BeIN Sport nets NBA rights in France

French pay-television broadcaster BeIN Sport has acquired exclusive rights in France for NBA basketball in a four-year deal, from 2012-13 to 2015-16.

According to French newspaper L’Équipe, BeIN Sport, which is owned by Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera, will pay $4.5 million (€3.5 million) per year for the live rights to all NBA games, including the annual All-Star game and the season-ending NBA Finals.

The deal ends nearly 30 years of NBA coverage on French pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus, which tabled a joint bid for the new cycle of rights with basic-tier sports broadcaster Ma Chaîne Sport. The report said that Canal Plus and MCS had offered $2 million each per season, but BeIN Sport was the only bidder to commit to showing the entire NBA season.

Canal Plus, MCS and pay-television channel Orange Sport, which closed in June, spent a combined total of $5 million per year on the NBA rights in France in the previous cycle.