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A major portion of the Italian population mourns still from the football loss to Sweden that keeps the national team from the next World Cup. The national team coach was fired last week, the head of the national football association this week. Along with football fans, TV broadcasters, advertisers and media buyers are down in the dumps. One Italian economist suggested missing the 2018 World Cup could shave a full point from the country’s GDP. After Christmas, and perhaps before, the retail price for big screen TVs will drop.
Italian public broadcaster RAI spent about €180 million for 2014 Brazil World Cup rights, explained Italian media journal Millecanali (November 19), recovering an unknown “far from irrelevant slice” from Sky Italia for pay-TV rights. On average 17.7 million Italians watched the World Cup matches in 2014. Advertising revenues for RAI were estimated at about €70 million. For the 2018 World Cup in Russia rights RAI has budgeted €120 million, expecting to defer around €40 million from Sky Italia. (See more about media in Italy here)
Italian TV rights for World Cup 2018 have not, yet, been assigned. RAI has certain rights to matches of Italian national team and, under provisions mandating free-to-air broadcasts of “special events of national interest,” the public broadcaster’s participation virtually assured. No national team at Russia World Cup 2018, no national interest. Sky Italia and Mediaset had no interest in making bids for supplementary TV rights until the Italian national team secured a place. (See more about sports rights here)
Big Italian sponsors, like Puma and Poste Italiane, spent a bit more than €500 million in and around the 2014 Rio World Cup. They may not drop out completely but expect considerable re-negotiation. And the “Made in Italy” campaign? Forget it. But there’s always “Inspired by Iceland.”