The broadcaster said that the ongoing fight against piracy in Saudi Arabia will have a “natural consequence” on the rights it chooses to buy.
Tom Keaveny, BeIN’s managing director in the region, said that the company will “pay less” for broadcast rights in the future in an effort to combat “industrial-scale theft” carried out by the Saudi group.
The football authorities – such as the Premier League, Uefa and Fifa – have started legal action in support of beIN, saying piracy is posing a significant threat to the game’s financial health. Liberty Media, who owns the F1 franchise, on the other hand, has been less proactive, certainly in public, and that has clearly damaged relations with BeIn.
“A rights holder’s stance on beoutQ’s piracy – in other words whether they’re taking legal action, making a public stand, and doing everything within their power to combat the industrial-scale theft of their rights – is a critical factor that we’re now considering when bidding.”
BeIN reportedly paid between US$30 million to US$40 million a year for live broadcast rights to Formula One between 2014 and 2019 – which represents roughly seven per cent of the series’ estimated broadcast income, according to media analyst Richard Broughton at Ampere Analysis.