MILAN, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Serie A said on Friday it had agreed to live-stream some matches in the Middle East and North Africa over YouTube as Italy's top-flight soccer league faces a stalemate over the sale of broadcasting rights in the region.
The league, home to Juventus, AC Milan and Inter, has been trying for months to break a deadlock over the sale of rights to screen its matches over the next three seasons across a market which includes territories such as Egypt, Morocco and the Gulf States.
But beIn has been reluctant to join the tender process, while talks with media group Saudi Sports Co over a broadcasting deal have been fruitless, sources have said previously, leaving an accord ahead of the Aug. 21 season start elusive.
The league "has decided to proceed with the creation of an Arabic-language channel on the YouTube platform," the Serie A said in a statement, following a teleconferenced meeting, confirming what sources told Reuters earlier in the day.
"The channel will broadcast five matches for each day of the championship ... visible only in the area concerned."
The Serie A clubs agreed to live stream matches on Google-owned (GOOGL.O) video platform YouTube for up to a year, while they keep negotiating a deal with traditional broadcasters over the sale of TV licenses in the region, three sources familiar with the matter added.
The back-up deal with YouTube will be suspended in case the league clinches a deal to sell its pay-TV licenses in the region, the people said.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is the main TV international package still to be awarded by Serie A ahead of the season start.
Under the previous three-year cycle, Serie A collected 970 million euros ($1.14 billion) in adjusted revenue from the sale of international TV rights licenses.
So far the Italian league has secured contracts worth around 640 million euros for screening live matches.