Qatar’s BeIN to Pay $500 Million in Renewed Premier League Deal
(Bloomberg) -- Qatar’s BeIN Sports has agreed to pay about $500 million for the right to broadcast live Premier League soccer games across the Middle East, according to a person familiar with the matter.
BeIN and the Premier League announced a new three-year contract running until 2025 in a joint statement Thursday, without disclosing financial details. It renews an existing agreement and allows BeIN to show matches in 24 markets spanning the Middle East and North Africa.
At $500 million, the value of the new deal is similar to the previous one, the person said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. Representatives for BeIN and the Premier League declined to comment on the value.
“Our clubs have millions of passionate fans across the Middle East and North Africa and BeIN has played an important part in promoting the Premier League and helping engage those fans with our clubs and players,” Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said in Thursday’s statement.
The Premier League is home to many of Europe’s biggest teams, including Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United. BeIN’s decision to renew will provide a timely financial boost to the league, which in September terminated a similarly-sized broadcast agreement in China with Suning Holdings Group Co.’s PPTV. Securing money from media rights has become even more crucial this year, as the spread of Covid-19 crimped match-day sales.
Media research group Enders Analysis Ltd. said in a report this week that the Covid crisis has wiped out around 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in rights revenue across Europe’s top five soccer markets. In the longer term, Enders said a lack of competition among broadcasters would underpin a bear market in prices.
In signing the contract, BeIN is giving its backing to the Premier League in the broadcaster’s ongoing media piracy dispute with Qatar’s regional neighbor Saudi Arabia.
BeIN has blamed Saudi Arabia for supporting beoutQ, a rival broadcaster it says took its content illegally and sold it on to viewers who would otherwise be paying BeIN for the service. The Saudi government, with which Qatar has political and economic disputes, has denied the allegation.
The Premier League has gone to court to help prevent the broadcasting of content via beoutQ in the U.K.
“This deal demonstrates that rights-holders who do the most to protect their intellectual property, also do the most to protect the value of their media rights,” Nasser Al-Khelaifi, chairman of BeIN, said in Thursday’s statement.
In September, BeIN said the piracy issue was a factor in a decision to pull out of negotiations on a new five-year broadcast deal with Germany’s Bundesliga.
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