Qatar-based pay-TV network pulls payments during Covid-19 shutdown.
France’s Professional Football League (LFP) has suffered a further blow after global pay-TV broadcaster BeIN Sports became the organising body’s second domestic broadcast partner to suspend its Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 rights payments in less than a week.
Yousef Al-Obaidly, the chief executive of BeIN Media Group, informed LFP chief executive Didier Quillot that the network won’t be paying its next instalment while no matches in French soccer’s top two tiers are being played during the coronavirus-enforced shutdown.
In a letter sent on 1st April, and seen by SportsPro, Al-Obaidly cites a ‘total lack of real visibility’ regarding when the paused 2019/20 season will resume as the reason behind the company’s decision, adding that the situation has been ‘aggravated’ by a recent two-week extension to the French government’s nationwide lockdown.
The move comes days after French pay-TV broadcaster Canal+ informed the LFP that it will also be suspending its broadcast rights payments while matches are suspended.
Both networks were due to make advanced payments to the LFP on 5th April. While Canal+ owes €110 million (US$120.5 million) for its share of the rights, BeIN was due to pay the LFP €42 million (US$45.3 million).
A further rights fee payment of €55 million (US$60.1 million) is due from BeIN on 5th June, though SportsPro understands that the network, whose global rights portfolio is estimated to be worth US$15 billion, has yet to make