Asian football body AFC cancels beIN Sports’ broadcast rights in Saudi

The Asian Football Confederation said it will live-stream matches played by Saudi teams on Facebook and YouTube



Qatar-based beIN Sports will no longer have the “monopoly” to broadcast football matches in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom’s football federation has announced, citing a letter from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

AFC has “cancelled the monopoly” of beIN Sports because of the “serious legal and systemic violations committed by it and its inability to obtain the necessary licenses to fulfill its obligations to broadcast the AFC competitions in the kingdom”, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The matches will now be broadcast in the kingdom through the AFC platforms “gradually”, starting with the Asian Champions League group match between Saudi’s Al Hilal and Qatari club Al-Dahil match on Tuesday evening in Riyadh.

The kingdom will provide the accompanying broadcast crew of commentators and analysts, the report said.

Work has also begun on the necessary technical arrangements.

Meanwhile, the AFC said in a statement that it will stream the matches involving Saudi Arabian teams played in Saudi Arabia in AFC competitions on its geo-blocked digital channels AFC Champions League Facebook Live and AFC YouTube.

The body said it was “committed to protecting the rights of its commercial and broadcast partners and to tackle attempts to illegally exploit those rights wherever it occurs”.

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation called on all international federations to take similar measures in order to ensure that games are kept away from “political purposes not related to sport”.