BeIN Set to Shun Auction to Renew Turkish Soccer TV Rights

BeIN Media Group won’t bid to renew its right to broadcast Europe’s prestigious UEFA Champions League soccer tournament in Turkey, according to a person familiar with the process.

The decision comes ahead of an auction for a new three-year contract running to 2024, and two weeks before UEFA decides whether to expand the competition to 36 teams from 2024, the person said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information.

A representative for BeIN declined to comment. Officials for UEFA weren’t immediately available for comment.

The Qatar-based broadcaster has been paying $50 million a year under a current deal that covers the Champions League and the second-tier Europa League.

BeIN has become more selective about the soccer media rights it’s prepared to pay for and has taken a tough negotiating stance with leagues across Europe during the last year’s pandemic shutdowns. Earlier this year, it opted not to bid for packages of live television rights put up for tender by leagues in France and Italy. In September, it walked away from talks about renewing a contract to show games from Germany’s Bundesliga.

The broadcaster retains the rights to show live club games from Turkey’s domestic league in the country. That four-year contract is a $390 million deal.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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