AFC invites bids to broadcast football in Saudi Arabia after canceling rights held by Qatar’s BeIN

Saudi side Ittihad playing in the AFC Champions League group B match on Tuesday. Broadcasters have been asked to bid for AFC rights for 2021 to 2024. (AFP)
Updated 08 May 2019

AFC invites bids to broadcast football in Saudi Arabia after canceling rights held by Qatar’s BeIN

  • The package includes media rights for national team competitions and clubs
  • The AFC said in March that it had canceled BeIN’s broadcasting rights for the Kingdom

JEDDAH: The Asian Football Confederation on Tuesday invited broadcasters to bid for the 2021-2024 media rights to show football in Saudi Arabia after Qatari broadcaster BeIN Sport lost the rights.

The package includes media rights for national team competitions and clubs, including highlights from the AFC Asian Cup and Asian qualifiers for the World Cup in 2022.

It also includes the rights to club competitions - the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup - that include the strongest clubs from all over the continent.

The AFC said in March that it had canceled BeIN’s broadcasting rights for the Kingdom. The Saudi Football Federation said the move brought to an end BeIN’s monopoly over the AFC’s Champions League matches in Saudi Arabia. The AFC at the time blamed BeIN’s “illegal broadcasting”, and the “systemic violations it committed against the Kingdom’s regulations.”

The bidding process will begin on May 9, 2019.

“The AFC media rights partner will need to demonstrate state of the art broadcasting, engaging and informative programming and creative as well as innovative media output,” the AFC statement said.

The successful broadcaster must have the capacity to “encrypt, geo-block or otherwise limit reception of their transmissions to the Territory of the KSA only."


REVIEW: Second season of Sacred Games mirrors the ills of today's India

Updated 21 min 10 sec ago

REVIEW: Second season of Sacred Games mirrors the ills of today's India

CHENNAI: The first season of “Sacred Games” last year was a hit, and the second edition, which began streaming on Netflix on Aug. 15, may be even more so.

The eight episodes explore some of India's most pressing current issues such as a nuclear threat, terrorism and inter-religious animosity dating back to the country's 1947 partition. It. It also addresses how religious men can indulge in the most unholy of acts, including helping corrupt politicians.

Some of the greatest films have had conflict and war as their backdrop: “Gone with the Wind,” “Casablanca,” “Ben-Hur” and “Garam Hawa,” to mention a few. The second season of “Sacred Games” also unfolds in such a scenario, with terrorism and inter-communal disharmony having a rippling effect on the nation.

Directed by Anurag Kashyap (“Gangs of Wasseypur,” “Black Friday”) and Neeraj Ghaywan (“Masaan,” which premiered at Cannes in 2015), the web series, based on Vikram Chandra's 2006 novel, unfolds with Ganesh Gaitonde (played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui) escaping from prison and finding himself in Mombasa. He has been carted there by an agent of India's

Research and Analysis Wing, Kusum Devi Yadav (Amruta Subhash), who forces him to help find Shahid Khan (Ranvir Shorey), the mastermind behind bomb blasts and terror attacks.

In Mumbai, police inspector Sartaj (Saif Ali Khan) has just two weeks to save the city from a nuclear attack, which Gaitonde had warned him about. Both men love Mumbai and do not want it to be destroyed. But religious extremist Khanna Guruji (Pankaj Tripathi) and his chief disciple Batya Ableman (Kalki Koechlin) believe that only such a catastrophic destruction can help cleanse society and bring a cleaner, saner new order.

A narrative of deceit, betrayal, love and longing, the second season has a plodding start, but picks up steam from the fourth episode, with Sartaj and his men racing against time to find a nuclear time bomb that could wipe out Mumbai. Crude dialogue and a constant doomsday atmosphere could have been avoided, but riveting performances by the lead pair – Khan and Siddiqui (though he is getting typecast in this kind of role) – and nail-biting thrills make this Netflix original dramatically captivating.