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StarTimes risks winding-up over $11 million debt

Adewale Nurudeen

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StarTimes risks winding-up over $11 million debt

A sports and entertainment network, beIN Media Group, has filed a petition in a Hong Kong court seeking a winding-up order against StarTimes, a Chinese electronics and media company, over an alleged $11m debt for broadcasting rights to the French football Ligue 1.

According to sports market intelligence platform, GlobalData, that StarTimes, in 2018, signed a deal with beIN Media Group which holds international Ligue 1 rights from 2018-19 to 2023-24 to broadcast English- and local-language Ligue 1 in sub-Saharan Africa.

The pay-TV operator is reported to now owe beIN $11m, including interest.

In addition to Ligue 1 rights, StarTimes also has non-exclusive French-language rights to the Spanish football league, LaLiga, for four years, and other competitions it is showing in the 2020-21 season, include Spain’s Copa del Rey, England’s FA Cup, Italy’s Coppa Italia and Europe’s UEFA Europa League and delayed 2020 European Championships.

It also has a seven-year $7.7m deal with the Kenyan Football Federation, the Confederation of African Football for the African Nations Championship, Extreme E motor racing series and the USA’s Impact Wrestling.

The company has 13 million subscribers, including over seven million in Nigeria.