As widely expected, Sky Italia has acquired exclusive rights to broadcast 266 live games per season for the next three seasons of Italy’s Serie A football league following the collapse of Mediapro’s move into top-tier Italian football.
The new deal means that Sky Sports in Italy will be the exclusive home to seven games out of 10 on each match-day, more than twice as many exclusive matches as the broadcaster airs today, and will feature 16 of the 20 biggest matches each season.
Sky said it will pay around a third less for each exclusive match versus the current agreement.
Each week, Sky customers will enjoy two early kick-off matches on Saturdays at 15:00 and 18:00, two Sunday afternoon matches at 15:00, the 18:00 fixture, the Sunday evening late kick-off match at 20:30 and the Monday Night match at 20:30.
For the first time, Sky’s Serie A will be shown not only via satellite but also through digital terrestrial television, streamed via Now TV, and delivered across fibre. Sky Q customers will also be able to watch the matches in UHD for an unprecedented and immersive viewing quality.
Sky already holds the majority of rights to UEFA Champions League, Formula1, Europa League and Moto GP coverage.
Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, Sky said: “With this agreement we will be giving our customers in Italy more exclusive football than ever before. Alongside our recently announced plans for our Italian business, customers will be able to enjoy Sky on every single platform and access the content they love in ways that suit them. Taken together, we are confident we can reach even more sports fans in Italy, increasing our sports subscribers, and we have never been in a better position to grow.”
Sky Italia CEO Andrea Zappia said: “We are proud to be able to continue to guarantee the best and most extensive coverage of Serie A football to our customers through an unprecedented exclusive offer. We have always strived to enhance the storytelling of Italian football, highlighting the beauty of this sport. Today Sky can proudly offer its customers the most exclusive football coverage, along with the best television experience and convenience of choice thanks to the possibility of watching content across multiple platforms including Sky Sports on DTT for the first time.”
Sky’s acquisition of the rights follows an acrimonious break-down in relations between Mediapro and La Lega Serie A (see separate story) after the Italian league annulled its January award of rights to the Spanish broadcaster. This week an Italian court also confirmed an earlier ruling that the award of rights to Mediapro was invalid.