You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sky, Mediaset reach Serie B agreement

Appeal of Italy's soccer league second-tier to auds boosted by Juventus relegation

ROME — Rupert Murdoch’s Sky Italia and Mediaset reached a deal in principle worth nearly Euros 50 million ($64 million) to broadcast over 200 matches of Italy’s Serie B profes-sional soccer this season, officials familiar with the negotiations said on Friday.

The final details are expected to be hammered out as soon as next week, including provisions on encrypting the broadcast signals for satellite and digital terrestrial broadcast. A final contract may not be ratified until January, a league official added, but matches are expected to be broadcast long before then.

If the deal is reached as expected it would be the first time that all second division Serie B matches are shown on TV in Italy, a major boost for many cash-strapped clubs and it would represent a major victory for the league. Last month, league officials threatened to postpone the season unless a league-wide TV contract could be reached.

“A gentleman’s agreement has been reached that would enable Sky to broadcast all the matches on satellite and Mediaset to broadcast the matches of Juventus, Genoa and Naples, their home and away games,” an official at Lega Calcio said.

The Euros 50 million, which in-cludes the rights to broadcast high-lights for the next two seasons and live matches for this season, would repre-sent a near three-fold increase in revenues for the league over last year’s contract, held by Sportitalia. Sportitalia dropped out of the negotiation re-cently.

Oddly, Serie B is one of the few benefactors of a match-fixing scandal this summer that forced the demotion of one-time soccer powerhouse Juventus from the top league. With Juventus in Serie B now, plus recent promotions by popular clubs Naples and Genoa, the interest in broadcasting matches has never been greater, the league official said.

But it’s unclear how long the euphoria over Serie B football will last. Sky and Mediaset have only signed on for one year, as opposed to the normal three years. And, the league has yet to figure out how to share the broadcast money equally with each club, a major point of contention among the smaller club owners.

But there is promise. Mediaset chief Pier Silvio Berlusconi and Lega Calcio chairman Antonio Mattarese have been negotiating to bring all Serie B match broadcasts to digital terrestrial TV alongside the satellite broadcasts.

More TV

  • Game of Thrones finale

    Six Things We Learned From 'Game of Thrones: The Last Watch' Documentary

    HBO gave fans a long parting look at the making of “Game of Thrones” on Sunday night in a two-hour documentary that focused on the Herculean efforts by the small army craft and technical experts who worked on the mammoth fantasy drama. “Game of Thrones: The Last Watch” introduced viewers to the leaders of the [...]

  • 'Killing Eve' Season 2 Failed Where

    'Killing Eve' Season 2 Stumbled Where 'Barry' Soared (Column)

    SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers for the entire second seasons of “Killing Eve” and “Barry.”  I was dead certain that “Killing Eve” and “Barry” — two of my favorite television debuts of 2018 — should have ended after a single season. Both coincidentally starring unstable assassins, the shows were smart, propulsive, and extremely weird [...]

  • A.P. BIO -- "Melvin" Episode 208

    'AP Bio' Canceled After Two Seasons at NBC

    “AP Bio” has been canceled at NBC. Series creator Mike O’Brien shared the news with fans on Twitter, writing that “This has been my favorite project of my life.” In the single-camera comedy, Glenn Howerton portrayed a disgraced Harvard philosophy scholar who lost out on his dream job and was forced to return to Toledo, [...]

  • James Holzhauer $2 million

    'Jeopardy!' Champion James Holzhauer Hits $2 Million Winnings Milestone

    This current “Jeopardy!” player has just won over $2 million on the popular game show. Who is James Holzhauer? The 34 year old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas has hit a “Jeopardy!” milestone by becoming only the second person in the show’s history to win over $2 million in regular season play. Holzhauer won [...]

  • Kanye West Shares a Memory of

    Kanye West Shares a Touching Memory of His Mother in Letterman Interview

    In a preview of David Letterman’s interview with Kanye West, which begins streaming next Friday, May 31, the musician’s wife Kim Kardashian West, tweeted a clip of him sharing a touching memory of his mother, Donda, who died in 2007 after a surgical procedure. While his wife looks on smiling, West answers Letterman’s question about [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content