Qatar’s BeIN Sports loses F1 regional broadcast rights to MBC Group

1 / 3
MBC will air the FIA Formula One World Championship across the Middle East and North Africa, starting this season until 2023. (File/AFP)
2 / 3
3 / 3
Updated 16 March 2019
0

Qatar’s BeIN Sports loses F1 regional broadcast rights to MBC Group

  • The region’s largest media company will air the championship across the Middle East and North Africa, starting this season until 2023
  • The deal will see the return of the world’s biggest motorsport event to a free-to-air network in the region, following years of being available on subscription-only networks

LONDON: The Middle East media group MBC has won the regional broadcast rights for the FIA Formula One World Championship, it was announced on Friday. 

The region’s largest media company will air the championship across the Middle East and North Africa, starting this season until 2023. 

The deal will see the return of the world’s biggest motorsport event to a free-to-air network in the region, following years of being available on subscription-only networks. 

The rights were previously held by the Qatar-owned beIN Sports, which charges its subscribers. This is the second to the Doha based broadcaster only a few days after the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) ended the Qatari broadcaster’s monopoly of broadcasting competition matches in Saudi Arabia.  The decision, which ended BeIN’s sole control of AFC’s Champions League matches in Saudi Arabia, was hinged on communications and legal grounds, including the Qatari company’s “systemic violations it committed against the Kingdom’s regulations.”

The F1 championship will now be free to watch on MBC Action, with the channel covering all stages of each event, including training sessions, qualifiers, and Grand Prix day. 

“The FIA Formula One World Championship is the most prestigious and popular year-long motor- sport event par excellence” said Mazen Hayek, MBC’s spokesman. 

“MBC Action is thrilled to broad- cast it free-to-air to millions of fans in Saudi Arabia and across MENA, after having been encrypted and subscription-based, for years. 

“This falls in line with MBC Group’s long-established commitment to offer the best premium content of all genres, free-to-air, to audiences across MENA, with the region’s vibrant youth mind.” 

The deal is through an agreement between MBC Group and the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile). 

The 2019 season commenced on Friday, with the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019 in Melbourne.


Cartoon tribute to Christchurch attack victims praised on social media

Updated 19 March 2019
0

Cartoon tribute to Christchurch attack victims praised on social media

  • Having not slept well in the wake of the atrocity, Campbell got the idea while lying in bed
  • The cartoon by Campbell, an award-winning artist, shows Muslims in the different stages of prayer

LONDON: A cartoon by Canberra Times artist Pat Campbell representing the 50 lives lost in the Christchurch terror attack depicted in the New Zealand “silver fern” has been praised widely on social media.
The cartoon by Campbell, an award-winning artist, shows Muslims in the different stages of prayer. His original which had 49 figures represented, published on Saturday March 16, was later updated by the artist himself to reflect the 50 lives lost.
Speaking to BuzzFeed News, he said: “I was thinking of the silver fern and thinking the pinnae (the individual bits coming off the stem) looked like figures, a similar number to the number of victims.”

The artist added that he owns land just outside the city and has friends in Christchurch, which prompted him to produce the artwork.
Having not slept well in the wake of the atrocity, Campbell got the idea while lying in bed.
“There were a lot of silhouettes to draw,” Campbell said. “They just kept coming. It brought home to me the death toll and the destruction one man can do with the right weapons.”