Bids in for Italian soccer as anti-trust probe launched

By Julian Clover

July 28, 2009

Sky Italia, Mediaset and Dahlia TV are among five media groups that have placed bids for the media rights to top-flight soccer football, the Italian football association Lega Calcio said on Monday.

The news comes after an announcement last Friday that the competition authorities had launched a probe into the sale because it believed it had been set up to favour the pay-TV companies rather than the viewers.

Sky Italia is going head to head with Mediaset for the TV rights for the next two seasons. Mediaset, which runs the terrestrial pay platform Mediaset Premium, also faces competition from Dahlia TV. The former La7 Cartapiù is now owned by the Swedish Airplus group.

Only three of the six packages relate to the live broadcast rights of Serie A matches, one for satellite and two for the DTT platforms. Radio station RTL 102.5 and online broadcaster TheBlogTV have also submitted bids.
The packages will be decided upon within the next seven days and are estimated to be worth €895.8 million to the league.

The satellite package is valued at an estimated €570 million, while the terrestrial package has an initial €210 million placed on it.