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Malaysian Football League confirms legal action against Iflix

The Malaysian Football League has confirmed that it is taking legal action against Iflix, saying the OTT platform failed to honour a 10-year media rights contract agreed in 2018.

Iflix acquired OTT streaming rights for the top-tier Super League, the second-tier Premier League, and the Malaysia FA Cup in a deal covering 2018 to 2027. It was reported to have been worth RM30m ($7m/€6m) per season.

Iflix failed to make rights fee payments due under the contract and the league withdrew from the deal at the end of last season.

MFL president Datuk Hamidin Amin was quoted in Malaysian media yesterday as saying: “We have taken legal action against Iflix. They did not honour the contract with MFL for the second half of the 2018 season and the entire 2019 season.

“I cannot reveal any more details as the matter is now in court.”

Iflix has been reported to have struggled to pay other content rights suppliers, including the producers of a Malaysian feature film.

Iflix, which is based in Malaysia, was last month acquired by Chinese internet giant Tencent in a deal worth “tens of millions” of dollars. Tencent wants to use the acquisition to expand its OTT operations in Southeast Asia. The Chinese company last year launched its WeTV OTT platform in the region.

The Malaysian Football League earlier this year agreed a new, three-year domestic media-rights deal with telco Telekom Malaysia, and was attempting to turn a corner after several years of problems with its media-rights partners. A previous deal with TM had collapsed in 2019, and the league was forced to slash revenue distribution to clubs.

The league suspended play due to Covid-19 in March. It is aiming to resume on August 26.