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BeIN Sports declares FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ record-breaking cumulative viewership of 5.4 billion



beIN MEDIA GROUP (“beIN”) has announced record viewership figures for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, marking its own World CupTM victory. During the tournament’s month-long run, beIN’s flagship channel, beIN SPORTS, saw more than 5.4 billion total views across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and its official social media channels saw 1.1 billion total views.

Over the course of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, BeIN Media Group has received more than 1.1 billion views on its official social media channels and 5.4 billion views on its flagship channel, BeIN Sports, across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

On the free-to-air channel of beIN Sports, 242.8 million people watched the final match, which ended with Argentina winning the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 with a 4-2 penalty victory over France. This number represents more than two-thirds of the adult population in the MENA region or 68%. When data were analyzed country by country, it was found that viewership was particularly high in Qatar, where 93% of adults tuned in. Adults watched 91% in Morocco, followed by 89% in Lebanon, 79% in Algeria, and 72% in Egypt. In the meantime, the final match attracted a total of 25 million viewers on its official YouTube channel, with a peak of 4.44 million during the penalty shootouts.

When compared to the Qatar-based network’s broadcast of the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, the total number of viewers in beIN’s 24-country MENA coverage area for all matches increased by 135%. On beIN Sports, the final of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022 drew 88 million more viewers than the final of the FIFA World Cup in Russia in 2018. In 2022, the average number of people watching a match on television increased significantly, reaching 80.6 million, up from 36.2 million for the coverage in 2018.

Mohammad Al-Subaie, the CEO of beIN – MENA, made the following remarks regarding the achievement: “It’s incredibly special for us that the first World Cup in the Middle East has broken regional viewership records with more than 5.4bn cumulative views across the month-long tournament. This is evidence of the appetite for football and similar tournaments across the Arab World and we are honoured to have been the exclusive rights holder. We are excited to be preparing for many more extensive broadcasts as we continue to inspire, educate, and entertain viewers across MENA.”

Four teams from the Arab world participated in this year’s tournament, which was the first to be held in the Middle East: hosts Qatar, neighbouring Saudi Arabia, and North African duo Tunisia and Morocco. The Atlas Lions of Morocco went the deepest, defeating Spain and Portugal in the World Cup quarterfinals to become the first Arab and first African nation to do so.

The figures from beIN, the exclusive broadcast rights holder for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in 24 MENA countries, show that in addition to the final, a record 186.1 million people watched the Morocco-France semi-final match on beIN Sports. That likens to 52% of the adult population in MENA and Iran tuning in for the match. Additionally, these figures indicate that 99% of Moroccan adults watched the historic match live on beIN Sports; The match was watched by 82% of adults in Qatar, 78% in Algeria, 75% in Tunisia, 67% in Lebanon, and 63% in KSA via beIN Sports.

166.3 million people watched the regional final between Argentina and Croatia. The numbers for the semi-finals are up from the quarter-finals when 151.8 million people watched Morocco’s Youssef En-Nesyri score a towering header to beat a Portuguese team that included Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, and Ruben Dias.

BeIN’s social media also saw record numbers: online video views reached 1.1 billion, up from 121 million in 2018, and 5.5 billion impressions resulted in 400 million interactions (excluding SnapChat), up from 235 million impressions in 2018 which resulted in 40 million interactions.

beIN Sports, the Official Broadcast Partner, was a central role in showcasing the historic tournament. BeIN Sports’ viewing figures for the month-long tournament demonstrate the region’s enthusiasm for this historic first staging in the Arab World by providing premium broadcast, analysis, and commentary of each game across its seven channels in four languages.

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Whip rule changes: Champion trainer Paul Nicholls calls for delay until after spring festivals amid jockey backlash | Racing News



Multiple champion trainer Paul Nicholls has called for the introduction of the new whip rules to be delayed until after the major spring festivals.

Nicholls took to social media to condemn the proposed new regulations after it was suggested his stable jockey Harry Cobden would have picked up a 24-day ban for his winning ride on Il Ridoto at Cheltenham on Saturday.

The same was also said of Sean Bowen, currently second in the jockeys’ championship behind Brian Hughes, for his successful ride on Back On The Lash in the Cross Country Chase.

The new rules, which are due to come into force on February 13, include severe penalties for jockeys raising their hand coming above head height.

Jockeys are currently riding within a ‘bedding-in’ period where the current regulations apply for sanctions purposes, but riders are being advised if they would have breached the new rules.

Nicholls tweeted: “Two fantastic top rides. How they can get bans is beyond me. Cobden excelled on Il Ridoto. This all needs postponing until after the spring festivals otherwise this is all going to be a disaster for the sport. For once common sense needs to prevail.”

