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Sky, Perform win Serie A soccer broadcast rights in Italy

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06/14/2018 | 01:03pm CEST
FILE PHOTO: Serie A - Juventus vs Hellas Verona

MILAN (Reuters) - Broadcaster Sky and sports media group Perform won the rights to screen top-flight Serie A football matches in Italy until 2021 for more than 973 million euros (893.1 million pounds) per season, Italy's soccer league chairman said.

Sky and Perform outbid Mediaset, Italy's biggest commercial broadcaster, which had strained its finances to buy rights in the previous three-year tender.

"The sale of TV rights has finally reached a conclusion," league Chairman Gaetano Micciche said.

The league had been trying for a year to auction the rights for 2018-2021.

European pay-TV firm Sky said it had secured exclusive rights to broadcast live 266 matches in Italy every season, or seven out of 10 Serie A games being played on a given day.

After buying the rights to show the remaining three matches from each round of fixtures, Perform Group will launch its DAZN streaming and on-demand service in Italy, offering subscriptions for 9.99 euros per month. DAZN said it would also show highlights of the seven games being broadcast by Sky.

UK-based Perform is owned by Access Industries, founded by billionaire Len Blavatnik.

Under the terms of the sale, the league is entitled to a further 100 million euros each season based on results achieved by Sky and Perform in terms of subscriptions and revenue, Micciche said.

The league kicked off a new bidding round for 2018-2021 rights this month after it cancelled a contract awarding them to Spanish multimedia group Mediapro.

The decision was taken after Chinese-owned Mediapro failed to present the necessary bank guarantees.

Mediapro had been expected to auction the rights to other operators but its tender was also cancelled by a Milan judge in May on grounds that it breached antitrust rules. This followed a legal challenge from Sky's Italian subsidiary.

Mediapro did not take part in Wednesday's auction for the rights of 400 matches, a source close to the league said on Wednesday.

The 2017-18 season of Italy's Serie A, which ended in May, was aired by both Sky's Italian subsidiary and Mediaset's pay-TV arm Premium.

Mediaset said in a statement it had offered a total of 600 million euros over three years and would now contact the winners of the tender to secure a deal in order to give its pay-TV customers access to matches.

(Additional reporting by Elvira Pollina and Giulia Segreti, editing by Cynthia Osterman and Jason Neely)

By Giancarlo Navach and Valentina Za

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