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Egypt bans beIN Sports

July 17, 2017

By Chris Forrester

Egypt’s Competition Authority (ECA) has repeated that Qatar-based beIN Sports cannot operate or deliver its sports transmissions over Egypt.

Currently, Egypt is in a diplomatic dispute with Qatar, which has not helped the situation but in fact the problems with beIN Sports go back to the earlier part of the year, and concerns access to football for Egypt’s soccer fans.

beIN Sports hold the exclusive rights to the important Confederation of African Football (CAF) competition – and where Egypt tends to do well. Viewer access to the games are controlled by Cairo-based Cable Network Egypt (CNE) which collects subscriber fees on behalf of beIN Sport (and the other pay-TV operators transmitting over Egypt).  CNE’s web-site is still offering beIN Sports access to subscribers (“76 channels for Eg. Pounds 228/month”).

The ECA has ruled that subscribers can get their money back from CNE as the relationship between CNE and beIN Sports is “null and void”, because beIN Sports has “violated Article 8 of the protection of competition law by engaging in monopolistic practices by being the only broadcast authority with the right to domestically broadcast the majority of football competitions”.

In other words, beIN Sports holds the exclusive rights.

The ECA added that was unfortunate that beIN Sports has ignored the complaint filed against it by the ECA in January and continues to pursue monopolistic practices that “harm Egyptian citizens.”

The ECA is alleging that the Confederation’s president, Issa Hayatou and the beIN Sports group of abusing their positions in granting Paris-based Lagardère Group broadcasting rights for African football competitions from 2017 to 2028 without opening up bidding for other companies.

ECA also says that beIN has switched services for Egyptian subscribers from Nilesat to the Qatari Es’Hail satellite in order to watch African football matches.

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