As European football leagues start in the coming weekends, one league looks to revamp its reputation and capitalise on the booming football market.
Serie A is the Italian first division league where teams compete for the coveted Scudetto and the Coppa Campioni d'Italia. The Scudetto appears as a decoration on the jersey of the league winners that embraces the Italian tricolour flag.
In recent years Italian football has been in decline with an Italian side last winning the European topflight Champions League in 2010 with Inter Milan while Juventus have reached the finals in 2015 & 2017.
But a new TV deal could change the struggle of Italian club football. All 20 Serie A teams have voted in favour of a review of a potential private equity firm to take a 10% stake in the media side of Italian club football. The estimated value of the 10% stake is around €1.6 billion, and with CVC and Bain in contention, the potential stake could see the international trademarks and commercial development of the Serie A catch up to its continental siblings. CVC has recently been joined by Fondo FSI, an Italian investment group that values the league to be around €13 billion.
This stake purchase will see these companies control the leagues broadcasting rights for 10 seasons. Currently half of the Serie A revenue comes from broadcasting, but it is far, far behind the likes of the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga & Ligue 1. Serie A has struggled to gain a global audience as its approach was more national based than going global such as top Premier League and La Liga sides.
Currently, Sky Italia and DAZN control the TV rights for €973 million which is €200 million behind La Liga and with COVID-19 being a nightmare for live sports, topflight teams in Serie A have lost a combined €500 Million according to the FIGC. It is a tough time for football fans and club finances alike, but the precarious economy of Italy has been a strain on Italian football for over a decade now.