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TIM announces Serie A deal with DAZN ahead of rights tender announcement

TIM has agreed a distribution deal with DAZN that will see the Italian pay TV operator carry Serie A matches – should DAZN win the rights.

The Italian top-flight football league is yet to announce the sale of its 2021-24 rights tender, but a number of reports have established DAZN as the frontrunner with an offer of around €850 million. DAZN has reportedly offered the biggest sum for the rights package, though the tender is in a second phase after no parties met the league’s asking price of €1.15 billion.

TIM has issued a statement in response to local press rumours, and clarified that it has signed an agreement “to supplement the already existing distribution agreement, conditional upon DAZN being awarded the aforementioned tender.”

This agreement will see TIM serve as the reference telephone and pay TV operator for DAZN content in Italy as well its technological partner in a deal which, hypothetically, will kick off in July 2021. This will include DAZN’s full catalogue of live and on demand sports content.

TIM added that it is not participating in the tender process for the Serie A rights, something already widely known.

It is currently unclear when Serie A will announce its rights sale, but this statement would indicate that a full statement is on the horizon.

The news comes after DAZN, which already holds a smaller package of Serie A rights, announced a record audience for its coverage of the Milan derby on February 21. More than 2.2 million watched live coverage of the match, an increase of 38% from its previous record – the September 2019 Milan Derby. DAZN said that “the new record for a single event on DAZN in the country continues to demonstrate how streaming is now mainstream for fans watching sports in Italy.”