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Sky, Mediaset in race for Italy's TV football rights

Rights to 400 Serie A football matches are being auctioned off

Sky and Italian broadcaster Mediaset have made bids in an auction of TV broadcasting rights for Italy's top flight Serie A football matches, a source close to the championship league said on Wednesday.

The Italian Serie A League kicked off a new bidding round for the 2018-2021 season rights earlier this month after it cancelled a contract awarding them to the to Spanish multimedia group Mediapro.

The decision was taken as the Barcellona-based, but Chinese-owned, group had failed to present the necessary bank guarantees.

Mediapro had been expected to auction off the rights to other operators but its tender was also cancelled by a Milan judge in May on grounds that it breached antitrust rules. This followed a legal challenge from Sky's Italian subsidiary.

Mediapro did not take part in Wednesday's auction for the rights of the 400 matches, the source said, adding that British-based sports media group Perform was also one of the bidders.

The process to award the rights to Italy's main football championship has been going on for over a year.

The 2018 season of Italy's Serie A, which ended in May, was aired by both Sky's Italian subsidiary and Mediaset's pay-Tv arm Premium.

Bids for the rights to air the next three seasons, grouped in different packages, were due by 0900 GMT on Wednesday, with the League expected to assign them by the end of the day.

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