PwC, KPMG, Wasserman, IMG team up to bid for Serie A rights

Joseph O'Halloran | 01-11-2013

In a ‘come and get me’ plea as strong as any made by players, PwC, KPMG, Wasserman and IMG have expressed interest to manage the sale of Serie A TV rights for the three seasons starting from 2015-16.

The Italian Football Premiership is still big box office despite its lustre waning somewhat since its glory days of the 1990s, knocked off its perch by the English Premier League featuring top players such as Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney; and La Liga, home of galácticos Lionel Messi, Barcelona’s serial Ballon D’Or winner, and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Spanish and English leagues are the beneficiaries of huge amounts of money from global broadcast giants and the Italian league has been playing catch-up.

To date, only the incumbent Infront had expressed interest in managing Serie A rights and its current bid has been criticised by some for not offering the eye-watering increases in revenue that the other leagues have banked on, literally.

TV rights are by far the primary source of revenues for Italian football, which continues to face significant financial troubles. At about €1 billion per season, TV rights represent some 65% of Serie A revenue, a far higher share than for other big leagues in Europe.

Commenting on the situation at a meeting of club executives, Andrea Agnelli, president of leading Italian football club Juventus, said: "Everybody is aiming to maximise TV revenues, so it is necessary to listen to all the players in order to choose the best proposal…

"We want to propose a transparent working system that allows the best proposal to be chosen. Since our last meeting a year ago, the Italian football situation has remained blocked … the loss of competitiveness is so obvious that it would be irresponsible to deny it."