Cobden confirmed on Nick Luck’s Daily Podcast that he had fallen foul of the new rule concerning using the whip over shoulder height.

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Speaking during the whip review process, Harry Cobden told Racing Debate he thought the process hasn’t been handled well and would need altering.

He said: “I went into the stewards’ room and they froze the images of the replay where they thought my hand was over shoulder height on three of the hits.

“You could clearly see that I was in breach of the rule, my hand was ever so slightly over and I was told that I would get eight days for each hit. Because it was a class one race that it was why it was eight days rather than four, so I would have come out of the race with a 24-day ban.”

He went on: “I’ve always ridden like this, I’ve never been called in for over shoulder height before. Before Saturday I hadn’t ridden for 12 days, so had missed a lot of the bedding-in period.

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French racing expert Laurent Barbarin says it is only a matter of time until the use of the whip is completely banned in the country amid reports France Galop are set to lower the whip count from five to four.

“It’s difficult, we’re all trying but I think that rule definitely needs to be tweaked.

“We’re happy with the penalty structure, the numbers we are fine with, the only rule we have an issue with, and the one that keeps popping up, is the over shoulder height, so I think we need to change the wording or do something about it.

“I don’t think lessening the penalties will work as jockeys will still get banned. Somehow we need to change the wording of that rule. If it looks forceful then fair enough, but if you are riding a horse like I rode Il Ridoto, nobody sees anything wrong with that and I think it’s unfair to get 24 days for one ride.

“If your arm is straight up then that is not right, but if your hand is a couple of inches above and it doesn’t look out of place, I don’t think it should be a problem.”

The British Horseracing Authority, however, underlined the stewards are not responsible for the length of the bans as that will fall under the remit of the Whip Review Committee that will regularly meet on Tuesdays.

On its Twitter account, the said: “The BHA is aware of information being posted on social media speculating about potential ‘suspensions’ under the new whip rules. Please note this information is not accurate as the Whip Review Committee have not yet met this week to consider the rides in the period 16 – 29 Jan.

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Former jockey Freddy Tylicki is in agreement with the decision to continue allowing the forehand use of the whip, a change made by the BHA following backlash from riders.

“Also, a reminder that no suspensions are being imposed at present. The purpose of the bedding-in period is to provide riders with information as to where adaptations to riding style might be needed ahead of full implementation of the rules on 13 Feb.”

A previously scheduled meeting will take place in the coming days between the BHA, Professional Jockeys Association and trainers and jockeys as part of the ongoing discussion surrounding the new rules, but not on the back of the fallout of last weekend’s racing.

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World Pool Championship: Shane Van Boening set for title defence in Kielce, Poland | Snooker News



‘The South Dakota Kid’ Shane Van Boening will be looking to become only the second player in history to defend the World Pool Championship title, in Kielce, Poland – live on Sky Sports from February 1-5

Last Updated: 01/02/23 10:47am

Shane Van Boening set for the defence of his World Pool Championship title

Shane Van Boening set for the defence of his World Pool Championship title

Shane Van Boening will begin the defence of his World Pool Championship title against Japan’s Masato Yoshioka in Kielce, Poland.

The American will look to defend in the footsteps of Earl Strickland by becoming only the second player in history to defend the title.

A total of 46 countries will be represented in the 128-player field as it is whittled down to the last 64 over the first two days of action before it’s a straight knockout to the end where one player will claim the $60,000 first-place prize and the crown.

Standout first-round ties include 2015 world champion Ko Pin Yi facing James Aranas of the Philippines while 2022 semi-finalist Abdullah Alyousef faces the tricky prospect of Johann Chua.

Van Boening gave his reaction after winning the World Pool Championship last year

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Van Boening gave his reaction after winning the World Pool Championship last year

Van Boening gave his reaction after winning the World Pool Championship last year

Alex Pagulayan – the 2004 world champion – is unseeded and will meet Michael Schneider.

World Cup of Pool winner David Alcaide takes on Billy Thorpe and Shane Wolford, on a mission for a spot on Team USA at the 2023 Mosconi Cup, faces German Pia Filler.

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz had a year to remember last year and will begin his campaign against So Shaw of Iran.

Double elimination matches are all race to nine, with all matches from the last 64 a race to 11 except the final, which is a race to 13.

When is the World Pool Championship on Sky?

