By mena.tv July 20, 2020
Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Competition (GAC) has announced that it has now permanently cancelled the licence of Qatari broadcaster, beIN Sports. The TV Network had already been barred from broadcasting in Saudi Arabia since mid-2017.
The Saudi Arabian competition authority said in a statement on its website that a fine of SR10 million was also imposed on beIN Sports for violations of the provisions of the Competition Law through its involvement in monopolistic practices. The GAC said it found beIN Sports had abused its dominant position through several monopolistic practices related to what it described as an exclusive sports broadcast bundle for the 2016 UEFA European Championship soccer matches, reported Saudi Gazette on Tuesday. The decision is apparently aimed at protecting and encouraging fair competition and combating monopolistic practices.
This is the latest episode in the long-running story which at its heart sees Saudi Arabia and Qatar each seeking to control regional distribution of international football broadcasting and other premium sports. Qatar’s beIN sports currently holds rebroadcasting contracts for most premium sports events including the major international football leagues and tournaments. However, Saudi Arabia is the most lucrative Pay-TV market in the MENA region, so millions of premium sports lovers in the Kingdom are hoping that some kind of solution can be reached.