Liberty Media has lost one of F1's biggest television deals

Sunday, 10 february 2019, 07:09 , by Matthew Scott

Liberty Media's reign over Formula 1 has suffered another damaging blow after losing a rights deal in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with broadcast giants beIN Sports. According to analysts the deal made up as much as 7 per cent of all of F1's broadcast revenue.

BeIN has walked away from F1 over a lack of action taken over piracy in the region, particularly by the Saudi-based beoutQ.

Pirated sports overage has been an issue for broadcasters for some time, especially in football, and the issue is not uncommon in F1 circles.

Liberty released a statement in June after it became apparent that beoutQ had started airing races for free, saying: "Formula 1 takes intellectual property infringement of this nature extremely seriously, we are looking in to the issue and those that are involved and will take appropriate action."

However, it appears F1 bosses have not done enough to shut down beoutQ's ability to air F1 races, prompting beIN to walk away.

Tom Keaveny, beIN Media Group's managing director said: "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 now consider when bidding.

"We pay enormous amounts for media rights, but the natural consequence of Saudi Arabia's piracy is that those rights cannot be protected so we will pay less for those rights in the future – in particular to the rights holders who pay only lip service to combatting BeoutQ. 

"We have been warning of the very real commercial consequences of BeoutQ's theft of world sport and entertainment for almost two years now – yet the piracy continues with impunity every day and represents an existential threat to the economic model of the sports and entertainment industry."

According to Ampere Analysis, beIN's deal was worth between $30million-$40million a year between 2014 and 2019.

Richard Broughton from Ampere Analysis told Bloomberg: "Gulf operators are under intense pressure at the moment from piracy and poor consumer receptiveness to paying high monthly fees for content."

Bloomberg quotes an F1 spokesperson as claiming that a new deal is being put in place, but it remains to be seen if it will come close to the huge sums paid by beIN.

MORE: What is BeoutQ, and why are F1 desperate to shut them down?

Related news

Comments (18)

  • Stefan Vis
    All they need to do is rule out that their sports (and Any other sports) dissappear behind the pay box. Always make sure stuff can appear on cable, if its popular and interesting enough for them. It benefits actual sponsors and so the teams that need the money to do what they love and in the end to make the audience happy. The audience WILL show up at their races when in the neighborhood, ensuring a good paycheck for Liberty. Sell F1 for a set price to cable, and a payed platform can dig in to the action by having to step up their game with extra insight and other sattellite activities to attract the fan who needs more. It's simple. Some musical bands share their music for free and sell their concerts out every time. People are happy to pay for the albums later because of this tactic. They benefit the venues, themselves and their fans. But not the controlfreaks online. Bottom line, too many sports are now reading sports because of the whiney stances people with money take on 'their intellectual property'. Stop killing your own interest Liberty Media!
  • Kathryn Wick
    If companies like Sky and BT Sport weren’t so greedy, and made it more affordable to watch the channels you actually want to watch (eg I want to watch F1, but I don’t want to have to pay for football that I’ll never watch) then maybe people would be less inclined to resort to trying to watch it via piracy channels. This is only happening because the cost of watching satellite TV has gone over the top. I work in F1 but I absolutely refuse to pay over £80 a month so I can watch the races. For the months when there’s 2 races that’s £40 a race. That’s ridiculous. I can’t even get MotoGP included for that, I have to pay something like another £15/month to BT Sport. Liberty are a nightmare, there’s no doubt about that, they’re greedy and really have no clue about what is best for the sport, but the satellite tv companies are equally greedy. They’re all as bad as each other and the only people that will suffer are the fans
  • Kevin Kirk
    you word headlines like this because you know morons will think its liberty fault this happened. You know you have people that will take it that way and you use this technic to herd them just like cnn and fox uses their viewers to herd them. This TV deal wasnt renewed by the TV station because of piracy in the region. Liberty media doesnt have a dam thing to do with neither of those things. Get your shit together.
  • Hank Siarczynski
    Their daily planner must look like this: Mon: screw something up, Tues: screw it up more, Wed: closed,Thurs: fix what we did on Mon but in the process screw up what we did on Tues even more; Thur-Fri: what's the point. This group is a bad joke.
  • Paul Compton
    The way it's going with liberty the only people watching by the start of the season will be in the paddock.
  • Laurence Barnes
    Good thing Bein walked away, the membership fee for their Chanel's is ridiculous.
  • Barbara Gouin
    People do NOT want to pat to watch that is the problem it is all about money
  • Barbara Gouin
    People do NOT want to pay to watch that is the problem
  • Emirhan Kocaguzel
    Kagan Selcuk Tuni Akinci vay mq beIN sport anlasmayi bozmus
  • Andy Evans
    When does Kevin Kirk get his cheque from Liberty?
  • Wendy Jenkins
    Put it back on terrestrial. ...
  • Aidan Millward
    Please be sky... please be sky...
  • Tony Webb
    Liberty Media are a bad joke
  • Tom Don
    Fock F1 go watch WRC
  • Guy Fleshbourne
    Beam me up snotty!
  • Venkatesh Kanki
    Joey Dodosh beoutq

Write a comment