sport news 'It's commercial theft': TV chief hits out at £50m deal to stage a grand prix ...

'It's commercial theft, plain and simple': TV chief hits out at £50m-a-year deal to stage F1 grand prix in Saudi Arabia beIN Media are unhappy after their contract to televise F1 was not renewed They felt pirate broadcasters based in Saudi Arabia undermined their coverage Qatar-based firm have also accused Saudi channels of stripping other TV rights

By Jonathan McEvoy for the Daily Mail

Published: 22:26 GMT, 14 January 2020 | Updated: 23:35 GMT, 14 January 2020

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Formula One bosses have been accused of getting into bed with the Saudis who ‘stole’ their own TV rights deal.

The claim follows the revelation in Sportsmail that F1 is poised to sign a £50million-a-year deal to stage a grand prix in Saudi Arabia, possibly as early as next year.

At issue is the $200m (£150m) contract agreed between F1 and Qatar-based beIN Media to televise F1 over five years. The contract expired at the end of 2018 and was not renewed, with BeIN complaining that pirate broadcasters based in Saudi Arabia had by then undermined their Middle East and North African exclusivity.

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