HomeNewsCricketMENA

OSN to close last sports channels in July due to piracy

Pay-television operator OSN has blamed piracy in the Middle East and North Africa for its decision to close its cricket channel next month, the last of its dedicated sports channels.

It will shut down the OSN Cricket channel on July 15, the day after the final of the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

OSN had already shut down five of its six own-brand sports channels and removed the WWE Network at the end of March.

The broadcaster will also close its Pehla entertainment channel, which also offers some sports programming and has been showing coverage of the ongoing Cricket World Cup.

“Illegal streaming sites, pirate IPTV decoders within OSN’s licensed territories, has made it difficult for OSN to continue offering Pehla,” it said.

The broadcaster has rights to India and New Zealand home Test, one-day international and Twenty20 cricket matches, as well as all International Cricket Council events until the end of 2023.

OSN Cricket has been offering coverage provided by pay-television broadcaster Ten Sports, owned by the Sony Pictures Network media group. OSN renewed its carriage deal with SPN in March last year.

A French court ruled last week that regional satellite provider Arabsat is a signal carrier for pirate broadcaster beoutQ, which operates extensively in Mena.

Most recent

Pay-television broadcaster BT Sport took advantage of Sky’s long-running concerns over wrestling body WWE’s OTT service to grab WWE rights in the UK and Ireland from its rival at a steep discount, SportBusiness Media understands.

As TikTok has grown into one of the world's most popular social-media apps during the past year, the short-form video-sharing platform has become an important tool for sports rights-holders to expand and engage their fanbases. 

Turkish agency Saran has negotiated a price reduction for rights to the English Premier League for the 2019-22 cycle, SportBusiness Media understands, the first time it has achieved this since acquiring the property at the turn of the decade.

Mola TV, the new entrant to Indonesia’s sports broadcasting market, is employing a novel strategy straddling pay-television, free-to-air and digital distribution channels to exploit the Premier League rights it has acquired for the upcoming 2019-22 cycle.