Wednesday, February 1: Sky Sports Mix (11am), Sky Sports Arena HD (11am), Sky Sports Mix (5pm), Sky Sports Arena HD (5pm)

Thursday, February 2: Sky Sports Arena HD (11am), Sky Sports Mix (5.30pm)

Friday, February 3: Sky Sports Mix (11am), Sky Sports Arena HD (11am), Sky Sports Mix (5pm)

Saturday, February 4: Sky Sports Mix (11am), Sky Sports Arena HD (11am), Sky Sports Mix (5.30pm), Sky Sports Arena HD (5.30pm)

Sunday, February 5: Sky Sports Mix (11am), Sky Sports Arena HD (11am), Sky Sports Mix (5.30pm)


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Everton weaker now than when transfer window started – but Sean Dyche will give give them best chance of staying up | Football News



Maybe one day the reasons for a blank transfer window will become clearer, but for Evertonians the dawning of a new month brings with it the same feeling of despair and of questions left unanswered.

“Fans have held onto the belief that if players were brought in this window, we may have had the chance of staying up,” former captain Alan Stubbs told Sky Sports.

“But to see them sell someone for £45m and bring no one in… it is just another in a catalogue of errors made by this inept board.”

If Sean Dyche was not already aware of the scale of the job he has taken on at Everton, then he certainly will be now. The end of the transfer window brought nothing but disappointment against a backdrop of mounting fan fury.

The club banked £45m from the sale of Anthony Gordon to Newcastle but their attempts to reinvest that cash, and improve a squad in dire need of strengthening, proved fruitless.

The list of rejections and near misses seemed to lengthen by the hour on Deadline Day, with reports emerging of unsuccessful moves for Hakim Ziyech, Conor Gallagher, Iliman Ndiaye, Olivier Giroud, Michy Batshuayi, Jean-Philippe Mateta and Udinese striker Beto, among others.

On Wednesday morning came further news of a near-miss as it emerged Everton tried to sign Anthony Elanga in the final days of the transfer window.

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New Everton manager Sean Dyche claims he’s aware of the challenge ahead at the club and suggests the hard work starts off the pitch as he learns about the team and players at Goodison Park.

They were hopeful, even as late as Deadline Day, of agreeing a loan deal with Manchester United for the 20-year-old but Erik ten Hag couldn’t be persuaded to allow his player to leave. Everton also failed with a loan offer for Watford forward Ismaila Sarr in the final hours.

Despite their desperate plight, level on points with Southampton at the bottom of the table, they ultimately end the window as the only Premier League side not to bring in a single player, leaving Dyche with an almighty task to keep them in the division.

“If you’re not bringing players in, I don’t see the point in changing Frank [Lampard],” said Sky Sports’ Paul Merson. “It wasn’t the manager, it was the players. For me, they need better players if they’re going to stay up. I think this team will struggle to stay up.”

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Ex Everton defender Alan Stubbs criticizes the club’s board after they failed to make any signings on deadline day and sympathizes with new boss Sean Dyche.

Has the strategic review resolved anything?

Everton fans protest at London Stadium
Everton fans have been protesting for months

It is hard to know where to start. Director of football Kevin Thelwell was appointed a year ago as the lead for recruitment and is overseeing a 120-point plan to overhaul Everton, involving a revolution of the academy set-up to bring about more sustainable progress on the pitch.

Since the club’s strategic review into the football operation launched 12 months ago, there have been 26 appointments into various roles all designed to prevent the club going backwards.

Everton haven't won in the league since October
Everton haven’t won in the league since October

One of these positions was a loan pathway manager yet, such is the state of disrepair at first-team level, Ellis Simms’ highly successful spell at Sunderland was cut short.

The sale of academy graduate Anthony Gordon for £45m to Newcastle barely two years on from a disappointing loan at Preston shows how the pathway can work in mysterious ways.

But Simms’ likely position on the substitutes’ bench to cover for Dominic Calvert-Lewin puts the club’s interests ahead of the player’s development and smacks of poor planning.

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Anthony Gordon admits it’s been a ‘tough week’, and insists he didn’t intend to offend anyone at Everton following his move to newcastle.

Simms’ return means his is the only new name in the squad since the January transfer window started.

The club’s precarious position following a run of no wins in 10 games has seen potential targets choose to go elsewhere. Everton needed signings but for various reasons they failed to sign anyone.

Arnaut Danjuma appeared sealed and delivered but crucially was not signed, Tottenham intervening at the 11th hour, but even Southampton – the one club beneath Everton in the Premier League, are now being viewed by some as a more attractive destination.

Dyche faces a baptism of fire in his opening fixtures
Dyche faces a baptism of fire in his opening fixtures

Saints completed a Deadline Day club record deal for Kamaldeen Sulemana and signed the top scorer in Belgium this season, Paul Onuachu. Both players were tracked by Everton.

Having had an additional six football-free weeks – courtesy of the World Cup – to get to work, it is hard to understand what Thelwell’s 120-point plan consists of.

Maybe the full picture is yet to be revealed. Perhaps the club have acted out of necessity rather than out of desperation. After all, the Moshiri era has not been short on transfers – some more successful than others.

