Connect with us


Egypt watchdog refers CAF to prosecutors over TV football rights

Cairo (AFP) – Egypt’s competition watchdog has referred Confederation of African Football chief Issa Hayatou to prosecution accusing him of breaching monopoly rules with an exclusive billion dollar television deal.

The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) announced the measure on Wednesday, days before the 16-country Cup of African Nations starts in Gabon.

The authority, which comes under Egypt’s industry ministry, said an exclusive deal with French company Lagardere Sports for Nations Cup tournaments breaches anti-trust laws.

The ECA issued an order on Thursday that television rights in Egypt be widened.

It said it would “oversee the Confederation of African Football’s commitment” to the ordered changes.

CAF denied any wrongdoing in a Thursday statement, saying the ECA did not even mention “any prosecution against the president of CAF” in its letter to the confederation.

The Cairo-based CAF in June 2015 extended a broadcasting deal with Lagardère Sports for its tournaments until 2028 in return for a financial guarantee of at least $1 billion.

The CAF agreed to renew its contract with Lagardère “after evaluating the different offers submitted, and in strict compliance with the existing contractual clauses,” CAF said.

The contract “does not contravene national or supranational legislation,” it said.

Lagardere got the media and marketing rights for all CAF tournaments, including the Cup of Nations which starts in Gabon on January 14. The tournament is held every two years.

Lagardère gave the Qatari-owned beIN Sports network rights for the Cup of Nations in the Middle East and North Africa, which includes Egypt.

The competition authority said its complaint to prosecutors alleged that Hayatou, a major powerbrokers in world football, “misused his controlling position in the method and system of offering football tournaments’ broadcast rights.”

The authority accused the Cameroonian official of giving the broadcast rights to Lagardère Sports “without offering them to other companies interested in acquiring them in a normal framework that guarantees free and fair competition.”

Extending the original 2008-2016 accord until 2028 means Lagardere “will hold this right for two consecutive periods and for 20 years,” the ECA said.

The CAF comes under Egyptian law under the agreement for it being based in Cairo, the authority said.

The watchdog has sought action under Egypt’s Law of Protection of Competition and Prohibition of Monopolistic Practises.

It said Lagardere’s case needed investigation as its rights include “terrestrial and satellite broadcasting through television, and online broadcasting, not only in Egypt and Africa, but globally.”

The CAF “intentionally ignored several requests to offer to sell these rights in the framework of a public auction that takes into account the rules of fair and transparent competition,” the authority said.

The Egyptian watchdog has demanded that the CAF “cancels the agreement between it and Lagardère Sports, as well as its outcomes inside the Arab Republic of Egypt.”

The competition authority said that for 2017 to 2028, CAF must make a new broadcast rights tender in Egypt.

The authority has allowed beIN an “exceptional” right to broadcast the 2017 Cup of Nations “in recognition of the limited time available to carry out procedures,” it said.

But it added that the CAF must give direct satellite television broadcast rights for this month’s tournament to another company that has requested to air it inside Egypt.

The authority demanded that CAF gives internet broadcast rights to a third company.

200+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
  • Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
  • Price: $35/mo. for Sling Blue
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup & MLS
  • Includes USA, NBC, FOX, FS1 + more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
  • Price: $4.99/mo
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in CAF

Translate »