|beIN Sports MENA|
|Owned by||beIN Media Group|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Slogan||Change the game.|
|Broadcast area||Middle East and North Africa|
|Formerly called||Al Jazeera Sport (2003-2013)|
|Sister channel(s)||beIN Sports France|
beIN Sports USA
beIN Sports Canada
beIN Sports Australia
beIN Sports Spain
|Mozaic TV (Qatar)|
beIN Sports (Arabic: ?) is a group of sports channels based in Doha, Qatar, serving the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It is owned by beIN Media Group, a subsidiary of Al Jazeera Media Network. The channels primarily broadcast in Arabic, but it also offers feeds in English, French, and Spanish,
In July 2013, the network acquired MENA rights to the Premier League. On 4 September 2017, the IOC announced a partnership with beIN Sports to launch a local linear version of Olympic Channel for MENA on 1 November 2017.
There are 11 Arabic-language sports channels in the beIN Sports group:
In the wake of the ongoing diplomatic crisis between Qatar and other Arab nations, the beIN Sports channels were briefly banned in the United Arab Emirates in June 2017, and Saudi Arabia banned beIN from selling its subscriptions in the country. The channels have since become available in Saudi Arabia via an unofficial satellite service known as beoutQ, which repackages beIN Sports channels as their own by overlaying its own digital on-screen graphics on the feed. beIN has published evidence linking the service Arabsat, but its operators have consistently denied any involvement. The beoutQ service has been criticised by a number of sports sanctioning bodies and event organisers due to its commercial-scale copyright infringement.
On 2 October 2018, Qatar filed a case against Saudi Arabia with the World Trade Organization, citing violations of the TRIPS Agreement. The same day, beIN Media Group also initiated an investment arbitration lawsuit against Saudi Arabia seeking US$1 billion in damages, citing beoutQ and other measures decided to hinder its business in Saudi Arabia.
In February 2019, beIN's managing director stated that rightsholder stances on beoutQ's "industrial-scale theft" would be a consideration in future rights deals, and that it would also pay less because it can no longer guarantee that its rights would be protected. He went on to explain that "we have been warning of the very real commercial consequences of beoutQ's theft of world sport and entertainment for almost two years now - yet the piracy continues with impunity every day and represents an existential threat to the economic model of the sports and entertainment industry." In June 2019, beIN laid off 300 employees, citing the piracy issues as a factor. It also declined to renew its rights to Formula One, which were instead acquired by free-to-air satellite channel MBC Action.
Free=to=air boadcasters in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia decided against sub-licensing domestic rights to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations from beIN, considering the fees they were charging to be too exorbitant.
On 22 June 2018, minister Saud al-Qahtani stated that the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) had filed a complaint with FIFA against beIN Sports' monopolization of sports broadcast rights in the MENA region.
On 21 August 2018, beIN Sports was fined US$2.6 million by Saudi Arabia for violations of competition law, including forced bundling of its services with other unrelated channels. beIN responded to the fine by claiming it was politically-motivated, arguing that they were being "attacked by the Saudi authorities for doing exactly what sports and entertainment broadcasters around the world do, and indeed what other broadcasters active in the Saudi market also do", and that the actions were "another illegitimate attempt by Saudi Arabia to drive beIN's highly successful business from the country, putting politics ahead of the interests of Saudi consumers.", also factoring in the aforementioned beoutQ piracy operation. On 23 August 2018, beIN Sports' license to broadcast in Saudi Arabia was officially revoked.
On 12 March 2019, the SAFF announced that the Asian Football Confederation had stripped beIN Sports of its media rights in Saudi Arabia to "cancel" its monopoly on football, citing the "illegality of BeIN Sport [sic] to transmit in the Kingdom due to the grave violations of the laws and regulations BeIN Sport has committed", and "its inability to obtain the required licenses necessary for it to fulfil its commitments in transmitting AFC's competitions to the viewers and followers in the Kingdom". The AFC announced that it would "gradually" transition its media rights to an in-house digital platform, beginning with a Saudi Professional League match occurring that week. The AFC had previously condemned the aforementioned beoutQ for its illegal broadcasts of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. beIN subsequently announced that it would pursue legal action, accusing the AFC of apparent collusion with the SAFF to breach its media rights agreements.
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