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Mediapro slams Italian league as court confirms Serie A ruling

The scene appears to be set for a legal stand-off between Spanish broadcaster Mediapro and Italy’s Lega Serie A after a Milan court confirmed the earlier suspension of the sale of Serie A rights to the company.

A panel of three judges confirmed the May 9 decision of Judge Claudio Marangoni to uphold pay TV broadcaster Sky Italia’s complaint against the league’s award of rights to top-tier Italian football to Mediapro, leading the Spanish group to conclude that the terms under which the rights had been offered to it by the league were non-compliant with Italian rules.

Mediapro said that the ruling meant that it had effectively been sold the rights in a way that did not conform with the country’s laws. The ruling in Milan is still subject to an appeal before the Lazio administrative regional court.

The Lega had earlier revoked its award of rights to Mediapro on the grounds that the Spanish broadcaster had failed to provide guarantees that were promised, but said that it would be retaining the €64 million deposit paid by the broadcaster.

Separately, a survey of French consumers by YouGov found that 8% of those surveyed are ready to pay €25 for Mediapro’s planned channel after the Spanish broadcaster secured rights to the country’s Ligue 1 football tournament.

The survey, for the Capital.fr website, found that equal numbers of men and women were willing to sign up for such a service. The 25-34 age group were more willing than others to pay for a service, with 13% expressing a willingness to subscribe compared with 10% each for the 18-24 and 45-54 age groups and only 3% for over-55s.