- Associated Press - Monday, October 20, 2014

MILAN (AP) - MP & Silva was selected unanimously by Serie A’s 20 clubs Monday to distribute Serie A TV rights internationally for another three seasons.

The London-and Singapore-based company will pay 172 million euros ($219 million) for the first year of the deal, 185 million euros ($236 million) for the second year and 200 million euros ($255 million) for the final year.

The other two offers from IMG and B4 Capital were reportedly significantly lower.

It took only 40 minutes of a Serie A assembly to select the winning deal, which marks a big increase from the average annual fee of 117 million euros (nearly $150 million) for the previous contract with MP & Silva.

Still, it is still nowhere close to the more than 800 million euros ($1 billion) that the English Premier League makes from foreign rights per season. But it does close the gap on the Spanish league’s estimated 177 million euro ($225 million) deal.

Weighed down by fan violence, racism and crumbling stadiums, Serie A makes most of its money from domestic TV rights, earning an estimated 857 million euros (more than $1 billion) per season from Rupert Murdoch-controlled Sky and Silvio Berlusconi-controlled Mediaset.

“We’re making a considerable investment that is counterintuitive considering the crisis of Italian football,” MP & Silva president Riccardo Silva said. “We are confident both in our commercial and distribution capacities in 200 countries and in the ability of Italian football to bounce back competitively.”

The deal must be approved by Italy’s antitrust agency within 45 days.

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