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Paul Merson fears for Everton in the Premier League this season and believes they need to gamble on Deadline Day by bringing in players to help them avoid relegation.

But is hard to escape the conclusion that Everton were actively looking to strengthen, and failed to do so. There will be another internal review into how that happened, but the cold fact is that you cannot convince someone to join a club that has for too long resembled a sinking ship.

Conor Gallagher may see his minutes reduced at Chelsea following the signing of Enzo Fernandez but who can blame him for not wanting to get embroiled in a relegation battle?

The scattergun approach of the final 24 hours will get little sympathy from supporters conditioned to suffer at the hands of those who have turned Everton into an analogue club in a digital age.

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Jamie Carragher believes Everton owner Farhad Moshiri is banking on Sean Dyche keeping the club up so he can sell them.

Jamie Carragher told Sky Sports: “There is no clear vision at Everton because the owner [Farhad Moshiri] wants to sell. I think that’s pretty obvious. He’s lost a lot of money and it hasn’t gone how he would’ve liked.

“He just wants to get Everton into that new stadium in the Premier League and then maybe it becomes a proposition where he could maybe get his money back and he could bring in people with the expertise at boardroom, scouting and director of football level where the club is actually run right.

“The club have spent so much money and their wage bill is certainly in the Premier League’s top 10 so they shouldn’t be in the position that they’re in. It’s been a mess over the last few years and Sean Dyche is the next name off the conveyor belt.

Everton fans hold up banners in protest against the clubs board ahead of the Premier League match at Goodison Park, between Everton and Southampton. Picture date: Saturday January 14, 2023.
Everton fans hold up banners in protest against the board

“There have been so many managerial changes, but the appointment of Dyche gives Everton a better chance.”

Dyche will have to get more out of the same squad he inherited from his predecessor The fans – hailed by Lampard asso integral to Everton’s survival last season – will again have to play their part.

Images from Dyche’s first training session showed players being put through a gruelling bleep test. But not before there were other official pictures released by the club of him walking through the corridors at the club’s training base with pictures celebrating survival against Crystal Palace last season.

Dyche’s first job wasn’t to stand in the way of Gordon, as he was told that deal was happening. But his next job should be to take those pictures down.

Pictures of a great escape grace walls at Finch Farm
Pictures of a great escape grace walls at Finch Farm

He was bullish in his first interview, saying he has a squad that should be nowhere near the position it currently finds itself in. Everton will hope he can transmit that confidence to his players.

“We want to put out a team that works,” he said, “that can fight and wear the badge with pride, beyond the tactical and technical.

“I’m not questioning any manager who has been here before, I’ve got to imprint my feeling and my style on it and that’s part of what I do.

“But it starts with hard graft, literally the hard yards. We have to fast-track it. We want truth and honesty and they will certainly get that from me.”


Moshiri’s legacy a hollow pledge

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Speaking after Everton’s defeat to West Ham, owner Farad Moshiri insisted that the club is not for sale, dismissing speculation that they were willing to accept bids of £500m for the club.

Without Richarlison and to a lesser degree Gordon, the onus will fall on Calvert-Lewin and a group not renowned for scoring goals to provide the firepower to drag Everton out of this mess.

The appointment of Dyche was sensible and reflective of what Everton need right now, but he has learned within 48 hours of taking the job the size of his task.

Joe Royle – the last Everton manager to win a major trophy – once said recruitment is the most important aspect of any football club. He was right then as he is now. At the end of the club’s most important transfer window in recent history, Everton froze as teams around them did not.

Works continues on the Bramley Moore Dock site
Progress made on the new stadium papers over cracks

“We need a striker. We will sign one,” Moshiri told Everton Fan Advisory Board chairman Jaz Ball last month. “We will strengthen the team and I have no doubt the second half of the season will be stronger.”

It has proven to be another hollow pledge. More empty words. Fans gathered in the freezing cold but this time with no carefully thought-out rhyming couplets to humour those on the outside.

Just a lone banner with the word ‘LIARS’ hung outside the club’s Finch Farm HQ, directed at Moshiri, chairman Bill Kenwright and CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale.

Dyche departed from his office shortly after 9.30pm leaving Thelwell and the club’s media team with a switched off camera and an empty seat.

“They needed to have a go given where they are in the league,” added Merson. “They needed to bring in fresh blood and a bit of belief just to pick the fans up as well so they needed one or two players.

Farhad Moshiri watching Everton play West Ham at London Stadium
Moshiri pledged the club would make signings

“It’s a time renowned for gambling, they’ve got to take a gamble in my opinion.”

Everton did nothing – with Premier League survival on the line, that could be the greatest gamble of them all.

At the end of a torrid month both on and off the pitch, it is time for transparency and an explanation for the club’s plight.

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