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Telecom Italia renegotiates soccer streaming deal with DAZN - sources

·2 min read

MILAN (Reuters) - Telecom Italia (TIM) has agreed to restructure its partnership with DAZN, giving up the exclusive right to distribute the video streaming app in Italy in return for a lower fee, two sources close to the matter said on Wednesday.

Italy's biggest phone group last year entered into a distribution partnership with DAZN, which had secured domestic broadcasting rights for Italy's top flight Serie A soccer in a 2.5 billion euro three-year deal.

Terms of the new contract between TIM and DAZN are set to be discussed at a Telecom Italia board meeting on Wednesday together with second-quarter results, the sources said, cautioning any deal need to receive the backing of the board.

The renegotiation of the agreement with TIM would pave the way for DAZN to clinch partnerships with other pay-TV operators and telecom players such as Sky Italia.

The latter is in final talks with DAZN to host the video app content on its platform, separate sources have said.

Spokespeople for Telecom Italia, DAZN and Sky Italia declined to comment.

Last year TIM agreed to pay a yearly fee of more than 340 million euros ($346 million) in return for the exclusive right to include the DAZN app on its video content platform Timvision, in a deal covering three Serie A seasons, sources said at the time.

But the costly deal, which is also under Italian competition scrutiny, failed to give TIM revenue's the expected boost.

Instead it was a factor in a string of profit warnings and forced TIM to book 548 million euros in non-recurring provisions.

That prompted TIM, now under a new CEO, to seek a renegotiation of the contract on a less expensive basis. One of the sources said under the new agreement, TIM could save some 100 million euros per year.

($1 = 0.9819 euros)

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Keith Weir)