Sky Italia mulls free-to-air broadcast of Juventus-Inter in wake of coronavirus

MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 06: Lautaro Martinez of FC Internazionale is challenged by Matthijs de Ligt of Juventus. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Italian pay-television broadcaster Sky Italia has said that it will consult with Lega Serie A over whether to broadcast this Sunday’s fixture between Juventus and Inter Milan on its free-to-air channel TV8 in light of the rising threat of coronavirus in Northern Italy.

Sky Italia is due to broadcast the Serie A match between the two sides, though it is one of six matches to be played behind closed doors this weekend as authorities seek to minimise the spread of coronavirus which is being reported in the region.

The broadcaster has said that it will consult with the rights-holder over whether to create a “free window” which would see the match broadcast on TV8.

Sky Italia executive vice-president Marzio Perrelli said: “In such a unique situation where all citizens and businesses are required to make sacrifices, Sky would also be willing to make their own.”

Italian public-service broadcaster Rai is said to have made its availability to broadcast the fixture known to the league, reports Italy’s La Stampa.

Sky Italia holds the rights to the top tier of Italian football jointly with OTT platform DAZN. The pair are in the penultimate season of their agreement with Lega Serie A with the league expected to issue its domestic media-rights tender in April.

The pay-television broadcaster holds the rights to seven of the 10 weekly fixtures, including the Sunday evening slot which Juventus-Inter Milan falls in, with a total of 266 matches broadcast on its platforms per season. DAZN holds the rights to the remaining three matches giving it a total of 114 per season.

The deals with Sky and DAZN are worth €973m ($1.04bn) per season.Both deals are exclusive and platform neutral and run from 2018-19 to 2020-21.