Rai picks up FTA ATP Finals rights

Italian pubcaster Rai has picked up the free-to-air rights for the ATP Finals from 2021-23. 

Rai has secured the first-choice of matches on each gameday, with a deal agreed with the ATP’s commercial arm ATP Media and the IMG agency. It is believed that the Italian broadcaster saw off interest from Mediaset.

The news bolsters Rai’s tennis portfolio which includes select ATP 500 and 250 events along with Wimbledon.

The deal will cover the first three years of the tournament’s stint being hosted in the country. The ATP Finals had been hosted in London’s O2 Arena since 2009, but the competition will move to Turn from 2021-25.

It had been reported that SuperTennis was the frontrunner for the rights following an announcement from Italian Tennis Federation president Angelo Binaghi in May 2019. However, the proposed five-year deal fell through, opening the door for Rai.

While the finals will be broadcast by Rai, Sky Italia has acquired the exclusive rights to the nine ATP 100 Masters tournaments, and will also broadcast the finals. Sky had a deal with the ATP which expires at the end of 2020.

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