The backup deal with the online video sharing service will end in case the league seals a deal to sell its pay-TV licenses in the region.
Serie A’s clubs have agreed to launch their own Arabic-language channel on YouTube to live-stream some matches in the Middle East and North Africa. Italy’s top-flight soccer league faces a stalemate over the sale of TV rights in the region.
Serie A, 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 which includes territories such as Egypt, Morocco and the Gulf States.
The league had previously launched a country-by-country MENA broadcast rights tender, after relations with previous rights holder beIN Media soured. On its return from the Covid-19-enforced hiatus, beIN staged a broadcast blackout of the league with the demand of a steep discount on its US$500m regional rights deal. It accused the league of not doing enough to combat piracy, while tensions were already high following a deal with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia to host a number of Suppercoppa fixtures in the country.
The league held fruitless talks with Saudi Sports Company, while beIN has been reluctant to re-enter any pact with Serie A.
With no broadcast deals in place, the league has fallen back on this plan b by turning to YouTube ahead of the season’s start on August 21.
This is a contrasting situation to other territories, such as the UK where the league announced a high-profile deal with BT Sport last week.