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DAZN signs exclusive UK rights to Saudi Pro League 

DAZN

Leeds-based DAZN will be airing 3 games a week from Roshn Saudi League (RSL), also known as the Saudi Pro League.

Every match featuring Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr will be on the platform, which also holds the rights to the Women’s Champions League.

“DAZN is constantly in the market talking to leagues, associations and competitions looking for the best in sport and entertainment for our customers,” said Shay Segev, DAZN Group CEO.

“The RSL is rapidly developing into an international phenomenon, attracting some incredible talent that will only improve an already strong and vibrant competition. It’s a great opportunity for DAZN to deliver greater and deserved prominence for the RSL, its clubs and the Saudi game more generally, as well as adding even more quality content to our platform for our subscribers.” 

Last year, DAZN became Europe’s biggest digital sports broadcaster, with most of its sports events handled by the 300+ staff at its broadcast centre in Leeds.

This new 2 year deal kicks off tomorrow (11th August) with Al Ahli vs. Al Hazem featuring former Manchester City and Newcastle United players, Riyad Mahrez and Saint-Maximin.

“These agreements come at a time of genuine growth for Saudi Arabian football, with growing interest in the Roshn Saudi league from football fans all around the world,” added Saad Allazeez, the Saudi Pro League interim CEO.

“The watching world can now enjoy front row seats as Saudi football transforms, and thanks to the Saudi Pro League strategy, football fans around the world will be able to watch promising young talent from the Kingdom competing and playing with some of the biggest names in world football.”   

Ronaldo helped to kickstart the league’s growth following his move from Manchester United at the start of the year. Since then the likes of Benzema, Jota, Dembele, Fabinho and Koulibaly have joined the league.

4 of the league’s 18 clubs, including Al-Nassr, are controlled by Newcastle United’s owners, the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which also created LIV Golf.

Human rights charities and even former players, including Jamie Carragher, have warned that Saudi Arabia’s major investment in football and golf is effectively sport-washing.

Former Liverpool captain, Jordan Henderson was also urged to speak out on human rights abuses following his link up with Steven Gerrard at Al-Ettifaq. Henderson has been a vocal supporter of LGBTQ+ rights – homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death in Saudi Arabia. When his arrival was announced by the club, his rainbow captain’s armband was made black and white in a since deleted tweet.

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