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Fox Sports’ Italian exit complete as web operations to close

Fox Sports Italia is set to cease its web operations at the end of the month, almost two years after its television operation shut down in Italy.

The Italian division of the pay-television broadcaster launched in August 2013 but ceased operations in June 2018. Its web operation had continued to operate but it is now set to close down, according to the Italia Oggi newspaper.

The decision has been taken by the Walt Disney Company, which completed its acquisition of the majority of 21st Century Fox’s assets in March last year. According to Italia Oggi, Fox Sports’ internet operation in Italy will close down on March 31.

Fox Sports Italia’s main drawing card when launching in 2013 was rights to football’s English Premier League, which it broadcast until 2016 before the competition returned to pay-television broadcaster Sky Italia. Fox Sports also held rights in Italy to the Spanish LaLiga and German Bundesliga football, plus the likes of baseball’s MLB, ice hockey’s NHL and NCAA college sports.

Fox Sports launched a second channel in Italy at the end of 2013 but this was closed down 18 months later. The two Fox Sports channels were carried on the Sky Italia platform while one was later carried on the rival Mediaset Premium platform.

Fox Sports moved exclusively to the Sky Italia platform in 2015 in a carriage agreement worth a reported €32m ($34.1m).