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Round-Up: Serie A fees stop, Taiwan admits fans, LaLiga has no restart date, and more

Romelu Lukaku of Internazionale and Alex Sandro of Juventus compete for the ball during the Serie A match on March 8 (by Claudio Villa - Inter/Inter via Getty Images)

Pay-television broadcaster Sky, OTT operator DAZN, and the IMG agency have not paid their instalments due for Serie A’s 2019-20 domestic media rights, it has been reported.

The instalments are thought to total €220m ($239m) but the companies are said to have held off on meeting them due to the ongoing shutdown of the league because of Covid-19.

Sky Italia, DAZN and IMG were due to make their latest rights fee instalment payments on May 1 as part of their deals running from 2018-19 to 2020-21.

Domestic live rights to Serie A games are held by Sky and DAZN in deals worth €973m per season. IMG’s deal is worth just over €380m per season for international broadcast rights, club archive rights, betting rights, a marketing spend and fee for access to the broadcast signal.

All three have been looking for a deferral on any rights fee payment given the current suspension of the league and no visibility on when – or if – the 2019-20 season will resume.

Sky has written a letter to the clubs and the league to reiterate that it will not pay the sixth and final fee instalment and has bemoaned the fact that no counter proposals have been suggested, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport.

International pay-television broadcaster beIN Media Group, which holds the exclusive Serie A rights in 36 territories, has been moving closer to terminating its Serie A rights agreement with IMG, as recently reported by SportBusiness. BeIN is currently in the second season of a three-season deal, paying $170m (€157m) per season. The deal includes France, Spain, Australia, Turkey, seven Asian territories and a further 24 in the Middle East and North Africa.

On May 1, the Serie A clubs reiterated their desire to finish the 2019-20 season at a league assembly meeting.

Spanish football’s LaLiga said it had “no confirmed dates” for a restart of its 2019-20 season. Last week, the manager of the Leganes team said the league would restart on June 20.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas told Movistar Plus last night: “I would like [the restart] to be on June 12, but we have to be careful, that does not depend on football, it depends on Spanish society, we must continue to be very focused on complying with health regulations.”

He added: “They will start both competitions at the same time [LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank]…there will be football every day when LaLiga returns.”

Taiwan on Friday allowed 1,000 fans to attend several baseball matches around Taipei.

The United Arab Emirates has offered to host this year’s Indian Premier League, if it cannot be hosted in India due to Covid-19. Organiser the Board of Control for Cricket in India said it was too early to decide whether the tournament could be played abroad, given current travel restrictions.

ATP Tour chief executive Andrea Gaudenzi said he still hopes the tour can complete its 2020 season.

Narinder Batra’s term as president of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has been extended until May 2021. A presidential election was set to take place at this year’s FIH congress, but the event was postponed due to Covid-19.

The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) has cancelled the 2020 Volleyball Nations League due to Covid-19. The women’s league was due to begin on May 19 and the men’s on May 22.

US golf competition the Memorial Tournament, in Dublin, Ohio, plans to use radio frequency identification (RFID) chips issued to attendees to ensure social distancing is maintained. The tournament is to take place on July 16-19.

The 2020 PGA of Australia tour will be extended into 2021. The organisation said this schedule would become “the new norm”, and it would look at having regular tournaments in January and February.

W Series, the women’s motor racing series, is launching an esports competition for women drivers.