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Napoli upset with RAI international broadcasting

Napoli made a curious - but very understandable - press statement after playing against Inter Milan in the Coppa Italia.

Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

A very curious thing happened when Napoli played Inter Milan yesterday: no one in America could watch it on TV ... and the club was very much not happy about that fact.

"It's an incomprehensible decision," the club said through a press statement just after the match. "The fact that such an important match as Napoli-Inter, with the presence of so many foreign players and significant international interest was not broadcast by RAI International in the USA not only avoids the beautiful promotion of Italian football in America, but doesn't respect the wishes of Italians living in the US where football is growing at a dizzying rate."

The club's statement is directed at RAI International broadcasting and Infront Media, who were the companies responsible for getting the match on TV in America. BeIN Sports carried the tie on their online streaming service, but you have to be a subscriber to their TV networks to be able to access it, and beIN isn't widely available.

Napoli's complaint is a very valid one; matches between Napoli and Inter are always a big affair, and the two going head-to-head in an elimination match is a compelling affair to watch. Denying the American market such an entertaining match that could have brought new fans to the Italian game is just bad business, not to mention the large number of Italian expats and descendants who live in the US. With the game skyrocketing in popularity in America, ignoring a premium showcase is just stupid.