Whatever happens, it will be a turning point. Not for the entry of the CVC, Advent and Fsi funds into the Serie A media company, a reform that now seems incredibly evaporated despite the promise to bring 1.7 billion into the coffers of the clubs. This will not be the big news of the 2021-24 Italian championship TV rights. The break with the past will come from other factors: the migration from satellite to streaming, the historic first time of a live free-to-air Italian championship match or the launch of a channel (or channel) of the League.
To understand which of these streets will probably be taken, the assembly called today at 13 in the halls of the Palazzo Parigi hotel in Milan will not be enough. Today’s meeting will serve to investigate many aspects related to these changes. But it will hardly end with the full assignment of rights. As the hours go by, the hypothesis of another postponement takes shape. The most defined path is the one that leads to the sale to Dazn of seven exclusive games and three co-exclusive games via the internet (packages 1 and 3) for 840 million. After almost 30 years of satellite and digital terrestrial prevalence, streaming would take over. An almost natural consequence of the boom of Netflix and Disney +, or the landing of Amazon in the Italian football market with the purchase of the 16 best Champions League matches. Sky too, with the new CEO Maximo Ibarra, is betting very strongly on broadband.
Some doubts remain about the quality of the images that can be offered by Dazn: “We must have technological reassurances that people can see football well in streaming,” explains the president of Turin, Urbano Cairo. But the Perform group platform ensures that times have changed since 2018. Dazn has perfected numerous agreements with Italian internet providers to improve the connection and reach the most isolated areas.
To the 840 million Dazn, for now must be added the 70 put on the plate by Sky for package 2 (three co-exclusive games). The CEO of the League, Luigi De Siervo, however, is not satisfied with closing at 910, but wants to increase the figure to almost one billion. To do this, he plans to put this package back on sale, introducing the possibility of broadcasting the Monday evening postponement in clear text. In this way it hopes to push the affected TVs up to 150 million. The new formula could convince Mediaset to enter the game by competing with Sky, which can use the Cielo channel. First, the League must be sure that this free broadcast is compatible with the Melandri Law. It will take at least two weeks for this verification. Some political forces (among these, Italia Viva) ensure parliamentary support, in the event that a legislative change is necessary. Otherwise clubs might consider launching a League channel to broadcast these three games. Today clubs will be presented with a feasibility plan on this matter.
The assembly will allow us to understand if Sky has reacted in any way to the Dazn offensive. One weapon could be that of archival rights which must be sold individually by each company. Santa Giulia has never been so close to losing dominance over paid football in Italy. But, after the assignment, cross-negotiations for sub-licenses will start. Tim is also ready to enter the game to add Serie A to Tim Vision content. Today it may still be too early to decide in the face of such an evolving scenario. But for sure the next three years of football on screens (TV, iPad, computer, smartphone, all means are good for a match) will be the most revolutionary of the last decades.