Sky Italia offers to air Juventus vs Inter game for free amid coronavirus outbreak

Sky Italia offers to air Juventus vs Inter game for free amid coronavirus outbreak
Italian pay-TV broadcaster Sky Italia will consult with the country’s top flight soccer league body, Lega Serie A, as to whether to broadcast the upcoming fixture between Juventus and Inter Milan on its free-to-air channel TV8.

The match is one of six to be played behind closed doors this weekend as authorities bid to minimise the spread of the virus. At least 357 people in Italy have tested positive for coronavirus, with 11 deaths connected to the disease reported in the country so far.

In response, Sky Italia’s Executive Vice President, Marzio Perrelli, has said the broadcaster is willing to “make sacrifices” and is proposing a “free window” via the TV8 service that would allow fans to watch the game, despite not attending.

Perrelli said: “In such a unique situation where all citizens and businesses are required to make sacrifices, Sky would also be willing to make their own.”

In the meantime, Italian public-service broadcaster Rai has also made an offer to broadcast the fixture, according to Italian news outlet La Stampa.

Sky Italia and over-the-top (OTT) streaming service DAZN currently hold broadcast rights to Serie A, worth €973 million (US$1.04 billion) a year, with one full season remaining on their current deals.

Meanwhile, the impact of coronavirus on world sport continues to grow, with the top tier of Japanese soccer the latest affected. The J League has postponed all matches from the competition until at least 15th March, with a total of 94 fixtures being rearranged.

League Chairman Mitsuru Murai said: “The J League had major events to be held in the next week or two. We had to make this decision.

“I am sorry to all of the fans who looked forward to the matches, but we will cooperate in a situation that is somewhat of a national crisis."

Executives from Japan’s top flight baseball league, Nippon Professional Baseball, will meet in Tokyo on 26th February to discuss the postponement of games from their competition going forward.

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