MILAN (Reuters) – Amazon will get the exclusive rights to screen the top European Champions League matches in Italy for the 2021-2024 season, three sources close to the matter said, in what will be the first attempt to broadcast sporting events in the country.
UEFA last month invited broadcasters to bid for the rights to screen Europe’s premier football competition in Italy, in one of the biggest broadcast rights sales in the European football industry following this year’s coronavirus outbreak.
Amazon is close to gaining the exclusive rights to broadcast Wednesday’s Champions League match on its Prime Video streaming platform in Italy for around 80-90 million euros, the sources said, in a move seen as a way to increase Prime’s subscription service.
Italy’s top pay TV broadcaster SKY, which is owned by US Comcast’s, is close to a deal to buy most of the Champions League and Europa League matches, the sources said.
The offer for SKY is worth around 100-110 million euros per season, two sources said.
Italy’s top commercial broadcaster Mediaset almost won non-exclusive rights to the top Champions League match to be played on Tuesday for around 45-50 million euros, sources added.
The final sale results of the deal are expected to be announced at the end of this week, the sources said.
One source said a separate tender to sell the Europa League streaming rights may be held in January, as SKY was unable to buy the rights due to an Italian antitrust ruling preventing pay TV from securing exclusive content for its video streaming platform.
In 2017 SKY bought the exclusive rights to broadcast Champions League and European football matches in Italy for around 270 million euros per season.
SKY and Amazon declined to comment. Mediaset admits that they are still waiting for the right to be granted.
Reporting by Elvira Pollina, editing by Ed Osmond