Serie A dangles threat of own service as it seeks to talk bids up

Champions LeagueItaly’s Lega Serie A has scheduled a meeting next week that will include a discussion on TV rights when current contracts expire next year, with CEO Luigi de Siervo holding out the threat of the league going it alone with its own TV offering, the Lega channel, if bids do not meet expectations.

As reported by Italian press, de Siervo said that the league had started its own TV offering and would “not accept unsatisfactory offers” such as those currently on the table from contenders DAZN and Sky (the current rightsholders) and MediaForEurope/Mediaset.

With the current tender set to expire on October 15, De Siervo said that the gap between its aspirations and the bids on the table was “significant” but “not unbridgeable”, but said that the League could focus on distributing matches via its own service if the bids were not upped.

The Lega Serie A has set a goal of securing €1 billion per season for rights.

After receiving improved offers for rights from the three media groups in July, the league said it would look to further improvements ahead of the offers expiring in mid-October, while holding out the threat of creating its own platform to distribute matches.

Lega Serie A rejected initial bids in June, with a decision to move forward to private negotiations with the main groups.

In March, La Stampa reported that Lega Serie A was mulling a possible bid for all of part of Sky Italia in partnership with outside investors, but this was played down subsequently by Lega Serie A president Lorenzo Casini and de Siervo.

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