No bidders for Italy's Serie A soccer rights

Broadcasters shun auction after price hike

LOCARNO, Switzerland -- For the first time in recent memory, the auction for Italy's Serie A soccer broadcast rights has failed to attract a single bidder, media reports indicated Thursday.

The broadcasters involved in the bidding and Italian soccer oversight body Federcalcio all declined comment, but multiple media outlets reported that there were no takers for the rights to broadcast the 2008-09 season at the minimum bid of 70 million euros ($111 million) per year.

Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset acquired rights to broadcast games from the most recent season for 61 million euros ($97 million), meaning Federcalcio was seeking a year-to-year increase of at least 14.8% this time around.

The organization has two possible options at this point: It could choose to reopen bidding with a lower minimum bid, or it could divide the package into chunks and shop each part to Mediaset, state broadcaster RAI, Telecom Italia Media's La 7 or News Corp's Sky-Italia.
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