beIN Sports (Middle East TV channel)

beIN Sports MENA (Arabic: بي إن سبورتس العربية) is a subsidiary of beIN Sports. It is based in Doha, Qatar, serving the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. They are owned by beIN Media Group, a former subsidiary of Al Jazeera Media Network; the sports channels were spun off from Al Jazeera Media Network in December 2013.[2] Following the spin-off, the channels' parent company was incorporated in January 2014 as their holding company.[2] The channels primarily broadcast in Arabic, but it also offers feeds in English, French and Spanish.

beIN Sports MENA
Broadcast areaMiddle East and North Africa
HeadquartersDoha, Qatar
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
OwnerbeIN Media Group
Key people
Sister channelsbeIN Sports France
beIN Sports USA
beIN Sports Canada
beIN Sports Australia
beIN Sports Turkey
Olympic Channel
Launched1 November 2003
Former namesAl Jazeera Sport (2003–2013)
Streaming media

Formerly known as Al Jazeera Sport, it was re-named beIN Sports in December 2013 to unify it with Al Jazeera's international group of sports networks in the lead-up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[3]

In July 2013, the network acquired MENA rights to the Premier League.[4] 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.[5]

History edit

Al Jazeera Sport was founded on 1 November 2003 by Qatari channel Al Jazeera.[6]

On 1 November 2005, the channel launched its new website.[7]

The group of Al Jazeera Sport channels was spun off from Al Jazeera Media Network in December 2013 and subsequently renamed to "beIN Sports" in January 2014; at the same time, the channels' parent company was incorporated as "beIN Media Group".[2]

Channels edit

The current Arabic-language sports channels in the beIN Sports group:

  • beIN Sports News HD (free-to-air) (focused on International sports news)
  • beIN Sports HD (free-to-air) (focused on Arabic football competitions)
  • beIN Sports 1 (focused on Analytical studio)
  • beIN Sports 2 (focused on English domestic football competitions)
  • beIN Sports 3 (focused on Spanish domestic football competitions)
  • beIN Sports 4 (focused on French domestic football competitions)
  • beIN Sports 5 (focused on German domestic football competitions)
  • beIN Sports 6 (focused on Continental football competitions)
  • beIN Sports 7 (focused on Tennis competitions)
  • beIN Sports 8 (focused on Different sport)
  • beIN Sports 9 (the Olympic channel)
  • BeIN Sports Xtra 1
  • BeIN Sports Xtra 2
  • BeIN Sports Xtra 3

English and French Language channels

  • beIN Sports English 1
  • beIN Sports English 2
  • beIN Sports French 1
  • beIN Sports French 2

BeIN Sports events channels.

  • beIN Sports Max 1
  • beIN Sports Max 2
  • beIN Sports Max 3
  • beIN Sports Max 4
  • beIN Sports Max 5
  • beIN Sports Max 6

AFC Channels

  • BeIN Sports AFC
  • BeIN Sports AFC 1
  • BeIN Sports AFC 2
  • BeIN Sports AFC 3
  • BeIN Sports AFC 4
  • BeIN Sports AFC 5

Other sports:

  • BeIN Sports NBA

Controversy edit

Piracy in Saudi Arabia edit

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.[8][9][10] 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.[11][12][13][14][15]

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.[16][17]

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.[18][19][20]

Monopoly accusations edit

Free-to-air broadcasters 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.[21]

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.[22][23]

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.[24] On 23 August 2018, beIN Sports' license to broadcast in Saudi Arabia was officially revoked.[25]

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.[26] beIN subsequently announced that it would pursue legal action, accusing the AFC of apparent collusion with the SAFF to breach its media rights agreements.[27]

Broadcast edit

Satellite edit

On 1 March 2014, they launched SD switch-off on satellite. These channels will carry a text caption with SD shutdown information until 11 June 2014.[28]

On 11 June 2014, BeIN Sports switch-off SD satellite transmissions.[28]

Smartcards edit

On its launch in 2003, Subscribers could receive encrypted programs with an integrated CA on satellite receivers.

