Italian court rejects Rai appeal over Champions League

An Italian court has rejected an appeal by public broadcaster Rai over a disputed right to show Champions League football matches free-to-air, paving the way for an agreement between Sky and Mediaset to divide up matches between them to go ahead.

Sky secured rights to the Champions League for the 2018-21 seasons in June 3017 and subsequently signed an agreement with Rai to allow the pubcaster to air one match a week, the two semi-finals and the European Super Cup for the first year, with the option to acquire the same rights for the subsequent two years.

Sky maintained however that this agreement was conditional on the rights it held being equivalent to those granted over the previous period, and that his condition had not been met because three matches a week were awarded to streaming service DAZN.

Regulator AGCOM issued a notice to Sky last October over the latter’s failure to provide the right to subscribers to cancel contracts for its Sky Calcio package over the change, which provided evidence for the pay TV operator in its case against Rai.

Rai has said it will explore further legal avenues to secure its ability to air the matches.

Prior to Sky securing the rights, Champions League rights in Italy had been held by Mediaset and offered as part of its now defunct premium football option.

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