After more than a year without a broadcaster in the region, Italian soccer’s top-league Serie A has found a permanent broadcaster in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) after accepting an offer from Abu Dhabi Media (ADM) worth a minimum total amount of €75 million – €23 million in the first season, €25 million in the second, and €31 million in the third.
According to Agence France-Presse (AFP), Abu Dhabi Media, an Emirati public body, have been awarded the rights for the next three seasons. To the guaranteed minimum income may be added any additional revenue linked to the number of subscribers that Italian soccer will generate on the platform, a spokesperson for Serie A told AFP.
In the absence of a satisfactory offer in its call for tenders last year, the Italian League had developed its own YouTube channel in Arabic to offer matches free of charge - five per day during the first part of the season, then the all ten matches from February. The call for tenders for the new three-year cycle in this region was deemed unsuccessful last year, penalized in particular by the absence of a new offer from beIN sport, holder of the rights until then.
Previously, beIN had criticized Serie A for having concluded partnerships with Saudi Arabia, in particular for the organization of the Italian Supercup. The Qatari group was in conflict with the Saudi state, which it accused of being behind BeoutQ, a system for pirating sports images. In June 2020, beIN suspended the broadcast of the Italian championship for a time due to this conflict. Back when the deal was signed, beIN Sports had reportedly paid some €112 million per season for the rights, almost 4.5 times more than what the new broadcaster will pay.