Scottish football, beIN sign 26-country TV deal

Scotland’s Premier League on Tuesday announced a broadcast deal to show matches across 26 countries in the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand with Qatar-based channel beIN Sports.

Former England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard smiles as he holds up a Rangers scarf in the trophy room as he is unveiled as Rangers’ new manager at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland on May 4, 2018.
Rangers on Friday confirmed former Liverpool and England midfielder Steven Gerrard as their new manager, announcing he would join the Scottish Premiership club this summer on a four-year deal. / AFP PHOTO

The deal, which will also cover the League Cup, will run until June 2020, a joint statement from the Scottish league and beIN said.

Neil Doncaster, the Premier League’s chief executive, said it would allow Scottish football to be shown “in new territories around the world”.

Other countries in the agreement include Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Morocco.

The deal comes after Scottish league officials in August ended a rights agreement for overseas coverage of games with media company MP & Silva.

BeIN’s Daniel Markham said the deal with the Scottish Premier League “reaffirmed” the company’s position as a global sports broadcaster.

BeIN, which is headquartered in Doha, also show live matches in the same region from Spain’s La Liga, France’s Ligue 1, and the English Premier League.

News of the contract came just 24 hours after beIN launched a huge $1-billion compensation claim against Saudi channels which it accuses of illegally broadcasting live games.

Qatar accuses pirates in Saudi Arabia of industrial-scale theft by using a satellite provider in the kingdom to illegally broadcast matches through a channel called beoutQ.

Riyadh denies the claim and says it has nothing to do with beoutQ.

The claim is seemingly linked to a bitter diplomatic crisis between 2022 World Cup host and Saudi Arabia which has continued for the past 16 months.