Rai retains FTA Lega Basket rights, SN1 in line for international sales remit
Rai, the Italian public-service broadcaster, has retained free-to-air rights to Lega Basket, the top domestic basketball league for the next two seasons, while SN1 Consulting, the Munich-based boutique media rights consultancy headed by Sascha Kojic, looks to have landed the international rights.
The agreement with Rai for free-to-air and radio rights closes the Italian sales process, after Eurosport, the Discovery-owned, pan-European sports broadcaster, retained the pay-television rights for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons last month.
The LBA, the Italian league, said it has accepted the offer from SN1 for international audiovisual rights to the league and knockout Coppa Italia, with the official award of the package to take place after a period of 45 days from the communication to the AGCM, the Italian antitrust authority, in accordance with Italy’s Melandri Decree, which governs the sale of media rights.
Rai will televise the late Sunday Lega Basket game as well as highlights, which it can show from 11pm (CET) on the last day of that week of matches. It will additionally show selected matches from the Coppa Italia.
The radio package includes all games.
The FTA and radio package had gone unsold last month when Discovery secured the pay rights, with the LBA saying at the time that it may launch another tender.
The league set a base price of €1.6 million ($1.9 million) for the pay-TV rights in the 2020-21 season, and €1.7 million in the 2021-22 season.
Eurosport was paying upwards of €1.5 million per season from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
The reserve price for FTA rights was understood to be €600,000 in season one, and €700,000 in season two.
Rai paid around €500,000 per year in the last cycle.
The LBA was forced to terminate the 2019-20 season early, with no champion crowned, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and, with forthcoming games set to be played behind closed doors, is projecting losses of up to €40 million because of a lack of ticketing and sponsorship revenue, and potential refunds to broadcasters.Sportcal