Digiturk denies SuperLig exit talk, but conversations with TFF ongoing

Pay-television broadcaster Digiturk has denied claims that it is set to exit its Turkish SuperLig contract, despite allegations from the president of SuperLig team Konyaspor.

Konyaspor president Hilmi Kulluk told attendees at a club event this week that Qatar-based media group beIN, which owns Digiturk, was seeking to exit the property, citing “economic reasons” for its alleged departure.

Digiturk categorically denied Kulluk’s allegations when approached by SportBusiness Media, describing them as “wild and inaccurate”.

Conversations between the SuperLig rights-holder the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) and BeIN Sports on the deal are ongoing, though Digiturk was quick to downplay the suggestion that these talks have raised any major issues between the two parties.

A Digiturk spokesperson said: “Every obligation and payment due under the current broadcast agreement has been made by Digiturk. However, for many months, Digiturk has made several reasonable requests of the TFF regarding a range of business-as-usual and operational matters.

“Digiturk remains committed to working together with the TFF to agree on these issues as a matter of priority, so that Digiturk and the TFF can continue to develop Turkish football both domestically and around the world.”

Digiturk holds the rights to broadcast SuperLig matches until 2022. BeIN bought the Turkish broadcaster in 2015.

BeIN has long been eager to renegotiate its deal in Turkey with the sustained depreciation of the Turkish lira against the dollar, euro and pound having vastly inflated the SuperLig’s cost.

The TFF was approached for comment, but had not responded at time of writing.

Most recent

Social media giant Facebook’s challenges around its Copa Libertadores coverage in Latin America have convinced it that non-exclusive rights models form “one of the best ways” of breaking into markets where entrenched viewing habits restrict the potential for exclusive rights to grow engagement with the platform.

The Football Association rejected a higher bid for domestic FA Cup rights for the 2021-25 cycle from incumbent pay-television broadcaster BT Sport in favour of commercial broadcaster ITV, SportBusiness Media understands, in a move that took the competition exclusively free to air in the UK.

Spanish football’s LaLiga extended its rights deal in China with Wuhan DDMC Culture in May without going to market, where it would have faced a tough task maintaining its income, SportBusiness Media understands. The Chinese rights market has cooled since the previous deal was agreed, and DDMC is thought to be paying the league a strong rights fee.

South African pay-television operator Multichoice is facing the biggest challenge in its 26-year history in the form of a two-pronged regulatory attack on its dominant position in the country’s sports-rights market.