group together Italian broadcasters such as Sky Italia, Mediaset and Rai with league’s overseas rights adviser – MP & Silva. The meeting will be held with a view to discussing new marketing strategies for the three years spanning 2015 to 2018. Beretta said: “Next week we plan a meeting…to confront the evolution of the market of the rights and possible future of this sector. Our championship, with proceeds of approximately Eur1 billion a year, is the second championship in Europe, ahead of Spain, Germany and France. We must build on this consolidated figure.” Claudio Lotito, the Lazio president, added: “Everyone has the right to maximise revenues, there is no political motivation on the part of the teams.”

In other news, Napoli’s proposal to allow for the presence of a fourth sponsor on clubs’ shirts was rejected at the meeting. Serie A clubs are currently permitted up to three corporate logos on their shirts. “The proposal has been discussed, but has been shelved for now,” said Beretta.