Serie B enters private talks after FTA bids fall short
Lega B, Italian soccer's second tier, is to conduct private negotiations with broadcasters over the sale of free-to-air rights, after deeming the submitted bids were too low.
At the Lega B general assembly in Milan yesterday, attended by representatives of 20 clubs, it was unanimously decided to reject the offer from Rai, the public-service broadcaster, understood to be in the region of €2.5 million ($2.94 million) per season.
Commercial rival Mediaset is reported to have offered €1 million per season for the Friday night free-to-air package for 2018-19 to 2020-21.
Lega B will now hold private talks with Rai and Mediaset in the hope of having a deal in place by 16 July.
Mauro Balata, president of Lega B said: "The free-to-air game must be valued and the offers were lower than the fair value we give them. Next Monday we will have new talks with Rai and Mediaset."
On 29 June, Perform, the international digital sports content and media group, was awarded the main package of live Serie B rights in Italy.
The three-year multi-platform deal paves the way for all 11 matches per week, including 10 exclusively, to be shown on DAZN, Perform’s over-the-top streaming service, which is launching in Italy next season.
Balata said that DAZN deal was worth a basic €22 million per season, plus bonuses and that, when a separate free-to-air agreement is secured, will ensure media rights revenues at least 25-per-cent higher than under the previous exclusive contract with pay-TV operator Sky Italia.
Perform announced the launch of DAZN in Italy this month after securing a live rights package for Serie A, comprising 114 games per season, in a three-year deal worth €193.3 million per annum.