Exclusive broadcast rights to the 2019 and 2020 editions of the Fifa Club World Cup have been acquired by beIN Media Group, the Qatar-based pay-TV broadcaster, across the Middle East and North Africa.
The agreement, which was negotiated by Dentsu, Fifa’s sales agent for the competition, covers 24 countries in the Mena region and will take effect with rights to next month’s tournament, which will be held in Doha, the Qatari capital.
News of the agreement coincided with the announcement that the BBC, the public-service broadcaster, has secured the rights in the UK to the 2019 tournament.
The 2019 Club World Cup will be staged in Qatar for the first time in its history as three stadiums – including two 2022 Fifa World Cup venues (the Education City Stadium and Khalifa International Stadium) – play host to matches. Qatar will also stage the 2020 edition before China stages the first edition of the expanded quadrennial version in 2021.
Al Sadd, the Qatari club, will be competing in the tournament alongside the champions of Europe (Liverpool), South America (Flamengo), the Concacaf region (C.F. Monterrey), Africa (ES Tunis), Oceania (Hienghene Sport) and Asia (Al Hilal).
Yousef Al-Obaidly, CEO of beIN Media Group, said today that “with our world-class studios and facilities in Doha, as well as our experienced staff and talent, beIN Sports will proudly broadcast this prestigious international club football tournament to millions of viewers across the region.”
Simon Thomas, Fifa’s new chief commercial officer, described beIN as “an immensely important broadcast partner of Fifa’s, being the premier broadcaster in the host country of the Fifa World Cup 2022, with unrivalled reach in a region that represents one of the key markets in the world today.”
The acquisition of the rights by beIN comes with the broadcaster continuing its fight against the beoutQ pirate network and with Qatar the subject of a blockade by other countries in the region.
Just this week, the broadcaster said that it was actively reviewing its commercial relationship with Serie A given the staging of the Italian Super Cup in Saudi Arabia.
The broadcaster is currently in the second season of a three-season Serie A rights deal, paying $170m per season for the exclusive rights between 2018-19 and 2020-21 across 36 territories. The deal was agreed with the IMG agency and includes France, Spain, Australia, Turkey, seven Asian territories and a further 24 in the Mena region.
Speaking at an industry event last month, Al-Obaidly warned that beoutQ and “piracy generally” had led beIN to regard “all sports rights as non-exclusive and our commercial offers will reflect that”.
In the UK, the BBC has announced that it will show every match live from the 2019 Fifa Club World Cup.
Perform, the digital sports media and content company, held exclusive rights in the UK to the 2017 and 2018 editions of the Club World Cup. Perform streamed the tournaments free of charge on its Goal.com portal.
The 2019 Club World Cup will take place from December 11 to 21.