BeIN's Turkish Champions League snub a warning to TFF
BeIN Sports, the international pay-television broadcaster, did not participate in the recent auction for media rights to European soccer club competitions in Turkey, it has emerged.
BeIN's pay-TV operator in the country, Digiturk, holds exclusive Champions League and Europa League rights in Turkey for the present 2018-19 to 2020-21 cycle, having replaced rival Türk Telekom in the previous auction, and pays around $50 million per year.
However, the incumbent did not enter a bid for the 2021-22 to 2023-24 cycle, with first round bids having been submitted to Uefa and the Team Marketing agency by 30 March.
There were two tenders launched in the country, one for the Champions League and Super Cup, and one for the Europa League and new third-tier Europa Conference League.
GlobalData Sport understands that as well as the general downturn in the value of premium sports rights, BeIN has taken a stance against the high levels of piracy in Turkey.
It took similar decisions when deciding against bidding to retain Serie A and Bundesliga rights in the Middle East and North Africa over the past nine months.
The refusal to engage in the Uefa tender in Turkey should come as considerable concern to the Turkish Football Federation, which is planning its next domestic tender.
BeIN holds global rights to the Süper Lig in a five-year deal, originally worth $500 million per annum, that expires after the 2021-22 season. Impacted by Covid-19 and the declining value of the Turkish lira, the deal is worth around $370 million this year.
Throughout the course of the Süper Lig contract, BeIN has pleaded with the TFF and top-flight clubs to help fight piracy, claiming it devalues the rights for all concerned.
BeIN is also fighting a bizarre battle against Fenerbache, having sued the Süper Lig giants for breach of intellectual property.
Fenerbahce had been doctoring BeIN's logo to read 'beFAIR' on their pitchside advertising boards and on team apparel.
Fenerbahce fans and club officials have accused BeIN and Digiturk of manipulating video assistant referee decisions and choosing camera angles or highlights that show them in an unfavourable light.