Lega Serie A mulls bid to acquire Sky Italia

Italy’s Lega Serie A is reportedly mulling a bid to acquire all or part of the country’s leading pay TV operator Sky Italia.

In news first reported by La Stampa, the bid is being proposed by Serie A boss Luigi de Siervo at a meeting of Serie A clubs today, with the aim of building a Serie A TV platform tapping the infrastructure, organisation and customer base of the operator.

According to the reports, a bid could be for the acquisition of Sky’s sports division only, or for all of Sky in partnership with a third party, with a number of banks expressing interest in participating, including JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Barclays.

Comcast’s willingness to sell its Italian operation remains an unknown quantity, given that the US company has invested significantly in its Italian operation in recent years.

The cable and media giant has reportedly considered a sale of its underperforming German operation, which lacks the broadband and mobile phone base of Sky in the UK.

However, in Italy Sky has invested in developing a broadband base with the launch of Sky Wifi in 2020. The company also recently launched Sky Glass, Sky and Comcast’s integrated TV offering, in the Italian market.

Sky faces competition in Italy in the sports arena from DAZN, which currently holds key Serie A rights but which also faces challenges on a number of fronts.

The current rights deals for Serie A are set to expire next year.

News of the possible bid comes after Sky CEO Andrea Duilio presented a cost-cutting plan to unions that would see the loss of 800 internal and contractor posts. Under the plan, employees will be given the option of voluntary redundancy.

An agreement had already been concluded in 2021 for the loss of 400 internal posts, out of a total workforce of around 4,000.

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