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Report: StarTimes risks winding-up over $11m football rights debt

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StarTimes, a Chinese electronics and media company with businesses in sub-Saharan Africa, is at risk of getting a winding-up court order, GlobalData is reporting.

The sports market intelligence platform reports that StarTimes has not paid BeIN Media Group for broadcasting rights to Ligue 1, the French football league.

In 2018, StarTimes 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 owes BeIN $11 million, including interest.

A monthly payment plan was agreed upon between both parties after the matter was taken to court in Hong Kong before the start of the 2019-20 season, but StarTimes missed the first instalment due on October 1.

The legal representatives of both parties have not reached a conclusion and BeIN has now issued a winding-up order on Startimes.

In the 2018-19 season, StarTimes said the tough economic climate in Africa made it difficult to pay its debts and the COVID-19 pandemic worsened its financial situation in 2020.

StarTimes did not make any official comments on the matter.

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