The Lega Calcio, with the assistance of marketing group Infront Sports & Media, has launched the tender process for the Serie A television rights from 2010 as the Italian top-flight returns to selling television rights collectively.
Infront is the Lega's exclusive advisor in the exploitation of the national and international media rights for all its competitions, starting from the 2010/11 season, for six years.
The first rights to be offered are the exclusive domestic rights for Serie A for the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 seasons.
The tender, approval by the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) just last week and by the Italian Communications Authority (AGCOM) in May, was published earlier today.
For Serie A, six exclusive packages are available to media companies in Italy. For live rights, there is one package targeted at satellite broadcasters and two at digital terrestrial broadcasters.
The tender confirms recent speculation that the satellite package offers the winning broadcaster exclusive innovations such as allowing television cameras inside the dressing rooms and interviews at half-time.
There are two delayed highlights packages aimed at pay and free broadcasters, and a live and delayed package for radio.
Serie A will have two Saturday matches, one at 6.00pm and one at 8.45pm (replacing the 8.30pm kick-off), and eight matches on Sundays, one at 12.30pm (new additional lunchtime kick-off), six at the traditional 3.00pm slot and one match at 8.45pm (replacing the 8.30pm kick-off).
In another change, matches played in August and the last round of the season are now all due to kick off in the evenings rather than mostly in the afternoon, with the idea poised to be introduced from this season.
Sky Italia (satellite), Mediaset and Dahlia TV (both digital terrestrial) are expected to bid and win the three live packages on offer. Bidders have a deadline of 27 July to submit their offers.
"This is an exciting and challenging operation", said Marco Bogarelli, President of Infront Italy. "Infront's experience in the management of top football rights and our state-of-the-art approach to packaging will undoubtedly facilitate the tender process.
"The six different exclusive domestic packages on offer for Serie A fulfil a clear market need and ensure comprehensive coverage for millions of football fans in Italy."
The non-exclusive domestic rights and international tender is scheduled for launch later this year together with the rights to the Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana, Serie B and the Primavera competitions.
Despite Serie A being in the process of splitting from Serie B, broadcasters will be given a discount on the prices if they agree to show games from the struggling second tier too.
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