BeIN Sports on Tuesday night responded to the decision by the Asian Football Confederation to cancel its exclusive broadcast rights to AFC football matches in Saudi Arabia.
In a long statement, BeIN said that the move will inflict major material and moral damage to the group. It pointed out that that rights were worth millions of dollars and said the end of its monopoly will cause significant damage, adding that it will take legal action in an attempt to obtain compensation.
The Saudi Football Federation said the decision was the result of major legal and regulatory violations by the Qatar-based broadcaster. It became effective immediately, beginning with Tuesday’s Asian Champions League match between Saudi side Al-Hilal and Qatar’s Al-Duhail, the federation said, adding that it will arrange alternative broadcasts of matches.
The AFC cited “illegal broadcasting” and “systemic violations it committed against the Kingdom’s regulations” for its decision to remove BeIN’s monopoly. It also blamed the broadcaster’s inability to obtain the necessary licenses to fulfill its obligations to broadcast matches to subscribers in Saudi Arabia.
BeIN Sports denies any violations in Saudi Arabia and said in its statement that the AFC decision was biased and politically motivated.
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