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Football: Friction between CAF and its broadcaster ahead of the AFCON?

Football: Friction between CAF and its broadcaster ahead of the AFCON?

What if the CAN 2023 doesn't have a broadcaster? Even if this is far from the case, CAF must hurry up and find one, as it has suspended its contract with its broadcaster, beIN Sports. And the group is having none of it.

Are we heading for a broadcasting problem for the Confederation of African Football? According to BBC Sport Africa, on September 1, 2023, CAF informed the beIN Sports group that it was breaking their broadcasting contract. The contract, signed in 2017, was to run for twelve years and cost 415 million dollars (around 387,002,025 euros). The body headed by Patrice Motsepe accuses the Qatari group of breach of contract, while seeking to recover the sum of 80 million dollars (around 74,605,600 euros).

On its part, beIN Sports does not want a dispute with CAF. Its letter to the Confederation bears witness to this. It acknowledges "a certain number of problems that have affected the contractual relationship". However, it will not hesitate to take the matter to court unless "open discussions in good faith" can resolve the issue.

A second breach for CAF

This is not the first time CAF has broken a contract with a broadcaster. In 2019, it cancelled its contract with Lagardère Sports, which was to cover the competitions between 2017 and 2028. As a result of this decision, it had to pay Lagardère $50 million (around 46,628,500 euros). This was paid in 2022.

Moreover, breaking the contract with beIN Sports means that CAF has no broadcaster less than five months before the 2023 AFCON. A situation that could prove problematic. All the more so as, according to BBC Sport Africa, beIN Sports will be asking for compensation of $90 million (around $83,931,300), the same sum Lagardère had demanded before finally receiving $50 million.

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