Qatar-based BeIN Sports was the Middle East broadcaster of the German top-flight, Bundesliga.
The broadcaster has been paying 200 million euros ($237 million) in the previous five-year deal and showing live Bundesliga games in 24 countries in the region.
Bundesliga and BeIN Sports were supposed to sign a new five-year deal but now the broadcaster has pulled out of the negotiations citing piracy as the primary reason.
Richard Verow, chief sports officer at BeIN, said in a statement: “Our business plan is clear. We will only bid for rights at levels that make economic sense and have a value proposition. Piracy has crippled the market so we have made the decision not to renew with Bundesliga there.”
According to a report by Bloomberg, BeIN Sports has blamed Qatar’s regional rival Saudi Arabia, with whom it has a political and economic dispute, for supporting a rival broadcaster that it says took BeIN content illegally and sold it on to viewers who would otherwise be paying BeIN for the service. The Saudi government has denied the allegation.
Earlier, BeIN Sports also opted not to broadcast Serie A matches due to the same piracy reasons. They opted not to broadcast Torino and Parma’s 1-1 draw during the restart of the 2019-20 Serie A season.
BeIN Sports blacked out Serie A in 35 territories in an apparent protest against the Italian top-flight soccer body’s ties with Saudi Arabia, despite the country’s links to the pirate broadcaster.
Now, the same thing has happened to the German top-flight as well. In this case, the matters have been worse as BeIN Sports have completely backed out from signing a new deal to broadcast live Bundesliga matches in the middle east countries.
Although, Bundesliga and BeIN Sports still has a contract for broadcasting live matches in France and the Asia-Pacific region.
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