MILAN, June 26 TV broadcasters Sky Italia and Mediaset will both have rights to air matches of the eight main teams in Italy's Serie A top-flight soccer league over the next three seasons, a source close to the matter said on Thursday.
Sky Italia, the satellite unit of 21st Century Fox, will also have exclusive rights to broadcast matches of the other 12 teams in Serie A, the source added.
The two companies already have rights to Serie A matches but under the new deal Mediaset will broadcast fewer games than under its existing deal and will pay more, while Sky Italia will pay the same amount but will have more matches exclusively.
Sky Italia will pay 572 million euros ($779.8 million), while Mediaset, the Italian TV group controlled by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, will pay 373 million, the source said.
Sky declined to comment and Mediaset said it was waiting for an official announcement on the matter.
Owning live sports rights is crucial for recruiting and retaining pay-television customers in Europe, especially as the arrival of new internet rivals like Netflix and Google's Youtube give consumers more content options.
The Serie A rights were initially due to be awarded at the beginning of June but legal complaints filed by the rival bidders delayed the process. ($1 = 0.7335 Euros) (Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Paola Arosio; Writing by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by David Holmes)