The news was broken by Reuters. However, the parties can’t begin formal talks until Mediaset and France’s Vivendi resolve their legal battle over their collapsed deal.
Mediaset has dropped an urgent request for a court to order the seizure of a 3.5% stake in Vivendi just before the first hearing due on Tuesday, November 23.
In a statement Mediaset said it had received assurances that its contractual rights wouldn’t be jeopardised but would still continue with its separate legal action against Vivendi on grounds of the significant potential damages to its business arising from Vivendi’s decision to abort the original sale agreement.
If Mediaset Premium cannot salvage its deal with Vivendi quickly, it may need to find another partner. Alone, it would struggle to bid again for the rights to air Champions League and Italy’s top-flight Serie A matches.
The rights to both expire in 2018. They are due to go up for auction again in the first half of next year.
“There has been contact to understand what to do beyond 2018,” one source said to Reuters, declining to elaborate.