Juventus: Serie A champions call for earlier kick-offs for Asian market

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Juventus unveiled their new away shirt during a visit to Shanghai this summer

Italian champions Juventus have called on Serie A to schedule more early kick-offs to help the club grow in Asia.

Juve are below last season’s Premier League top six clubs in revenue and see China as a major area for growth.

The Serie A season begins on Saturday, and 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 told BBC Sport.

“It is not just about the broadcasting times, it is also about the rights 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.”

Italy’s top clubs have long debated with the league about the need for more games to be played at earlier times to maximise their chances of exposure in China and South East Asia.

The bigger clubs do not believe the Italian system, which revolves around evening matches, helps them ‘sell their brands’ globally.

And while there is an acceptance that viewing habits are changing, Juventus are frustrated at the present situation, which they feel tilts the commercial market hugely in favour of Premier League clubs.

All of the Italian top-flight matches on the opening two weekends of the campaign kick off at either 17:00 BST or 19:45.

Speaking in March, Serie A president Gaetano Micciche said the possibility of playing a Serie A match in China