Infront secures Serie A international rights deal with €139 million bid
Serie A has announced its domestic broadcast contract with Infront for the 2021/22 and 2023/24 seasons after a long wait. To ensure that their fans receive amazing material, this top-flight league reviewed 49 bidders, including Kosmos, IMG, and Mediapro. Despite close competition from big names, Infront and their €139 million per year bid emerged victorious.
This deal with Infront had been in the works for months, but when Serie A approved it after the second round of talks, it was well worth the wait. There are some exceptions to this global rights agreement, which covers Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The United States, as well as the Middle East and North Africa, will not receive Infront coverage. However, this is not all bad news as US fans can access this league through CBS. In terms of the Middle East and North Africa, the league is tendering this region separately.
Bruno Marty, Infront’s senior vice-president of Prosports, shared his excitement at the possibility of bringing Serie A to new audiences. Infront has a range of objectives for Serie A this season, one of which is to boost the league’s international brand appeal. Infront has already formed a relationship with the club, serving as its media production service provider. Bruno defined this established relationship as an advantage, allowing for a smooth transition with a clear understanding of what Serie A is looking for.
Infront’s previous success with Serie A gives the league optimism for this season. However, they may need something more than optimism, as president Luigi de Siervo expects a drop in the value of the league’s foreign rights revenue. The primary culprit of this expected decrease is BeIN, which used to be worth half of Serie A’s package. Since they did not bid for these rights in the auction, BeIN is no longer part of this package. They’ve not only declined to bid, but they’ve also made it impossible for friends or intermediaries to make a bid.
The league hoped to deliver an offer of up to €500 million during the early stages of the sales process. This was a big step forward for the league in comparison to previous years. IMG, Serie A’s last international broadcaster, was paying in the region of €370 million per season, including technical costs, betting rights, and the Coppa Italia Knockout competition. This goal offer seemed to be drifting away from Serie A. The most likely cause of this funding shortfall is BeIN’s lack of interest in bidding for the Middle East and North Africa. However, constraints from the pandemic, and the world’s declining media-rights markets, have also resulted in a shortage of offers.
Despite a large drop in international media rights sales, the league has some positive news. Lega Serie A will save between €50 million and €60 million per season in commission fees to Infront, the league’s new media-rights adviser.