Italy’s Serie A to stream matches on YouTube in Middle East, North Africa

ESTADI JOHAN CRUYFF, SANT JOAN DESPI, BARCELONA, SPAIN - 2021/08/08: Memphis Depay (C) of FC Barcelona celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal during the pre-season friendly football match between FC Barcelona and Juventus FC. FC Barcelona won 3-0 over Juventus FC. (Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Serie A said on Friday it had agreed to live-stream some matches in the Middle East and North Africa over YouTube as Italy’s top-flight soccer league faces a stalemate over the sale of broadcasting rights in the region, Reuters reported.

The league “has decided to proceed with the creation of an Arabic-language channel on the YouTube platform,” the Serie A said in a statement, following a teleconferenced meeting, confirming what sources told Reuters earlier in the day.

“The channel will broadcast five matches for each day of the championship … visible only in the area concerned.”

The matches will be streamed on Google-owned video platform YouTube for up to a year, while they keep negotiating a deal with traditional broadcasters over the sale of TV licenses in the region, three sources familiar with the matter added.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is the main TV international package still to be awarded by Serie A ahead of the season start.

Under the previous three-year cycle, Serie A collected 970 million euros ($1.14 billion) in adjusted revenue from the sale of international TV rights licenses.

So far the Italian league has secured contracts worth around 640 million euros for screening live matches abroad during the 2021-2024 period, according to Reuters.

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