Serie A turns to YouTube for MENA ahead of new season

Italy’s Serie A will stream some matches on YouTube in the MENA region.

The deal with the Google-owned YouTube is not expected to bring in a significant income for the league, and comes at a time when Serie A is facing a stalemate in the region. 

The league had previously launched a country-by-country MENA broadcast rights tender, after relations with previous rights holder beIN Media soured. On its return from the Covid-19-enforced hiatus, beIN staged a broadcast blackout of the league with the demand of a steep discount on its US$500 million regional rights deal. It accused the league of not doing enough to combat piracy, while tensions were already high following a deal with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia to host a number of Suppercoppa fixtures in the country. 

The league held fruitless talks with Saudi Sports Company, while beIN has been reluctant to re-enter any pact with Serie A.

With no broadcast deals in place, the league has fallen back on this plan b by turning to YouTube ahead of the season’s start on August 21.

This is a contrasting situation to other territories, such as the UK where the league announced a high-profile deal with BT Sport last week.

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