DAZN nears football-broadcast deal with Sky in Italy
Online sports broadcaster DAZN Group Ltd. is in advanced talks with rival Comcast Corp.’s Sky about a distribution partnership for Italy’s top football league, Serie A, according to people familiar with the matter.
DAZN, which last year won a deal valued at 2.5 billion euros (then $3 billion) to become the exclusive domestic broadcaster of Serie A, now plans to share broadcast rights with Sky Italia, the people said, asking not to be mentioned since the discussions aren’t public. A final agreement hasn’t been reached though a deal could be announced as soon as this week, the people said. Financial terms weren’t available.
Before DAZN won the Serie A rights auction for Italy in 2021, Sky had been the main domestic broadcaster for Italy’s top football tournament for about two decades.
The possible accord is part of a renegotiated agreement that also involves Telecom Italia SpA, the people said. In early 2021, under the tenure of then Chief Executive Officer Luigi Gubitosi, Telecom Italia reached an agreement with DAZN to provide distribution and technological support as well as financing of about 1 billion euros for its bid to broadcast the next three seasons of Serie A.
The deal didn’t reach the targets that Telecom Italia had set, and the phone carrier needed to book 548 million euros in non-recurring provisions.
Telecom Italia’s board could approve the new deal with DAZN in a board meeting on Wednesday, the people added. The phone carrier will report earnings on the same day.
Representatives for DAZN and Sky Italia weren’t available after normal business hours. A spokesman for Telecom Italia declined to comment. Bloomberg