BeIN Sports, the flagship channel of international pay-television broadcaster BeIN Media Group, is once again broadcasting German soccer’s top-tier Bundesliga and second-tier Bundesliga 2 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Through a three-year deal, announced today (August 31) and beginning on Friday (September 2), BeIN has the exclusive rights in the region to all 306 Bundesliga fixtures and those from the second tier, the end-of-season relegation playoffs, and the German Supercup.
It also includes full digital and social media clips and highlights rights and will see BeIN showing complementary highlights and magazine shows.
Among the players from the region plying their trade in the Bundesliga are Algerian international Ramy Bensebaini (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Egyptian striker Omar Marmoush (VfL Wolfsburg), Moroccan Bundesliga newcomer Noussair Mazraoui (FC Bayern München), and Tunisian midfielder Ellyes Skhiri (1. FC Köln).
The agreement sees the leagues return to screens in MENA following a two-year absence, with BeIN having opted against renewing its previous five-year contract in 2020 due to concerns about piracy in the region.
BeIN was banned from operating in Saudi Arabia because of the country’s long-running diplomatic dispute with Qatar, with the Saudi government having also been accused of harboring beoutQ, a pirate network based in the country that had been stealing BeIN's premium sports content, including the Bundesliga.
However, those issues have since been resolved, with Saudi Arabia having suddenly clamped down on piracy after years of inaction when became apparent that its Public Investment Fund’s deal to buy English Premier League team Newcastle United was contingent on such action.
In the interim, the Bundesliga was reported to have been working with Charlton, the Israeli pay-television broadcaster, to provide an online solution for coverage in the region, but nothing came of this.
The new deal means BeIN now holds the rights to the Bundesliga in 28 global territories, also including France, Turkey, Australia, and New Zealand.
Among the other soccer properties to which it has rights in MENA are the Premier League, Spain’s LaLiga, France’s Ligue 1, the continental club competitions of European governing body UEFA and the World Cup national teams tournament.
BeIN had also hoped to once again acquire rights to the Italian top-tier Serie A, but they went instead to Abu Dhabi Media, the media and entertainment organization.
Mohammad Al-Subaie, chief executive of BeIN MENA, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Bundesliga back to BeIN Sports in the MENA region. As one of the biggest and most significant leagues in world football, we’re proud to give German football fans the best viewing and engagement experiences, while helping German football flourish and grow."
Robert Klein, chief executive of Bundesliga International, added: “With stars such as reigning African Player of the Year Sadio Mane lighting up the league each week, we look forward to working with BeIN Sports to deliver world-class localized content and showcase the best of the Bundesliga over the next three years to the millions of football fans throughout the region, who can now follow the league as well as their favorite teams and players again.”