beIN declines to renew F1 deal in MENA | Deals | News | Rapid TV News
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Formula One is looking for a broadcaster in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) after beIN Sports opted not to renew its rights deal due to ongoing content piracy.
Formula One 21 January 19
Qatar-based beIN, which had been the motor sports’ exclusive broadcaster in the region since 2014, paid an estimated US$30-40 million a year during the five year deal.

beIN has been battling sustained content theft from sophisticated pirate broadcaster beoutQ  and said it had warned sporting bodies of the commercial consequences of the problem.

“A rights holder’s stance on beoutQ’s piracy - in other words whether they’re taking legal action, making a public stand, and doing everything within their power to combat the industrial-scale theft of their rights - is a critical factor that we’re now considering when bidding,” said Tom Keaveny, managing director, beIN Media.

Formula One (F1), which was bought by Liberty Media in 2017, confirmed tocnews agency Bloomberg it was finalising arrangements with a new licensee for MENA.

The 2019 Formula One World Championship begins in Australia on 17 March. In the Middle East, races are held in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.

Liberty Media, is seeking to expand the sport’s reach and global viewer base. A new grand prix will be held in Hanoi, Vietnam from 2020, adding to F1’s existing Asian races in Singapore, China and Japan.

It has also launched a direct-to-consumer digital streaming service that aims to attract 2 million subscribers by 2027.

Globally, the sport said it registered 10% growth in 2018, reaching 490.2 million unique viewers, with F1’s top 20 markets growing their audience by 14% last year.