IndyCar lands exclusive beIN deal in Mena region and Bandeirantes renewal

Pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports has acquired exclusive rights to motor racing’s IndyCar series across 24 territories spanning the Middle East and North Africa.

The agreement covers the 2020 season and provides it with exclusive rights across all platforms and for all IndyCar Series events.

The 2020 IndyCar Series season to begin on June 7 and will be broadcast by beIN with both English- and Arabic-language commentary.

IndyCar has previously held agreements in Mena with global sports broadcaster ESPN and OSN, which culled its sports channels last year.

IndyCar went without a broadcaster in the region in 2019. Fans in countries without a broadcast deal are able to follow the race action, however, via the IndyCar app, which offers live in-car camera feeds, live audio and timing and scoring updates.

Meanwhile, Brazilian media group Bandeirantes, which operates both free-to-air and pay-television channels, has agreed a deal for the linear television rights in its domestic market.

Subscription OTT platform DAZN holds the streaming rights to the sport in Brazil until the end of the 2020 season.

Bandeirantes expressed its interest in extending its deal in December 2019 after the expiration of its previous agreement. The group had exploited six races from the 2019 season on a free-to-air basis, while the remaining 11 races from the season were on its pay-television platform.

Bandeirantes began broadcasting IndyCar in the 1980s and worked with the series on the delivery of an event in São Paulo from 2010 to 2013.

The IndyCar series took its international media rights in-house in 2019 after the appointment of former ESPN International executive Heather White. ESPN International had held international rights to IndyCar but White left the agency and joined IndyCar as a media rights consultant.