Mediaset Soccer TV rights
Broadcaster Mediaset wants to renegotiate the value of its TV rights for top flight soccer if Italy's leading teams are relegated to lower divisions, a company spokesman said on Monday.
Last summer Mediaset acquired exclusive TV rights worth 61.5 million euros ($79 million) per season to broadcast Italian Serie A soccer for three years.
But the company says the TV rights would be worth less if top clubs Juventus, AC Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina are kicked out of Serie A at the end of a trial under way on possible match-fixing.
A Mediaset spokesman told sources the company had sent a letter to Italy's football league, Lega Calcio, asking for a meeting to renegotiate the value of the TV rights, which it wants to keep.
Mediaset has also suspended a payment for TV rights due in early July while it awaits the soccer tribunal's ruling on the clubs involved.
Corriere della Sera daily said Lega Calcio wanted Mediaset to pay first and discuss later. Lega Calcio could not be reached for comment.
The soccer tribunal's prosecutor, Stefano Palazzi, has said Juventus should be relegated to the third division (Serie C1) or lower, while AC Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina should go to Serie B.
The tribunal could issue its verdict as Monday, though Italian media reports say it is more likely to come on Tuesday or Wednesday. The teams could then appeal, and a final ruling is expected by late July.
Mediaset is Italy's largest privately owned broadcasting firm. It is controlled by the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
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