- Serie A backup deal with YouTube could last up to a year, Reuters says
- Previous three-year US $ 500 million contract with BeIN Sports expired in 2021
- Reuters reports that the Italian league generated 640 million euros in overseas media rights sales for the 2021-2024 cycle
Italian football’s elite Serie A are set to launch their own Arabic-language YouTube channel to broadcast their matches in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for the 2021/22 season.
According to Reuters, Serie A clubs voted in favor of the move on Friday amid the league’s struggles to secure a broadcast deal in the region.
The Reuters report added that the deal with the Google-owned video platform could last up to a year and will be suspended if Serie A is able to sell its MENA rights to a broadcaster.
The move comes amid Serie A’s current stalemate in the region with Qatari network BeIN Sports, which has not offered to renew its media rights deal which expired at the end of last season.
Serie A’s relationship with BeIN, whose previous three-year deal in MENA, Australia and France was worth US $ 500 million, has been strained by the league’s close relationship with Saudi Arabia being given the country’s ties to the BeoutQ hacking operation.
In June 2020, BeIN implemented a week-long blackout of its Serie A coverage due to the league’s inactivity in the face of piracy.
Serie A are facing a significant drop in overseas rights revenues due to their inability to strike a deal in the MENA region. After receiving 970 million euros ($ 1.14 billion) from its previous round of international TV rights, Reuters reports that Serie A has so far managed to recover 640 million euros ($ 754 million) of its current agreements for the 2021 to 2024 cycle.
Speaking to the Associated Press (AP) in April, Serie A chairman Luigi de Siervo warned that the league’s overseas rights revenues “will certainly go down”, citing BeIN as “our bigger problem ”.
Serie A are set to launch their own Arabic-language YouTube channel to broadcast their matches in the Middle East and North Africa for the 2021/22 season.