Serie A yet to sell TV rights after Qatar’s beIN backed out

Jun 21, 2021, 7:30 PM | Updated: Jun 22, 2021, 7:33 am

Serie A has been unable to sell its Middle East television rights, rejecting the offers made after beIN Sports did not bid over concerns about the Italian league’s close relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Qatar-owned beIN was not part of the rights auction process to retain the rights after Serie A signed deals to play three Italian Super Cups in Saudi Arabia despite the protests about the kingdom’s links to broadcast piracy through the renegade beoutQ operation.

Serie A said it rejected the unidentified bids received for the 2021-24 for the Middle East and North Africa.

“We will open new negotiations in the next weeks,” Serie A told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “We prefer not to comment on the details of the offers and the reason of our refusal.”

The lack of interest in taking up the rights by beIN denies Serie A potentially significant revenue since it was previously paying $500 million for rights over three seasons in 36 territories including the 24 countries in the MENA region, amounting to more than half of the league’s overseas revenue.

“We’ve been ostracized by beIN,” Serie A CEO Luigi De Siervo told the AP in March, “and that makes it very complicated and difficult for us.”

FIFA and other major soccer competitions have spent more than three years trying to stop a Saudi-facilitated broadcasting operation from pirating broadcasts from Qatar’s beIN Sports. FIFA issued a statement in 2019 saying the “piracy continues unabated” and requesting the “Saudi government take swift and decisive action against beoutQ.” The World Trade Organization last year found the Saudi state blocked moves to shut down beoutQ.

The pirating of rights was a proxy of the wider Gulf dispute that had seen Qatar boycotted economically and diplomatically by its neighbors since 2017 before the crisis eased in January with Doha signing a declaration with Saudi Arabia as well as Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (6) drives for the basket in front of Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown...
Associated Press

Brown forces OT, Celtics snap skid by beating LA 125-121

BOSTON (AP) — Jaylen Brown scored 37 points, completing a tying three-point play with 4.1 seconds left in regulation and adding 11 more in overtime as the NBA-leading Boston Celtics snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the archrival Los Angeles Lakers 125-121 on Saturday night. Brown added nine rebounds, Jayson Tatum had 30 points […]
21 hours ago
Dallas Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie (26) has a shot blocked by Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler...
Associated Press

Jazz hold off late rally, beat Doncic-less Mavericks 108-100

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Lauri Markkanen scored 29 points, Malik Beasley added 19 and the Utah Jazz took advantage of Dallas star Luka Doncic’s absence to beat the Mavericks 108-100 on Saturday night. Doncic sat out because of a sprained left ankle. Jordan Clarkson added 14 points for Utah, and Walker Kessler had 14 […]
21 hours ago
Washington Wizards guard Monte Morris (22) shoots against New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum (3...
Associated Press

Gafford double-double leads Wizards past Pelicans 113-103

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Daniel Gafford had a season-high 21 points to go with 12 rebounds and five blocked shots, and the Washington Wizards beat the reeling New Orleans Pelicans 113-103 on Saturday night for their fifth straight victory. Bradley Beal scored nine of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and Deni Avdija scored […]
21 hours ago
Phoenix Suns' Deandre Ayton (22) and San Antonio Spurs' Jakob Poeltl, left, grab for a rebound duri...
Associated Press

Paul, Bridges help Suns escape Spurs in overtime, 121-116

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Chris Paul scored 31 points, Mikal Bridges had 25 and the Phoenix Suns escaped with a 128-118 overtime victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night. San Antonio never led and trailed by 13 early in the fourth quarter, but forced overtime with an 18-7 run in the final four […]
21 hours ago
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (1) is fouled by Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox d...
Associated Press

Edwards scores 34, Timberwolves beat Kings 117-110

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Anthony Edwards had 16 of his 34 points in the pivotal third quarter, D’Angelo Russell scored 25 points and the Minnesota Timberwolves held on for a 117-110 win against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night. Rudy Gobert added 13 points and 14 rebounds for Minnesota, which has won five of six and […]
21 hours ago
Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Logan Thompson reacts after giving up a goal to New York Islanders ...
Associated Press

Barzal scores in OT, Islanders beat Golden Knights 2-1

NEW YORK (AP) — Mathew Barzal scored in overtime and Semyon Varlamov made a season-high 44 saves to help the New York Islanders beat the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 on Saturday night for their second straight victory. Barzal beat goaltender Logan Thompson with a high shot at 4:28 of the extra session after Varlamov stopped […]
21 hours ago
Serie A yet to sell TV rights after Qatar’s beIN backed out