AFC Champions League and AFC Cup added to BeIN Sports’ MENA offering

  • AFC competitions to air on dedicated BeIN channels
  • Rights deal continues cooling of tensions between broadcaster and soccer body

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has extended its broadcast partnership with Qatar-based pay-TV network BeIN Sports for the 2022 season, in a deal which includes the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup.

The agreement covers 14 territories in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, including Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen.

The addition of the two continental club competitions to BeIN’s regional rights portfolio has prompted the network to launch four new dedicated AFC channels to ensure it is able to simultaneously broadcast all live matches.

The rights acquisition, which comes hot on the heels of a deal agreed last month for BeIN to air the AFC’s remaining qualification matches for the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar, marks a thawing of relations between the broadcaster and governing body.

In 2019, amid a regional trade blockade against Qatar and broadcast piracy operation linked to Saudi Arabia, BeIN launched legal action against the AFC for cancelling its rights contract in the kingdom. The lifting of the blockade last year has cooled regional tensions and appears to have laid the ground for this deal.

“We are pleased to announce this partnership with BeIN, which will bring the AFC’s world-class competitions to more nations across the MENA region, including nine AFC member associations,” said Dato’ Windsor John, AFC general secretary.

“The MENA region is home to some of the most passionate fans of Asian football and it is essential that we provide them with unparalleled access to further solidify the AFC’s ambitions of confirming football as the number one sport in the continent.”

The AFC competitions add to BeIN’s live soccer offering in the MENA region, which includes the Premier League, Uefa Champions League, LaLiga, Ligue 1, and the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

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