TV RIGHTS: ANTITRUST, NO CONDITIONS EXIST TO ACCUSE SKY OF ABUSING A
FOR THE UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FROM 2012 TO 2015 AND
FOR THE WORLD CUPS 2010 AND 2014
With regard to the Uefa Champions League SKY sub-licensed the rights to RTI for two of the three seasons held (2012-13 and 2013-14).
With regard to the World Cups, the evidence collected is not sufficient to prove that, as of now, the exclusive rights of SKY in question represent an effective obstacle to competition.
There are no conditions to accuse SKY of abusing a dominant position in relation to the purchase of the TV rights for the football tournament matches of the UEFA Champions League in the seasons from 2012 to 2015, and for broadcasting the World Cups in 2010 and 2014. The Antitrust decided this, closing the investigation initiated against the company in November 2010 concerning TV rights for the World Cup and extended to July 2011 for the purchase of TV rights for the Uefa Champions League for the seasons 2012-2015.
According to the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, in particular:
1) For the Uefa Champions League it emerged that the purchase of exclusive rights for all platform transmissions for the years 2012-2015 ensues from a qualified competition among the interested television operators in the context of a procedure that provides for the assignment according to a platform-neutral approach, i.e., the package of transmission rights can be exercised on all televised platforms. After the clarifications of the Antitrust Authority’s preliminary investigation, SKY also sub-licensed the audiovisual rights for the UEFA Champions League, with UEFA's approval, to the only competitor in pay-TV, RTI, for two of the three seasons that it held (2012-13 and 2013-14). Therefore, the entirety of transmission rights for that competition is currently available in pay-tv mode both on the DTT platform and on the satellite platform, without prejudice to RTI broadcasting the best match on Wednesday. There is also no reason to preclude the possibility that the two could reach an agreement for the sub-licensing transmission rights in relation to the third season.
2) For the World Cups in 2010 and 2014, the elements acquired during the investigation are not sufficient to prove that SKY’s retaining exclusive Tv Broadcast rights is likely to be an obstacle to effective competition from other operators in the provision of pay-TV services and that it is a part of a pattern to exclude competitors.
Despite having particularly attractive content, the World Cup takes place in a short period of time and only every four years. In addition, the broadcasting of the major matches of this competition is ensured by EC Directive "Television without frontiers". An analysis of the historical monthly series of the number of subscribers to the different packages offered by SKY also shows that the availability of the World Cup for the satellite operator has not generated a significant increase in subscriptions.
Rome, 09th May 2013