Sky Italia challenged over World Cup rights

MILAN - Italian broadcaster Mediaset said it has asked an international court to arbitrate in a dispute with Sky Italia over pay-TV rights for the World Cup, another twist in the row between the arch-rivals.

"Mediaset has started an action before the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris against the missed sale of rights for the digital terrestrial platform," a Mediaset spokeswoman said on Thursday.

"Sky has refused talks to sell the rights," she said.

Sky Italia, News Corp's pay-TV satellite unit in Italy, had no comment.

Sky Italia bought pay-TV rights for Italy to transmit World Cup matches from state broadcaster RAI, which retained rights to transmit key matches from the South Africa tournament for free.

Sky Italia has a request in to the EU Commission to enable it to bid in Italy's last sale of digital terrestrial TV assets and enter a booming market led by Mediaset.

The EU is expected to decide mid-April.

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