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Yousef Al-Obaidly

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Yousef Al-Obaidly
BornDoha, Qatar
🏳️ NationalityQatari
🎓 Alma materSeattle University
💼 Occupation
TitleChief Executive Officer, beIN Media Group

Yousef Al-Obaidly is the CEO of sports, entertainment and media organisation beIN Media Group.[1] In 2020 he was named among the top ten sports influencers in the year ahead.[2] He is known for his influence in the debate surrounding anti-piracy in sports media.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Al-Obaidly was born in Doha, Qatar, where he spent his formative years, before studying in the US and graduating from Seattle University.[5]

After leaving university, Al-Obaidly played professional tennis and represented Qatar in the Davis Cup.[6]

Professional career[edit]

In 2003, Al-Obaidly played a role in the launch of Al Jazeera Sport, which would later transform into beIN Sports.[7]

In 2012 he was responsible for the roll-out of beIN Sports in France and other territories including the Americas and Asia-Pacific.[8][9]

He was promoted to the position of chief executive in 2018[10] and since his appointment as CEO, Al-Obaidly has been involved in media rights acquisitions for the FIFA Women's World Cup,[11] FIFA Club World Cup,[12] UEFA Euro 2020[13] and UEFA Champions League[14] Al-Obaidly has however warned that media rights bubble is about to burst.[15] Al-Obaidly has also spearheaded distribution and sub-licensing deals with Canal+,[16] co-production deals with the BBC,[17] and hired football figures such as Jose Mourinho[18] and Arsene Wenger[19]to perform punditry for beIN. Al-Obaidly is also the CEO of Digiturk, the leading pay-TV operator in Turkey.[20]

Anti-piracy advocacy[edit]

Al-Obaidly is a prominent figure in the fight against piracy and the protection of media rights.[7] He has been particularly vocal about the threat posed by Saudi Arabia-backed piracy operation BeoutQ.[21] and has called for Saudi Arabia to uphold the rule of law.[22]

During his keynote speech at the 2019 Leaders Week Sports Business Summit in London, he warned that football was in significant financial danger due to piracy.[23]

In an interview with The Telegraph in 2019, Al-Obaidly described beoutQ's ongoing piracy as "…without doubt – one of the largest and most damaging heists in corporate history."[24] He has specifically warned that piracy threatens Britain's thriving creative industries.[25]

In April 2020, Al-Obaidly wrote to English Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters and the chairs of all 20 Premier League clubs to protest against the takeover of Newcastle United by a Saudi-Arabian backed consortium. In the letter he again offered a warning about football finances and accused the Saudi Arabian government of stealing the Premier League's commercial rights and member club's commercial revenues due to its alleged backing of beoutQ.[26][27]

Court cases[edit]

In 2019, a leaked report in Le Monde suggested that Al-Obaidly was under judicial investigation in France.[28] However, it was later clarified that Al-Obaidly voluntarily attended an appointed meeting as part of a preliminary investigation[29] and denied allegations against him.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Al-Obaidly holds a number of board positions including at Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, Paris Saint-Germain Handball, Qatar Sports Investments, Qatar Tennis Federation and Qatar Satellite Company Es'hailSat.[7]

In March 2020 he joined the board of Qatar based telecoms company Ooredoo.[31]


  1. "Yousef Al-Obaidly". beinmediagroup.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  2. "Ten Influencers 2020: The figures who will define the sports industry year ahead". sportspromedia.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  3. "Premier League steps up war on piracy to protect TV deals". www.ft.com. Retrieved 2020-09-17. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  4. "Newcastle takeover: BeIN calls on Premier League to block deal over Saudi piracy - SportsPro Media". www.sportspromedia.com. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  5. "Yousef Al-Obaidly takes bein sports France presidency". sportspromedia.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  6. "QSF: Yousef Mohammed Al Obaidly". qatarsquash.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Where's the Remote". thebusinessyear.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  8. "beIN Promotes Yousef Al Obaidly to CEO". rapidtvnews.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  9. "Not backing down: BeIN CEO Yousef Al-Obaidly on the uncomfortable truth of sports broadcast piracy". www.sportspromedia.com. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  10. "beIN Media ups Yousef Al Obeidly to CEO". digitaltveurope.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  11. "beIN Strikes FIFA Womens World Cup Rights Deal Across Asia & MENA". deadline.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  12. "beIN Sports acquires MENA Club World Cup rights". advanced-television.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  13. "beIN secures French broadcasting rights". insidersport.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  14. "Canal+, beIN Win French Cup Champions League Soccer Rights". bloomberg.com.
  15. "Silicon Valley is inflating the football bubble". ft.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  16. "Canal+ to be exclusive distributor for beIN Sports in France". broadcastprome.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  17. "BBC Studios Strikes Landmark Co-Development & Co-Production Deal With Miramax Owner beIN". deadine.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  18. "Mourinho to analyse Clasico for beIN Sports". uk.sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  19. "beIN Sports to host Wenger, Mourinho for CL final". thepeninsulaqatar.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  20. "MIPCOM: Qatar Giant beIN Launches First Turkish Drama With 'The Choice' (Exclusive)". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  21. "Not backing down: beIN CEO Yousef Al-Obaidly on the uncomfortable truth of broadcast piracy". sportspromedia.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  22. "Saudi Arabia criticised over pirate TV service that 'airs Premier League'". theguardian.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  23. "'Your worst nightmare'. beIN's Al-Obaidly tells 'sleep-walking' rights owners the TV bubble has burst". insideworldfootball.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  24. "Exclusive: 'How one of the largest heists in corporate history' could burst the Premier League bubble". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  25. "Protecting the UK's creative treasures by bringing the digital pirates down a pegleg or two". cityam.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  26. "Newcastle United takeover: beIN Sports and Amnesty warn Premier League". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  27. "England's Premier League Becomes Latest Proxy for Saudi-Qatar Dispute". nytimes.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  28. "beIN Sports chief in World Athletics Championships corruption inquiry". theguadian.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  29. "Qatari Executive Is Charged With Corruption". nytimes.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  30. "beIN media CEO charged in corruption probe". espn.co.uk. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  31. "New Chairmen and Members appointed to the Board of Directors of Ooredoo". ooredoo.com. Retrieved 28 April 2020.

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