Since 1 March 2014, after switching to the Irdeto secure mode, subscribers must have a JSC/BeIN receiver to watch encrypted programs.[29][30]

Timeline edit

  • 1 November 2003: Start of Al Jazeera Sports channels.
  • 1 January 2014: Rebranded beIN Sports.
  • 11 June 2014: SD switch-off on satellite.

References edit

  1. ^ "BeIN Media appoints Yousef Al-Obaidly to CEO". Digital TV Europe. 5 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Facts & Figures, Governance and Key milestones – beIN MEDIA GROUP".
  3. ^ "Al Jazeera Sport rebranded beIN SPORTS". Al Arabiya English. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Al Jazeera Sport Buys English Premier League Soccer TV Rights for Middle East". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Olympic Channel announces BeIN tie-up". SportsProMedia. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Aljazeera launches sports channel". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  7. ^ "Al Jazeera Sport Channel fête son premier anniversaire". Babnet Tunisie. 8 November 2005. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  8. ^ Alkhalisi, Zahraa (8 June 2017). "Blocked in Dubai: Qatar cartoon and soccer channels". CNNMoney. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  9. ^ "UAE restores Qatar's BeIN sports network on air". Al Jazeera. 23 July 2017. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  10. ^ McCombe, Steven; Pennington, Roberta (22 July 2017). "BeIN Sports back on TV in the UAE". The National. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  11. ^ "World Cup pirates: Saudi Arabia's BeIN action threatens future of international sports broadcasting". SportsPro. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  12. ^ Wintour, Patrick (21 August 2018). "Premier League games 'screened illegally via Saudi satellite firm'". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  13. ^ "BeoutQ illegally shows opening Premier League and Ligue 1 games". SportsPro. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  14. ^ Panja, Tariq (9 May 2018). "The Brazen Bootlegging of a Multibillion-Dollar Sports Network". The New York Times.
  15. ^ "NBCUniversal says FIFA World Cup broadcasts were stolen in Middle East". Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  16. ^ "BeIN launches US$1bn suit against Saudi Arabia over BeoutQ 'piracy plague'". SportsPro Media. 3 October 2018. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  17. ^ "BeIn Sports launches $1 billion suit against Saudi Arabia". Broadband TV News. 2 October 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  18. ^ "BeIN Sports lays off 300 jobs in Qatar in wake piracy issues". SportsPro Media. 21 June 2019. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  19. ^ "BeIN Sports opts out of F1 rights renewal amid BeoutQ stand-off". SportsPro Media. 11 February 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  20. ^ "Dubai's MBC picks up F1 rights in Mena until 2023". SportBusiness Media. 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  21. ^ "No Africa Cup of Nations for Maghreb-based TV stations". Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  22. ^ "Saudis dismiss beIN Sports' FIFA World Cup TV piracy claim". Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  23. ^ "FIFA Accuses BeoutQ of Illegally Broadcasting Games". Sports Business Daily. 18 June 2018. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  24. ^ "BeIN Sports fined by Saudi authorities as BeoutQ row hots up". SportsPro. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  25. ^ "Saudis ban beIN Sports". Advanced Television. 23 August 2018. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  26. ^ "AFC cancels BeIN Sports rights in Saudi Arabia". SportsPro Media. 12 March 2019. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  27. ^ "BeIN Sports to launch AFC legal action". SportsPro Media. 13 March 2019. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  28. ^ a b "Change Log - KingOfSat".
  29. ^ "beIN Sports Go Secure 1st March 2014 . - video dailymotion". Dailymotion. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  30. ^ "BeIN Sports – Channels to go "secure" 1st March 2014 – The Sat and PC Guy – UK Satellite TV – Valencia – Costa Blanca – Spain". 23 February 2014.

Further reading edit

External links edit