BeIN Sports to resume full English Premier League broadcasts after league lifts restrictions
BeIN Sports, the Qatar-based sports broadcaster, is to resume showing matches from English soccer's Premier League in the 6pm, '18:00 Mecca', slot in the Middle East and North Africa.
The broadcaster had been restricted to screening just one match at 6pm, 3pm in the UK, on television only, after failing to allay the Premier League's concerns about piracy.
BeIN Sports began broadcasting the Premier League from the 2013-14 season, on a three-year deal that expires after the 2015-16 season.
In August, the broadcaster offered a free month's access to its online service, beIN Sports Connect, after customers complained that live matches were not available online, because of the league's concerns that the live stream could be pirated and transmitted to the UK, where 3pm games are not permitted to be broadcast.
However after testing the technical set-up further, BeIN Sports will now be able to show all of the games in that time slot.
Nasser Al-Khelaifi, BeIN Sports' chairman and chief executive, said: “We are delighted to resume live broadcast of all Saturday '18:00 Mecca time' games on BeIN Sports channels. The English Premier League is a primary property and we are very happy to bring back this weekend excitement to our millions of subscribers in the region.”
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said: "Strong anti-piracy measures used by BeIN Sports have proved to be successful and, as a result, we are very happy to revert back to our original licensing position from last season.
"We now look forward to all Barclays Premier League fans across the region enjoying more extensive access to the competition in the coming weeks and months."
BeIN Sports acquired the rights to show the Premier League across 23 countries in the Middle East and North Africa from MP & Silva, the Singapore-based sports agency, which paid $300 million for them.