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DAZN to cover Serie A in Italy 2021-2024

DAZN secures Serie A rights for 3 years in deal worth nearly $3 billion

March 29, 2021 By Michelle Bonsu
Only four of the 20 teams competing in Italian football's top flight voted against the broadcast change for the next three seasons.

Although DAZN, the OTT (over-the-top) streaming service was only founded in July 2015, it has quickly been making a name for itself worldwide since launching in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan in August of 2016.

Since arriving in Italy in 2018, the company has sought to establish itself as the premium provider of Serie A coverage, and it's finally gotten its wish, beating off Sky Italia, who have long enjoyed a pretty much largely undisputed position as the go-to source of Serie A coverage for fans living on the peninsula.

According to reports, DAZN offered a bid of about $1.02 billion (€850 million) per season starting in 2021 for the 2021/2022, 2022/2023, and 2023/2024 campaigns. By contrast, Sky Italia's bid was approximately $902 million (€750 million) per season, a full $100 million (100 million) less than what their newly arrived competitors DAZN were prepared to pay. 

So, it's not surprising, then, that given the financial hit many Serie A clubs suffered due to COVID-19, that their heads were turned by the bigger sums offered by DAZN, who are eager to finally get their foot in the door into more markets in Europe.

Ultimately, 16 of the 20 teams featuring in Italian football's top flight voted in favor of the DAZN deal, and the company have now been granted a contract worth just under $3 billion (€2.5 billion).

Which teams voted against this new contract?

Well, for starters, it won't surprise anyone that none of them are big teams in Italy, so one wouldn't see the likes of Juventus, AC Milan, or Inter on this list. Napoli, Roma, Fiorentina, and Lazio also voted in favor of the contract.

The four teams who didn't want the DAZN deal are:

- Genoa

- Sampdoria

- Sassuolo

- Crotone

This is very interesting. For starters, well, Crotone are bottom of the table, and are set to be relegated to Serie B, so, they may be feeling that this won't even benefit them anyway. Who knows - although fellow relegation-threatened sides like Parma, Cagliari, and Torino did vote in its favor. Meanwhile, city rivals Genoa and Sampdoria sit in 13th and 10th respectively, so they must have their own unique reasons for voting against this new deal; the same would apply to Sassuolo, who are presently in eighth. 

Unfortunately for them, the majority rules, and the deal will go through for the upcoming campaign. Why is this significant? Because, as mentioned before, DAZN is an OTT, streaming service. Sky is generally a traditional, "linear pay TV" platform, and so thus presents again another kind of shift from how people are going to be consume their media as this billion-dollar (or euro) deal is certainly among the largest observers and financial analysts have seen in recent times. 


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