Seven clubs from Lega Serie A, the top division of football in Italy, have questioned the future role of the Infront Sports & Media agency as an adviser to the league on broadcast rights sales.
The seven clubs – Fiorentina, Internazionale, Juventus, Roma, Sampdoria, Sassuolo and Verona – wrote a letter to league president Maurizio Beretta and the division’s other 13 clubs in which they called for a fresh assessment of the league’s media rights strategy. The clubs also demanded that a tender should take place to appoint an adviser for the next cycle of rights, from 2015-16 to 2017-18. Infront’s contract was for six seasons, from 2010-11 to 2015-16.
The clubs believe that Infront has been paid an excessive commission – Eur35 million – for selling the media rights for the 2012-13 to 2014-15 seasons. The clubs also highlighted the discrepancy between the value of the Serie A’s international rights deals and that of the English Premier League and said that there needed to be a plan in place to maximise the value of domestic and international rights in the long term.
The clubs suggested that a meeting should take place with the league’s live broadcast partners, Sky Italia and Mediaset, to gauge their intentions in the next rights cycle. They would like an independent revenue estimate to be commissioned ahead of negotiations and then for the advisory company which has come up with the best rights strategy to be appointed.