Saudi Pro League builds broadcast footprint; SRJ to construct a sports business

August 9 – The billion dollar spending of Saudi Pro League clubs to build a league worthy of global attention is starting to see its first significant broadcast deals in major football markets outside the Middle East.

But broadcast sales for the league will never match the spending of the clubs, and that isn’t really the point. What the league wants is global exposure for its clubs and players, and for a rebranding Saudi Arabia.

IMG, brought in to open the broadcast TV sales doors, have agreed a broadcast deal of to three live matches a week with DAZN for the UK, Germany and Austria,

The deal is for one-season only and is reportedly worth just $500,000.

DAZN will stream at least two matches from each round, one of which will feature Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr. DAZN will also broadcast a weekly digital highlights package.

In the UK they are picking up the rights from Sky Spirts

All of IMG’s deals so far have been short-term deals in around 30 markets, including Brazil, Portugal, China and Italy.

Saudis target event ownership

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has formed a new sports investment company – SRJ Sports Investments  – that will look to acquire and create new sports events intellectual property (IP), commercial rights of sports competitions and hosting major global events in Saudi Arabia.

While the Saudi investment in football to date looks unlikely to ever deliver a significant financial return, SRJ is expected to be run as a profit-making business with a broad range of investments focussed around rights ownership.

The new company is also looking to acquire “unique fan engagement activities” and “transformative sports technology”.

“We are thrilled to announce the establishment of SRJ Sports Investments Company to accelerate the growth of the sports sector in Saudi Arabia and the MENA region, by creating and investing in international sports IP, enhancing the fan experience through hosting major global events and investing in transformative technologies,” said Raid Ismail, head of MENA Direct Investments at PIF.

“The company will complement other PIF investments in the sports sector, all of which are contributing to a more vibrant society, in line with PIF’s strategy and Saudi Vision 2030.”

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1716204439labto1716204439ofdlr1716204439owedi1716204439sni@n1716204439osloh1716204439cin.l1716204439uap1716204439

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