TS News - Italian Football Rights Return To Cecchi Gori

TELE-satellit News, 13 December 1996

Italian Football Rights Return To Cecchi Gori
  ROME, Italy, 96/12/12 (TS) -- A court in Florence, granted on 11th
December the Italian football TV rights for the next two seasons to Italian
media magnate Vittorio Cecchi Gori. This decision is conditional to the
payment of 371 billion lira to the Italian football federation by noon on
the 31st May 1997. The court has upheld the legal recourse by Cecchi Gori
Communications which means that the broadcast TV rights will move from RAI
to Cecchi Gori.

  Last February, Cecchi Gori who owns TV channels TMC and TMC2/Videomusic
bought the football TV rights for a record 615 billion lira. However, his
company was not able to pay the necessary amount by 20 March and
negotiations started with state TV RAI. At that time, a settlement was
reached for sharing the TV rights which however did not happen. Cecchi Gori
was left in the cold and RAI got the whole package (up till 30 June 1999)
for 195 billion lira a year, including Italian cup matches.

  He decided to try his luck in the courts and after several legal battles
succeeded in
getting his way. This decision may mean bad news for European satellite
enthusiasts who are also football fans who up till now were able to watch
Italian league highlights and live Italian cup matches on RAI. From next
year, when the TV rights move to Cecchi Gori, only viewers with digital
satellite receivers will be able to continue to watch Italian football on
TMC and TMC2/Videomusic which are part of Telepiu's digital package DSTV on
Eutelsat 13 degrees East.

  By: Branislav Pekic
(c)TELE-satellit 1996. All rights reserved.

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