CAF and beIN Straighten Partnership Following Successful Negotiation Over Financial Disagreements

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced an end to its row with beIN Sports following the recent cancellation of a broadcast deal which prompted threats of legal action by the Qatar-based pay-television broadcaster.

CAF said today (Thursday) that it will “recommit to its partnership” with the broadcaster after the parties “reached agreement on the matters that were in dispute”.

The confederation added that it conducted discussions with beIN which have “resulted in the re-establishment of a mutually beneficial partnership between the parties”.

CAF’s lawyers informed beIN on September 1 that the organisation would tear up its 12-year, $415m (€387m) contract, signed in 2017, with immediate effect. It was CAF’s biggest broadcast deal in any market. CAF claimed that it was owed $94m by beIN.

In response, beIN chief executive Yousef Al-Obaidly told CAF that it would take all necessary legal steps to challenge the termination and overturn it.

The termination came ahead of the final round of African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers, leaving CAF without broadcast exposure across more than 40 countries in the beIN Sports-contracted markets, namely the Middle East and North Africa, France (French language), USA (English language), Canada and the Asia-Pacific region

Both parties entered negotiations in September in a bid to find a resolution. Now, the new agreement struck covers the forthcoming cycle of CAF events, including the 2025 Afcon.

CAF president Patrice Motsepe said today that the confederation is “deeply committed to promoting and advancing the interest of all its sponsors and partners and building mutually beneficial relationships with them and with all our stakeholders”. He described CAF as committed to “growing and expanding” the relationship with beIN “for the benefit of both parties”.

BeIN has issued a short statement, saying that it is “pleased all matters have been positively resolved”.

In 2019, CAF abruptly cancelled its $1bn global sponsorship and media rights deal with Lagardère Sports. The agency, now known as Sportfive, sought compensation, having described the termination of the 12-year contract as “unlawful, unreasonable and unjustified”.

That deal was set to run until the end of 2028 before the cancellation, and as a result of that decision, CAF subsequently lost its broadcast rights contract with pan-African subscription broadcaster SuperSport, which had agreed a long-term deal with Lagardère Sports.

In May, CAF initiated broadcast rights sales processes in sub-Saharan Africa and international markets for its flagship competitions between 2023 and 2025. The invitation to tender (ITT) excluded markets where beIN held the rights. 

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