SERIE A TV DEALS NOT GOING TO PLAN
There has been an increased focus on Italian football this season, as Juventus have failed to take their usual top spot in Serie A and because of this, there is a sense that a new era of dominance is about to begin.
Of course, whether any club can match the efforts of Turin’s Old Lady over the course of the next decade remain to be seen and although we are set to see a titanic tussle for this season’s Scudetto, there have also been some interesting skirmishes off the pitch.
That’s because Serie A’s new media rights holding company was attracting interest from private equity groups and with as many as seven bidders looking to invest in Italian football, it was believed that CVC had been chosen as the preferred partner.
Which would mean this new partnership was worth an eye-watering €1.7bn and even then, CVC would only be getting their hands on 10% of this new entity, making Serie A’s new venture worth €17bn in total.
While although this would be considered something of a cash bonanza for those within Italian football’s top tier, there is a considerable snag and that is the fact that CVC are yet to put pen to paper.
In addition to this, there is not only hesitancy that is being showed by the money men, but also the potential desire to walk away and if this were to happen, it would leave the league’s governors with an incredible amount of egg on their face.
Because not only have CVC had cold feet regarding their sizeable investment and this has been stemmed by a perceived lack of value in the league’s international rights, but also there has been a shortfall in terms of domestic monies.
The same media rights company recently put out their domestic rights to tender and inspired by big money deals in both England’s Premier League and France’s Ligue 1, the target was to receive bids of approximately €1.15bn.
Usually in such a scramble and like how CVC eventually won out their own financial tussle, several suitors get involved and in doing so, it only drives up the final figure required to facilitate such business.
However, in terms of Serie A’s next domestic rights cycle, only one bidder has dipped their toe in the water and with relative newcomers DAZN offering just €840m for the rights, that is €335m short of the outlined target.
Which leaves those in charge of the rights with something of a dilemma and with a lack of rival suitors, it means a lack of options and if nobody else comes to the fore, DAZN could end up signing a deal on the relative cheap.
Something that would only prove to be an additional hammer blow, when added to the threat of CVC walking away and this means, just when Italian clubs were looking to steer clear of financial frustration, they could be set to tighten their belts once more.