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Mediaset set to purchase Champions League rights, following rejected Rai appeal

Mediaset is set to taking back broadcast rights for the Champions League, per approval from UEFA.

According to Italian paper La Repubblica, the presentation of the competition’s broadcast schedules on July 2 will see Mediaset air 16 games, including the European Super Cup between Chelsea and Liverpool on August 14.

This follows the rejection of an appeal from public broadcaster Rai over a disputed right to show Champions League football matches free-to-air from an Italian court.

The paper points out that the sublicense agreement that sees Sky sell 16 games is already there, with the judge writing it in the order in which Rai’s appeal was rejected.

PSB Rai, which is operated under the direct control of the Italian parliament, received the license from Sky for the 16 Champions League Matches in 2017, with an option with an additional two years.

However, Sky said 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.

With the appeal rejected, the path has been made clear for Mediaset to purchase the free-to-air broadcasting rights that were previously held by Rai. 

Mediaset held Champions League rights in Italy prior to Sky’s purchase of the rights, and offered it as a part of its now defunct premium football option. It is not clear at this stage in what guise the new Champions League offering will come.