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Eleven Sports loses Serie A rights to Premier Sports

Eleven Sports has ceded its Italian Serie A and Dutch Eredivisie football rights to UK broadcaster Premier Sports after ending its partnership with IMG, the agency that manages these rights.

In a statement, streaming service Eleven Sports said that it will continue to show live coverage of LaLiga football in the UK and Ireland until the end of the season, “with the intention of continuing beyond”.

Premier Sports has taken up Serie A rights until the end of the 2020/21 season and said that it will air a number of games live on its free-to-air sister channel FreeSports.

Eleven and Premier Sports have agreed to broadcast Serie A and Eredivisie football non-exclusively in the UK throughout February in order to minimise disruption for fans, before coverage switches exclusively to Premier Sports from March 1.

“The strategic direction we have chosen allows us to focus on LaLiga which not only drives real value for us in the UK and Ireland but is also a property which we continue to have a valued partnership with in five markets globally,” said Eleven Sports in a statement.

Premiere Sports, which also takes Chinese Super League rights from Eleven, described the agreement as a “monumental deal,” which adds to its existing content offering of PRO14 rugby, Scottish Cup football and NHL ice hockey.

Premiere Sports is available in UK on the Sky and Virgin Platforms, as well as online. It will now offer its service at a reduced rate of £5.99 per-month but the price will revert to £9.99 per-month from August.

Eleven said it will automatically decrease the price of an Eleven Sports Monthly Pass for new and existing subscribers from £5.99 to £4.99 in the UK, and from €6.99 to €5.99 in the Republic of Ireland, effective March 1. Annual subscribers can apply for partial refunds.

The news follows a report in the Telegraph in December claiming that Eleven Sports’ UK operation may be shut down just four months after launching as the fledgling platform struggled to find a subscriber base in the UK and Ireland.

An Eleven Sports spokesperson told the Telegraph at the time that the company was in discussions with its rights partners, La Liga and IMG, about “how we can restructure our existing agreements in order to continue our current OTT service.”