Mediaset calls for regulatory action as Sky scoops UEFA rights

Italian broadcaster Mediaset has reacted to rival Sky Italia’s acquisition of the rights to four of the five available packages of rights to show UEFA Champions League football matches for 2012-15 by complaining about the deal to the country’s antitrust regulator. Mediaset is the current holder of the rights.

Sky has acquired the rights to broadcast two of the three live match packages, including the first pick of available matches on Tuesdays, as well as non-exclusive rights to highlights packages.

One remaining package, covering live rights to 16 Wednesday first-pick matches and the final (which will also be broadcast by Sky) along with the UEFA Super Cup has not yet been awarded.

Mediaset has alleged that Sky is abusing its dominant position in the market. According to the broadcaster, the amount paid by Sky for the rights defied economic logic and the acquisition was motivated by Sky’s desire to stifle competition. Mediaset has also argued that the DTH operator should be made to resell the digital-terrestrial pay rights to it on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.