BUSINESS NEWS | Serie A TV Rights Holders Freeze Payment Amid Virus Uncertainty

MILAN – The companies holding the broadcasting rights to Italy’s top-flight Serie A soccer championship, including Comcast’s Unit SKY, have not paid the last installment of the 2019/2020 season, which has been halted due to the coronavirus outbreak, three sources familiar with the matter said.

Serie A was suspended on March 9 and the league and the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) want the season to be completed, playing matches without spectators.

The Italian government has not yet decided whether it will give its permission for the league to do so, although it lifted a ban on individual training last week.

Italy’s top pay-TV operator SKY, sport digital firm DAZN and global sports agency IMG did not play the 2019/2020 final installment, totaling roughly 220 million euros, the three sources said.

Serie A’clubs were expecting to receive the payment by the end of this week, one of the sources said.

The installment is part of a 1.3 billion euro annual free which right holders pour into Serie A’s club coffers to screen matches under a three-year agreement expiring next season.

Sources previously said rights holders had each presented Serie A with separate proposal for postponing or reducing the amount of payments due to clubs, in the light of the suspension of matches, but each proposal were rebuffed by the clubs.

An extraordinary meeting of Serie A club representatives is expected to discuss the issue on Wednesday.


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