After a two-year blackout, the Bundesliga will return to the Middle East and North Africa.
The German Football League announced a new three-year rights pact with BeIN Sports in the region that will start immediately. The exclusive deal will show all 306 matches each season and includes the end-of-season relegation playoffs, Bundesliga 2, the German Supercup, and social media clip rights.
BeIN’s relationship with the MENA region has been shaky due to its concerns regarding Saudi Arabia.
- BeIN Sports, a Qatari company, filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization in 2018 that accused Saudi Arabia of blocking BeIN from broadcasting in the Kingdom.
- It then launched an internal investment arbitration against Saudi Arabia for $1 billion in damages over pirated sports broadcasts from services like beoutQ.
- BeIN opted out of a Bundesliga rights renewal in 2020 due to piracy concerns and the ban. It reportedly paid $237 million over the course of its previous deal.
- Last year, Saudi Arabia lifted its ban on BeIN.
BeIN holds rights to the Bundesliga in Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, and Turkey, covering 28 global territories in total.
The ban didn’t stop BeIN from scoring other similar deals.
In 2020, BeIN secured the MENA region’s Premier League rights through 2025 as part of a $500 million deal. In 2021, it struck a $600 million pact to broadcast the Champions League and other UEFA tournaments across the region. It also has rights to La Liga and Ligue 1 competitions.