It will be a crucial month of September for the future of Serie A: here is the situation regarding the assignment of the TV rights of the championship.
It will be a very hot month of September for the Serie A League, committed on two fronts: the start of the new season and above all the publication of calls relating to the assignment of television rights for the three-year period 2021-2024. There are many rumors around this topic and even in full lockdown came the statements of presidents and managers of the 20 teams who, as usual, showed themselves to be anything but united.
In fact, there are billions of euros at stake, which especially after the breakdown represent the first source of income for medium-small clubs. Without going into details, as there would be a discussion to open also in light of what is happening abroad (Premier League in primis), the TV rights have also opened a clash for the season ended a few weeks ago, especially in light of the failure payment of the last installment by Sky.
The Sky issue is still far from resolved and could also have repercussions on the award tender. The parties in the game have not yet revealed the cards, but what is known is the plan of the president of Napoli, Aurelio De Laurentiis, according to which “the time to make others money is over“.
The De Laurentiis plan
The number one of Napoli immediately after the lockdown summoned the 20 Serie A teams to present his plan by videoconference first and then in person.
In fact, in his intentions the League must independently manage the broadcasting of the matches. So goodbye to management by third parties, but above all goodbye to the double subscription for users. In fact, the patron of the Campania team intends to propose a single subscription of 36 Euros per month, which will allow fans to access all the matches. This package would then be resold to services such as Sky, Amazon, DAZN, Netflix, TIM, Vodafone and the like which in turn would integrate it into existing subscriptions.
For De Laurentiis, a package of this type would constitute a “significant savings for enthusiasts“, but it’s not really like that because the 36 euros they would be added to the expected costs for watching the Champions League, Europa League and other football competitions.
The scenario hypothesized by De Laurentiis takes into account the real hemorrhage of subscribers that Serie A has had to face in recent years, with 700,000 fewer subscriptions, but judging by the comments of the fans, such an eventuality would not other than to increase this phenomenon.
Such a system could work if proposed in NBA Gamepass style, where spectators can also choose to purchase the package to watch the matches of a single team, obviously paying less. But it is clear that in this way the revenues would be lower than those calculated.
The proposal doesn’t seem to have warmed up many clubs, in particular Juventus and Milan who have already given a negative opinion.
Are Netflix and Amazon coming?
The location of the streaming giants. The reason is soon said: Sky in fact from the three-year period 2021-2024 will no longer be able to have the exclusivity for streaming Serie A matches.
This was established by a ruling by the State Council according to which the matches of our championship in streaming must also be broadcast by other broadcasters, as the exclusive to Sky would represent a “anti-competitive aspect for the market“. This means that Sky will not be able to exclusively buy the TV rights for the broadcasting of matches, also on NowTV which, as is well known, is controlled by Pay TV.
This decision opens the door toentry into the Italian market of the giants of streaming. Netflix for its part has not yet made significant moves in the sector, while the same cannot be said of Amazon and its subsidiary Twitch.
Starting from Amazon Prime Video, abroad the platform has already moved towards live sports: emblematic is the agreement with the Premier League for the transmission of the Christmas Boxing Day matches but also of the last games of the championship, in a completely free.
That Jeff Bezos’ company is interested in this thriving market is not new, and indeed could take advantage of Twitch’s incredible success to maximize the range of transmissions. Recently the platform dedicated to gamers has been enriched with the Sport category. An offer for Serie A would therefore certainly not raise a surprise.
Still remaining in the streaming sector, it will be necessary also evaluate the position of DAZN, which has strengthened its presence in Germany by also buying the TV rights for the Champions League. The streaming service, net of the problems recorded in the first year, has also become a solid reality in our country and will hardly remain out of the game.