Italian football is on the verge of a pivotal change. Last summer’s roadshow around the world could have attracted serious investors but the decision is not easy.
This is a moment of change for the Italian Serie A. The league of the ‘Bel Paese’ needs fresh economic resources to boost its appeal going ahead in a process of reconstruction of a league that in the past was the most important in the planet. However, as reported by Italian outlet ‘Gazzetta dello Sport’, the Serie A League assembly did not accept the proposal of the International Bank of Qatar who had offered the 20 top-flight clubs a package of financial guarantees of €13 billion over 10 years.
The proposal has not obtained the necessary consents from the clubs. Only 13 votes in favor were not enough to give a green light sealing a deal. Fiorentina, Inter, Juventus, and Torino voted against it, while Sassuolo abstained and Napoli and Roma were absent. According to ‘Gazzetta dello Sport’ the uncertain information about the financial transaction and the fact that many clubs already have individual relationships with other banks, including international ones, are the reasons why Serie A rejected Qatar’s winks.
Apparently, the recently approved tender for the 2018-21 Serie A television rights seems to benefit, once again, media companies such as Sky and Mediaset that will release identical packages based on the types of technology. In light of that, the real competition is on streaming. According to ‘La Repubblica’, this package is on sale for €160 million per year. Reportedly Telecom Italia and Vodafone will not make a bid but the British group Perform, a company that has already acquired the German football, is ready to put its tentacles on the Italian league as well.
Amazon is silently evaluating what to do carefully examining the tender. The giant of e-commerce wants to develop important projects in Italy and its interest in football is well-known. Can the American super-power hegemonize the market putting itself in a position of advantage in the world of football as well?
The answer is yes! Amazon virtually has unlimited capital to get what it wants. Although currently, the broadband network in Italy is still weak the situation is evolving and improvements should be completed so that the potential customer pool in the period 2018-21 will be much larger than today.
Amazon could be a threat to Sky and Mediaset as well. The US company would have three years to try to snatch subscribers from them. How and why? As I previously highlighted, the Serie A streaming package is offered with an auction base of €160 million a year. It is €100 million less than the satellite and digital. Moreover, the prices of subscriptions to internet content are on average lower. The concomitant effect of low prices and fast network broadband could be an appealing factor to people that would be able to follow the Italian league at a discount.