Mediaset to broadcast World Cup matches in Italy

MILAN (AP) None of the 64 World Cup soccer matches from next year’s tournament in Russia will be shown on state-run television in Italy for the first time.

Mediaset says it has landed the broadcast rights and ”will offer its viewers the most important sporting event of 2018 free and exclusively.”

Italy failed to qualify for the tournament.

Reports say Mediaset, which was founded in 1987 by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, paid 78 million euros ($93 million) for the TV rights.

The rights for the 2014 World Cup were shared between state broadcaster RAI and Sky.