Sky bags Champions League rights, Mediaset out


Sky Italia has bagged exclusive rights to air over 340 UEFA Champions League and Europa League matches for three seasons. The pay TV group has acquired the rights after eliminating Mediaset of Italy.

Mediaset had acquired the prestigious European soccer rights in 2014 with a successful bid of $ 789 million for the 2014-2017 window. Sky will take over the rights from the 2018 season.

Even though sky did not disclose its bid value, it is reported to be between $ 320 million and $350 million per season.

Mediaset’s reported bid of $ 255 million per season was the closest to the Sky offer.

Sky Italia Chief Executive Andrea Zappia said in a statement he was “very happy with the result (of the tender)… which reinforces Sky’s position in sports programming in Italy”.

The group has 4.8 million subscribers in Italy.

Mediaset said in a statement its offer was “important but rational” and higher than the one offered in the past auction, but it did not disclose the amount, say media reports.

“Other operators attributed a higher value to the European competition … with the aim of gaining a dominating position in the pay-TV market,” the statement added.

In Britain, Sky was beaten by BT, which retained the Champions League rights by agreeing to pay $1.5 billion, nearly a third more than the previous auction.

But in Germany, Sky Deutschland secured a sub-licence deal with digital content and media provider Perform Group to show UEFA’s games in the country from next year. In France, Vivendi’s pay-TV business was beaten to the Champions League rights by a 350 million euros per year bid from Altice, putting it under further pressure.