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BeIN Sports adds Rugby World Cup rights in Mena region

Pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports has acquired rights in the Middle East and North Africa to the upcoming Rugby World Cup, which gets underway in Japan on September 20.

Dominic Young, media sales executive at World Rugby, confirmed to the Arabian Business news website that a late deal has been struck with beIN. Coverage will also be available on World Rugby’s platforms across the region.

The deal covers Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE, Yemen, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia.

The deal brings an end to uncertainty surrounding the competition’s coverage in the Middle East and North Africa after pay-television operator OSN, which broadcast the last two editions, announced earlier in the year that it would be ending its sports coverage.

BeIN’s deal comes after the broadcaster last month acquired rights in Cambodia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Singapore for the Rugby World Cup.

Earlier this week, Italian public-service broadcaster Rai acquired exclusive rights in the country to the Rugby World Cup and will show a minimum of 17 matches from the tournament.

In Spain, Telefónica’s Movistar Plus platform acquired rights to the events last week. Movistar Plus will provide live and exclusive coverage of all 48 matches.