''' QATARI beIN Sports QUAD. '''

By: Ali Aizaz Zahid

ONE OF THE biggest buyer of sports rights has a very huge problem.

The broadcaster beIN Sports, has poured billions of dollars into securing rights to major events in recent years, notably in soccer.

But over the last three months, it has found itself at the center of the bitter diplomatic crisis that has seen a quartet of Arabic speaking countries, led by Saudi Arabia, sever relations with Qatar-

The tiny gas-rich emirate that will host the 2022 World Cup.

For beIN, which is financed by the Qatari government, the fallout is starting to affect business across the Middle East and Africa, where it has millions of sports-loving subscribers.

Viewers in the United Arab Emirates had their signals blocked for six weeks before the authorities there recently reinstated the channel.

BeIN reporters have been harassed at stadiums, or removed from them to face stern questioning by the police.

And in Saudi Arabia, vendors selling beIN Sports have been shut down, and marketing activities promoting the company, beIn Media Group,said last Thursday.

''This is unprecedented.''


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