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Italian watchdog green-lights Mediapro Serie A deal

The Italian competition watchdog, the AGCM, has approved the award of Serie A rights to Spain’s Mediapro, despite opposition from Sky.

The Catalan broadcaster and producer secured the exclusive rights to Serie A football for the next three seasons.

The regulator said that Mediapro would have to play the role of intermediary and ensure that other players in the market had access to Serie A matches on fair, transparent and non-discriminatory terms.

The AGCM has also stipulated that Mediapro refrain from activities that would place it in direct competition with operators in the market.

Under Italian regulations, rights to Serie A cannot be held by a single buyer. However the league sold the rights to all games to Mediapro as part of a package provided for independent intermediaries, in the absence of adequate bids for its other five packages.

Sky claims that Mediapro is not an independent intermediary but an operator of services, which could reserve games for its own thematic channels.

Mediapro secured the rights to Italian top-tier football from under the noses of Sky and Mediaset in February in a deal worth €3.15 billion for the next three seasons.