Middle East

Latest Features

Saudi Arabia’s confirmation that it will create a rights-acquisition and content platform under its Saudi Sports Company division had long been expected. What took some industry observers by surprise was the country’s apparent scaling back of its ambitions and the ostensibly softer tone used when outlining its acquisitions strategy.

Israeli pay-television broadcaster The Sports Channel’s latest renewal with the National Basketball Association saw it double its expenditure on a property with which it has become synonymous.

Indian pay-television broadcaster Star is poised to strengthen its grip on cricket broadcasting in the subcontinent by beating incumbent Sony to the rights for Cricket South Africa content.

At stake is the future funding of elite sport through the sale of media rights.

The value of the Israeli Basketball Premier League’s domestic rights has stalled, with incumbent pay-television broadcaster Sports Channel renewing rights from 2019-20 amid little competition.

Pay-television broadcaster beIN Media Group has said it has received no “official communication” from Saudi Arabia, amid some reports that the beIN Sports channels have returned to the air in the country.

International broadcaster Eurosport will show the inaugural season of the electric touring car racing series, Pure ETCR

LaLiga is launching a subscription mobile app in the Middle East and Africa, with plans to roll it out in other markets, under deals with mobile technology company Mondia and telco Orange

The Formula E electric racing series has announced it will stage its first night race in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, as part of its 2020-21 season

Features

A consortium of major rights-holders is about to launch legal action in the Saudi courts against the beoutQ pirate broadcast operation, which the rights-holders believe is backed by the Saudi government., SportBusiness Media understands.

Dubai-based free-to-air broadcaster MBC’s acquisition of Formula One in the Middle East and North Africa could trigger a shake-up in the regional rights market, which could lead to MBC’s backer, Saudi Arabia, becoming a legitimate player.

BeIN Media Group’s public statement on February 8 that it had dropped Formula One because of the rights-holder’s inaction over the threat posed by the Saudi beoutQ pirate service has caused widespread concern among rights-holders. But it may not be enough to push them into legal action against beoutQ.

OSN’s decision to close most of its sports channels will leave a vacuum in the Middle East and North Africa for rights-holders that is unlikely to be filled for some time, experts have told SportBusiness M…

Uefa is close to completing deals for its national-team media rights in Israel, as negotiations with both public-service broadcaster Kan and pay-television broadcaster Charlton prove challenging

Kan, the Israeli public-service broadcaster, has tendered rights to 17 Fifa World Cup matches in order to recoup some of its financial outlay on the tournament.

Uefa has earned an increase of about 40 per cent in the value of its Europa League rights in Israel following a renewal with Charlton.

Uefa was the beneficiary this month as Israel’s Sports Channel paid a fee increase of about 440 per cent to renew its Champions League rights.

Israeli pay-television broadcaster Charlton has renewed its deal for German Bundesliga media rights, TV Sports Markets understands.

A gentlemen’s agreement between media groups belonging to the governments of Abu Dhabi and Dubai means the United Arab Emirates Pro League’s media-rights income will remain flat.

The Sports Channel has renewed a host of rights in recent weeks as it seeks to solidify its position in the Israeli broadcast market.

The threat of an OTT player entering the local television market helped Israel’s Premier League to a 198-per-cent increase in the value of its media rights last month.

Israel’s Premier League is targeting an increase of at least 29 per cent in the value of its domestic media rights, with three packages of rights on the market.

Qatari pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports is in advanced negotiations to secure the rights to the German Bundesliga in the Middle East and North Africa, TV Sports Markets understands.

Uefa secures small increase in Israel

Middle East market could be set to heat up again as Abu Dhabi Media lands European Qualifiers

Premier League gets tough, even with Murdoch, to protect UK investments of Sky and BT

Uefa agrees deal with Al Jazeera in Middle East for Champions League

In its haste to exit the UK, ESPN may have missed an opportunity with its ESPN America channel