The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) governing body has launched a tender for domestic rights to the country’s top two soccer leagues for the next three-year cycle.
The tender for the top-tier Super Lig and second-tier First Lig covers the 2024-25 to 2026-27 season and interested parties are to submit their bids by 2pm on February 14.
The bids will be evaluated by the Tender Commission established by the TFF and Club Association Foundation. The winner or winners of the rights will then be announced on February 29.
BeIN Sports, the Qatar-based international sports broadcaster, and its subsidiary Digiturk hold current rights to both leagues under a two-year partnership extension signed in June 2022 running from the 2022-23 season to 2023-24.
That agreement, worth TRY2.2 billion ($127 million), was much lower than BeIN’s previous $500 million five-year deal that ran from 2017-18 to 2021-22 and only came after a prolonged negotiating period where BeIN initially threatened to pull out of its bid.
During this time, TFF offered the rights to Saran, the Turkish media group, and the country’s public-service broadcaster TRT. However, the rights were eventually handed to BeIN.
The tough negotiations started when BeIN offered a lower fee for the rights due to its unhappiness with the level of digital piracy within the country, which it said it had been fighting itself.
The broadcaster was also subjected to an anti-BeIN campaign by Fenerbahce fans over claims it was manipulating VAR decisions and choosing camera angles of highlights that showed them in an unfavorable light. As a result, the team doctored BeIN’s logo to read ‘beFAIR’ on their pitchside advertising boards and team apparel.
The broadcaster took an emergency injunction against the club’s actions due to a breach of intellectual property and asked for a rebate on its rights deal with TFF.
This time around, TFF will be hoping for higher fees and a much calmer negotiating period.