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Serie A left without Brazilian broadcaster as DAZN exits deal

DACIA ARENA, UDINE, ITALY - 2020/07/23: Douglas Costa of Juventus FC in action. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The 2020-21 Italian Serie A season is in serious danger of being left without a broadcaster in Brazil as OTT platform DAZN has cancelled its deal one year early, SportBusiness understands.

DAZN’s rights to Serie A and Serie B in Brazil were set to run until the end of the next season having agreed a two-and-a-half-season deal which began from the 15th matchweek of the 2018-19 season.

It is understood that the OTT platform cancelled the deal due to negative financial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on sporting events.

Much of DAZN’s content offering in Brazil is based on global football leagues, including the English Premier League, the French Ligue 1 and Major League Soccer.

The OTT platform has a wide-ranging deal with Serie A, holding rights to the Italian league in Canada, the DACH region, Japan as well as the property’s domestic market of Italy. Its rights in Italy are shared with pay-television broadcaster Sky Italia.

Sky and OTT platform DAZN hold the live domestic rights to Serie A in deals worth €973m per season. Sky Italia pays the bulk of that fee with its contribution standing at €780m per season which give it the rights to seven out of the 10 weekly Serie A fixtures.

DAZN pays €193.3m per season for the rights to the remaining three fixtures per week.

The Covid-19 pandemic has strained the leagues relationship with its principal broadcasters, including DAZN.

The OTT platform and Serie A required the two parties to reach an agreement over the late payment of rights fees. DAZN missed its May payment and a deal was agreed that would see the payment split into two and paid in June and July.

The league is also in a legal battle with Sky Italia after the former filed an injunction over non-payment of rights fees in May.