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BeIn Sports resumes Serie A coverage following blackout with discount deal

BeIN Sports has reached a truce with Italy’s Serie A following the broadcaster’s refusal to show the league’s matches for a week.

The Qatar-based beIN blacked out its coverage of Serie A in the 35 territories in which it holds the broadcast rights – including France and MENA countries – over what it believed to be inaction over Serie A’s approach to piracy.

The broadcaster has been one of the worst impacted by piracy, and has been the specific target of Saudi illegal streaming outfit beoutQ.

BeIN had been in the middle of a three-year US$500 million broadcast rights deal, but agreed to resume coverage with what is believed to be a major discount.

The broadcaster had also previously been unhappy with Serie A’s deal to stage the Supercoppa Italiana in Saudi Arabia, with Qatar being in a years-long dispute with the kingdom.

A spokesperson for beIN Media Group said: “The agreement reached regarding Serie A sets a major precedent, reinforcing what BeIN and other international broadcasters have been saying for years: if rights holders don’t tackle piracy, they’ll only receive non-exclusive fees.”

This statement echoes the comments made by Yousef Al-Obaidly, CEO of BeIN Media Group, who last October said that “we now live in a world where exclusive broadcast rights are, effectively, wholly non-exclusive” and that “everyone in this industry is asleep at the wheel and refuses to confront the piracy elephant that’s been in the room for years.”