Mediaset closes in on Rai's FTA Champions League package in Italy
Mediaset, the commercial broadcasting network in Italy, is close to sealing a two-year deal with pay-television's Sky Italia for free-to-air rights to the Uefa Champions League, according to reports in the country.
Public-service broadcaster Rai presently has a free-to-air package of rights that includes the best match involving an Italian team on Wednesday nights in each round of matches, plus two semi-final games, the final and the annual Super Cup.
Rai pays Sky around €40 million ($45.3 million) per season for the rights, but its board has been reluctant to sanction a similar outlay for the 2019-20 season, with Mediaset ready to step in.
Sky holds Champions League rights until the end of the 2020-21 campaign, and Mediaset's two-year offer is said to appeal to the pay-TV operator.
It is understood that Mediaset, which showed the Champions League in Italy up to last season, has offered €50 million per season, with an additional Tuesday night match involving two non-Italian sides included in the package.
The Wednesday game would air on Canal 5, and the Tuesday game on Rete 4.
This year's Champions League was the first to have four automatic places reserved for Italian clubs following changes to the qualifying structure. Juventus are the sole Italian club left in the competition, with their quarter-final tie against Ajax poised at 1-1 heading into the second leg in Turin on Tuesday.