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AFC issues ITT for media rights in Saudi Arabia

The Asian Football Confederation has issued an Invitation to Tender for its package of media rights covering the 2021-2024 broadcast cycle in Saudi Arabia.

The ITT offers rights for the Asian Cup national team tournament, as well as the Asian qualifying competition for the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.

It also covers rights to the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup club competitions, along with the 2022 Women’s Asian Cup and men’s and women’s age-group and futsal events.

The ITT comes after the AFC confirmed in March that it had removed from beIN Sports exclusive rights in Saudi Arabia to its competitions, claiming the move would help it tackle the illegal exploitation of its content. AFC is currently streaming matches involving Saudi teams played in Saudi Arabia on its geo-blocked Facebook and YouTube channels.

Qatar-based beIN Media Group later said it would take legal action against the AFC in response to the decision, which beIN said was a “material breach of our multi-million-dollar regional broadcast agreement”.

BeIN holds the rights in Mena to AFC properties for the eight years from 2013 to 2020. It had an option to renew for the period 2021 to 2024, but no deal was agreed during the broadcaster’s period of exclusive negotiations in the second half of last year. It now has a right to match the highest offer from the market.