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Rights-holders ‘will drop off a cliff’ if piracy isn’t tackled: beIN CEO

Rights-holders ‘will drop off a cliff’ 
if piracy isn’t tackled: beIN CEO

Tribune News Network
beIN Media Group CEO, Yousef al Obaidly, has warned sports rights-holders, sponsors and broadcasters that “the glorious media rights bubble is about to burst because piracy has spread to every corner of the globe and every part of society.”
beIN have been affected by the piracy row particularly due to the activities of Saudi Arabia’s beoutQ. Speaking at the Sport Business Summit in London, Obaidly said, “The endless growth of sports rights is over. Not only that, but in certain cases, rights values are going drop off a cliff, and the very economic model of our industry is going to be re-written.
“Any rights-holders who think that the technology companies of the West Coast are their financial saviours are going to be swiftly disappointed.
“Consumers, young and old, are accessing everything for nothing – via a kodi or a VPN or beoutQ – wherever they are, whenever they like, and this behaviour is being normalised.”
beIN holds a host of major sports rights around the world, including each of Europe’s top five leagues, and the value of its portfolio is reported to be in excess of £10billion. The channel holds the Middle East rights for the Premier League, for which it pays a reported £328million.
“If you look at Premier League clubs, if you take Watford or Bournemouth, the revenue they get today mostly comes from broadcast revenues. Broadcast revenues thanks to the deal with Sky in Europe is 88 or 90% of their total revenues so if these rights are sold non-exclusively, the broadcasters will not come and just find that amount of money for the same price.
“Because, you know, it’s literally non-exclusive. And that is my response. If we don’t do anything about piracy, you know, then you know, you will have to have a big big element and quite a value of reduction in rights,” he added.
Obaidly was also scathing of right-holders attitude towards piracy.
“In response to piracy generally putting beoutQ aside, the industry is paying lip service to the problem at best. It’s so tiring to hear from rights-holders that they have done everything beIN has asked, as if beIN has the primary responsibility to define and protect rights owners’ property.
“At the same time, rights-holders are the first to suggest innovative ways of increasing their content’s value, advanced new viewing technologies or new broadcasting slots or viral social activations – without once mentioning piracy which is their single greatest value destroyer. It is like playing a Champions League match but without a goalkeeper,” Obaidly said.