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Sky Italia contests DAZN’s Serie A deal

Sky Italia is contesting the award of exclusive Serie A football rights to DAZN, with a call for a Milan court to block the deal on antitrust grounds and an initial hearing set for May 5.

According to financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore, Sky is contesting the deal between Serie A and the streaming service following the league’s decision to award DAZN rights to stream seven matches exclusively each week, offered by Serie A as package one, with a further three matches to be aired co-exclusively under Serie A’s package three. DAZN has teamed up with Telecom Italia (TIM) to distribute the matches via the latter’s platform as well as via its own OTT offering.

Sky is alleging that the award of matches to DAZN constitutes an effectively monopoly, with the league’s package two not sufficient to counter this.

The three matches to be aired co-exclusively under package three have yet to be allocated to a co-broadcaster, with Sky failing to secure these rights.

The Series A deal is one of the biggest in DAZN’s history, with the London-based company playing a reported €2.5 billion for the three-year contract. DAZN will exclusively carry seven out of ten fixtures per match week from 2021-24 – a total of 266 matches – and will be the primary broadcaster of the league.

TIM will pay around 40% of the total rights fee (roughly €340 million per season). As a result, TIM will continue to carry DAZN’s linear channels and become the reference pay TV operator offering DAZN’s content in Italy.