Amazon and DAZN in prime position for Champions League in Italy
Amazon, the online retail giant, is reported to have acquired rights to the Uefa Champions League in Italy, and could be joined by DAZN, the over-the-top streaming platform, replicating the broadcast picture in Germany for the next cycle.
First round bids in Italy were due on 12 October, and it is understood that Amazon has been successful with an €80 million ($93.8 million) per annum bid for 16 first pick Wednesday night games and the Super Cup for the 2021-22 to 2023-24 period.
Second round bids for the top 16 games on Tuesday nights and the remaining 104 matches per season were due on 15 October. According to reports in Italy, DAZN has outbid both incumbent Sky, the pay-TV operator, and commercial broadcaster Mediaset. Public-service broadcaster Rai had already ruled itself out of the bidding.
Amazon has already secured the A1 package of Champions League rights in Germany, comprising the first-pick live matches on Tuesday evenings, while DAZN won the main package of Wednesday night games in the next three-year cycle (public-service broadcaster ZDF secured live coverage of Champions League finals).
Champions League and Europa League rights are presently held in Italy by Sky in a three-year contract worth around €300 million per season. It is the first cycle in which four Italian clubs are guaranteed a place in the Champions League group stages.
In the first season of the contract, Sky sub-licensed Champions League rights to Rai, but then turned to Mediaset for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 campaigns.