MILAN -Serie A is considering livestreaming some matches live on YouTube in North Africa, as Italy's top-level football league faces a stalemate over the sale of broadcast rights in the region, two sources familiar with the matter said.
The League, home to Juventus, AC Milan and Inter, has been trying for months to break a deadlock over the sale of rights to screen its matches over the next three seasons across a market that includes territories such as Egypt, Morocco and Gulf States.
But Saudi broadcaster beIn has been reluctant to join the tender process, while talks with Qatari media group Saudi Sports Co over a broadcasting deal have been fruitless, the sources said.
As an agreement with a Google-owned broadcaster remains elusive before the start of the season on Aug. 21, the Italian league is considering a streaming deal with traditional video platform YouTube to avoid starting the season without coverage in the region.
Some preliminary contacts between Serie A and YouTube took place and it was up to Serie A to decide what they should do to follow the matter, the sources said.
The sources didn't give any further detail about the nature of any possible deal with YouTube, but they said it would be a stop gap rather than a source of income. It would be a back-up solution, one of the sources said.
The representatives of Club Serie A are expected to discuss the option in a teleconference meeting on 13 Aug., and on August 13.
Serie A spokesperson declined to comment. I was not immediately available to comment on Google.
The region Middle East and North Africa is the main television international package still to be awarded by Serie A ahead of the season start.
According to the previous three year cycle, Serie A collected 970 million euros of adjusted revenue from the sale of international TV rights licences.
So far the Italian League has arranged contracts worth around 640 million euros for screening live matches of match in the period 2021-2020 at home, according to Reuters.