Friday, June 21, 2024

Dazn or Sky, a war with pizzini: Serie A does not choose its channel


In the era of digital technology and streaming, the great Italian football matches are played with pizzini. Letters, responses, warnings, counter warnings, press releases. Then the game is played on television rights that, as everyone knows, are the oxygen mask of a movement suffocated by debt. Well, a few months after the new season, we still don’t know who and how will bring the league games of the next three years to our homes and mobile devices.

It is enough to think that since the beginning of the year there have already been 12 (twelve) Serie A League matches on the subject. It is a total stalemate. So far it is impossible to reach 14 of the 20 votes needed to make a decision. Sky offers 750 million in television exclusivity for all matches, plus the association for the creation of a League Ott platform that transmits them in streaming (by law, Sky cannot have an online exclusive). Dazn offers 840 million for the exclusivity of seven games plus coexistence for the other three. To this figure would therefore be added 70 million of Sky for the three races in joint ownership. So a total of 910 million, about eighty more than the competition, calculating with a bit of optimism how much the League could get from the direct sale of subscriptions to its channel and without taking into account the possible inclusion with Sky of Eleven Sports, a multinational company of sports television channels that also broadcast through their own platform Oct. So far the countless votes that have taken place in the assemblies of the Lega have seen a relative majority in favor of Dazn that last Wednesday obtained the votes from Atalanta, Fiorentina, Inter, Juventus, Lazio, Milan, Naples, Parma, Udinese and Verona, but for the first time Cagliari lost the yes, thus dropping from 11 to 10 preferences.

The story does not end substantially for two reasons. The first, the main one, is that the issue of football on television in the next three years is closely intertwined with the possible entry of investment funds in a new media company, 90% owned by the Lega and 10% in a venture capital consortium. constituted precisely to commercialize television rights and the Series A brand. An agreement that will immediately contribute 1,700 million euros to the coffers of the companies plus a line of credit at subsidized rates of another 1,200 million. A possibility that was initially well received by all and voted unanimously, but that later saw almost all the big clubs parade one by one, in the wake of Agnelli and De Laurentiis, irritated by the conditions posed by the funds (in particular, a anti-European Super League Clause and substantially free use of the archive rights currently held by individual companies). The followers of Dazn, which is the group that offers the most, are today the same ones who want to avoid committing themselves to the funds and for this they pay special attention to the purely economic aspect of the station’s offers.

But the second reason for not getting out of the stalemate is precisely that, even more so in this moment of crisis in Italian football, a few tens of millions more or less are not so important if an acceptable level of visibility is not maintained. championship. Can Dazn guarantee it? This is the subject of the dispute and the content of yesterday’s exchange of letters. Sky writes that if he wins the award, “the matches of the entire championship would be offered by both the League and Sky, with obvious benefits for Serie A, the clubs and the spectators, considering that they would be visible on all platforms. Even more so if we take into account the difficulties of 60% of Italian families to access the network with fast connections ». Dazn’s response: “Today, 99% of families, thanks to the wide coverage of the territory, can be equipped with a broadband connection with various technologies, excellent to receive all Internet services.” A slightly optimistic view …

The fight has no limits. Sky also writes that its offer was no longer put to a vote because it was deemed inadmissible as it was conditional on the creation of the Lega channel, but that it had actually been invited to make this commitment by the League itself in the course of private negotiations. Sky does not write, but does disclose, that the League’s legal advisor who allegedly raised this alleged irregularity in the past has assisted Telecom. It would be an obvious conflict of interest since Tim has declared himself a partner of Dazn “as the reference telephone and pay television operator”. In addition to the disbursement, neither confirmed nor denied by the company, of 340 of the 840 million per year that Sky’s competitors put on the plate.

In short, a good mess. The terms of the call expire on Monday, March 29. If no square is found for that date, you will have to start over. And maybe that would not be bad. That ad follows exactly the same guidelines of the last twenty years, when Ott platforms did not exist, football did not reach our tablets and mobile phones and could only be seen on Sky or Mediaset Premium, a de facto duopoly. It would not be bad to completely rethink the sales criteria, remembering that we are in 2021 and that there are new important players, such as Amazon or Apple or Disney, who could be interested in broadcasting less than 114 games (minimum currently allowed) and would contribute to reduce costs for fans. But to achieve this, a less controversial and more efficient soccer league would be needed. Impossible.

Last updated: 09:10 © REPRODUCTION RESERVED

Ebenezer Robbins
Ebenezer Robbins
Introvert. Beer guru. Communicator. Travel fanatic. Web advocate. Certified alcohol geek. Tv buff. Subtly charming internet aficionado.

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