Juventus, the Italian champions have called on Serie A to plan more on early kick-offs to help the club grow in Asia. It see’s China as a major area for growth.
Serie A season begins on Saturday. As it has always been, every game in the first two weeks starts at midnight or later in Beijing. “We have to find the right balance between domestic and global audiences,” Juventus chief revenue officer Giorgio Ricci reported on BBC Sport.
“it is not just about the broadcasting times; it is also about the right distribution and who is showing the games. In that sense, the difference between the Premier League and Serie A is huge. This is a very old story and one of the more frequent reasons for fights with the league” Giorgio Ricci still said.
Italy’s top clubs have long debated with the league on the need of having more games played at earlier times to maximize their chances of exposure in South East Asia and China.
The bigger clubs have no hope in the Italian system which revolves around the evening matches under the name of helping them “sell their brands” globally.
There is an acceptance that viewing habits are changing, but Juventus are frustrated in the present situation. The club feels that these changes tilt the commercial market hugely in favor of Premier League clubs.
During the first two opening weekends of the 2019/20 campaign, no Italian top-flight matches kick off before 17:00 BST because of the hot weather conditions in Italy. From the third round onwards, there will be a Saturday fixture at 14:00 and a Sunday game at 11:30. Kick-off times cannot change during the current TV rights deal, that ends in 2021.
Serie A president Gaetano Micciche said that the possibility of playing a Serie A match in China within the next three years had been discussed but it is unlikely happen in that timescale.
Juventus has gone ahead with his plans despite the civil unrest in Hong Kong. The club has also bought high profile players signing Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo for £99.2 m from Real Madrid in 2018 and £67.5m Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax this summer.
The club has won the Italian title on 35 occasions including the past 8 seasons and in the past 23 years lost Champions League.
Ronaldo joining them last year have raised their global fanbase by 16% and their combined followers on social media platforms has risen by 59% to 81 million.
“Serie A was popular in China in the 1990s. it is coming back again.” Palomba’s words.