Sky Italia’s Mockridge raises threat over match-fixing

Sky Italia CEO Tom Mockridge is putting pressure on the Italian football authorities to take action against match-fixing by threatening to reduce the amount Sky is willing to pay for the rights to matches.

In a letter to the Corriere della Sera newspaper, Mockridge raised the possibility that Sky would seek to reduce the amount of money it paid to the league if it did not take steps to improve transparency. Sky and Mediaset are expected to make bids within the next few months for rights covering the three seasons from 2012-15.

The move follows the arrest of a number of people allegedly engaged in match-fixing two weeks ago and the announcement by interior minister Roberto Maroni that he would launch a task force to counter corruption in the game.

In his letter, Mockridge expressed his “deep concern for the apparent debasement” of the game and warned of the “inevitable economic consequences” that could follow if the situation does not improve.

Any reduction in the amount paid by Sky for matches could have a deleterious impact the league, which is already facing financial difficulties. Sky also faces the challenge of competition from Mediaset Premium’s coverage of Italian football, limiting its ability to increase prices to subscribers. 

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