November 10 – The Confederation of African Football (CAF) and global sports broadcasting network BeIN Sports are reported to have ended a long-running dispute that came to a head with CAF’s unilateral termination of their $415 million contract in September.
African football was plunged into commercial turmoil and intrigue after CAS issued a letter on September 1 cancelling the deal that still had four years still to run because of alleged unpaid rights fees.
beIN Media Group CEO Yousef Al-Obaidly responded by writing to all members of CAF’s executive committee saying that it did not accept the contract termination and that it would challenge the cancellation legally and attempt to overturn it.
CAF has now confirmed that it is resurrecting the partnership “after the parties reached agreement on the matters that were in dispute”.
No detailed public statement has been made by BeIN which simply said it was “pleased all matters have been positively resolved.”
CAF added the dispute has come to an end following “discussions which resulted in the re-establishment of a mutually beneficial partnership between the parties.”
Despite CAF saying originally that it would terminate the deal, it never cut BeIN’s TV feed to tournaments it held rights to, such as Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and African Champions League games.
The impasse marked the second time in four years that CAF has attempted to unilaterally terminate a major TV rights deal following the row with Lagardere Sports (now Sportfive) in November 2019.
Patrice Motsepe, CAF’s president since March 2021, commented: “CAF is delighted about its partnership with beIN and is committed to growing and expanding this relationship.”
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