Serie A involves sports media agencies to reduce television shortfall – sources

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MILAN, October 19 (Reuters) – Top-tier Italian football clubs on Tuesday agreed to involve media rights agencies in negotiating the sale of Serie A pay-TV licenses in the Middle East and North Africa in order to reduce the shortfall in its media revenues, two said sources familiar with the matter.

As Qatari broadcaster beIn has been reluctant to join the bidding process and a deal with rival Saudi Sport Company has proved elusive, Serie A faces a $ 330 million shortfall. euros ($ 384.4 million) in international TV revenue over the three years to 2024 here.

This comes at a time when many clubs are in need of new resources to deal with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a bid to narrow the revenue gap, Serie A clubs on Tuesday allowed league general manager Luigi De Siervo to mandate sports media agencies to strike a deal of at least € 50m per season, the sources said.

Any tenure would last 30 days and be on a non-exclusive basis, added the people, who joined a league meeting on Tuesday.

Serie A, home of Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan, have previously used media agencies to market licenses but have chosen to handle the sale of the 2021-2024 cycle internally. However, the market has proven to be difficult, with major broadcast players in the region showing little interest so far.

So far, the Italian league has secured contracts worth around 640 million euros for the broadcast of live matches abroad during the period 2021-2024. During the previous three-year cycle, it collected € 970 million in adjusted revenues from the sale of international TV rights licenses.

To avoid a complete blackout of their matches in a market that includes countries such as Egypt, Morocco and the Gulf states, Serie A in July struck a backup deal to broadcast some of their matches for free on the Google-owned YouTube video platform.

$ 1 = 0.8586 euros Report by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Jan Harvey


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