The Saudi Sports Company (SSC) has locked down the rights to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) national team and club competitions for the 2021 to 2024 cycle.
As a result of the agreement, the Saudi Arabian state-owned media company will acquire the exclusive rights to show the Asian Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup, along with the annual AFC Champions League club competition.
According to a statement, SSC will initially screen all tournaments through its GSA over-the-top (OTT) live platform service before broadcasting via satellite on television channels in the last quarter of 2021, with more details expected to be announced soon.
“This is an extremely significant moment for the AFC as Saudi Arabia have long been one of the strongest football nations not only in the Gulf and the Middle East but also in Asia,” lauded AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John.
“We are grateful to the Saudi Sports Company for their confidence and investment in Asian football and we look forward to working with them in further developing and growing the interest in our world-class competitions.”
Launched last November with the aim of creating a sports media platform for the development of content and management of TV rights in the region, the creation of the SSC had been touted by the Saudi government for some years prior after the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruled that ‘prominent Saudi nationals’ promoted BeoutQ’s pirate broadcasts.