IMG, the global sports, marketing and media company has acquired the Serie A international TV rights for Italy’s top flight league for €371 million per season.
The deal, which covers the 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons nearly doubles the value of the previous deal with MP & Silva who held the rights since 2004.
State owned RAI has secured the Italian language rights to broadcast abroad for €4 million per season. This time they acquired the rights directly from the league, without having to do some from MP & Silva like in the past.
The rights to broadcast the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana will be sold at a later time.
Interestingly, although MP & Silva reportedly offered more money than IMG, the assembly of clubs decided to change course and go in a new direction. This is a strategic change whereby it is not automatically the highest offer that wins. Other qualitative factors were looked at and perhaps IMG’s vision of how to promote and grow the Serie A brand was more compelling.
While the majority of the clubs were very happy with the outcome (18/20) there was also some disagreement particularly from Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis who believed the amount received was not sufficient.
Serie A International TV rights winning bid history
Comparison of TV rights deals top 5 European Leagues
Here are some of the reactions:
Carlo Tavecchio, President, FIGC:
“This result has proven the value of Italian football, which has doubled. It was approved unanimously by 18 clubs who applauded the outcome, I emphasize the applause. We are happy with the work done by Infront.”
Luigi De Siervo, Managing Director, Infront Italy
“The clubs have chosen a partner that convinced everyone not just for the economic terms but above all for the development plan.”
Marco Fassone, CEO, AC Milan:
“In the past we always made a decision based on the highest offer, today instead we looked at qualitative factors more than quantitative ones.”
Giuseppe Marotta, CEO, Juventus:
“The choice was well thought out, now it’s up to this new agency, new management of the league and the president try to bring the benefits and profit in the new three year deal. The goal is to enhance a brand (Serie A) that in and of itself is very strong but perhaps has lost a bit of its value.”
What happens next?
IMG, as the international rights holder, will now proceed to resell the rights to various broadcasters throughout the world. This will take place in the coming weeks as the broadcasters prepare themselves for the 2018-19 season.
It will be interesting to see if IMG will stick with the status quo with beIN Sports, or go in a different direction.