Confederation of African Football canceles its broadcast deal with beIN Sports

African football’s governing body has cancelled its largest broadcast rights deal for the second time in four years, potentially sparking a legal dispute with Qatar-based beIN Media Group.

The termination of the $415 million contract that was set to run until 2028 was announced on Tuesday, leaving the Confederation of African Football (CAF) without a primary broadcaster just four months before its prominent men’s national team tournament.

BeIN became the CAF’s key broadcasting partner following the termination of a 12-year, $1 billion deal with the French media group Lagardere Sports in 2019.

The 2023 edition of the tournament will now begin in 2024, hosted in Ivory Coast, with the opening match set for January 13th. Senegal, the defending champions from the 2021 tournament, will aim to retain their title.

The originally planned kickoff in June 2023 was postponed due to concerns about the rainy season.

The termination of the broadcast deal with the Qatari broadcaster occurred several months after CAF and Motsepe signed a five-year working agreement with the Saudi Arabia football federation. This agreement was intended to encompass technical and football development at both the club and national team levels, as well as commercial opportunities.

The Saudi federation has not yet commented on CAF’s decision.

CAF has announced that it will hold an executive committee meeting on Thursday to discuss these developments.

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