For the first time ever no World Cup matches will be broadcast by Italian state television after Mediaset won the right to screen next year’s tournament which will be missing four-time champions Italy.
The Italian media group, which was founded in 1987 by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, confirmed on Thursday it had signed the broadcast rights for all 64 matches with world football governing body FIFA.
According to reports Mediaset paid 78 million euros ($93 million) for the TV rights.
It will be the first time that the tournament will not be aired on state broadcaster RAI. The rights for the 2014 tournament were shared by RAI and SKY.
Italy failed to qualify for the tournament, which takes place in Russia from June 14 to July 15, for the first time since 1958.