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StarTimes Denies Winding-Up Order Over $11m Debt

StarTimes, Chinese electronics and media company with strong presence in Sub-Saharan Africa, has said that it is not subject to any winding-up court order, following a petition filed in a Hong Kong court against the company by a sports and entertainment network, beIN Media Group.

GlobalData, sports market intelligence platform, had reported in February that StarTimes signed a deal in 2018 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 owe beIN $11m, including interest.

But Lazarus Ibeabuchi, public relations manager, StarTimes Nigeria, , on Monday, in a statement titled ‘No Wind-up Court Order on StarTimes’, said the court proceeding was ongoing and that the eventual decision of the Hong Kong court would not impact the company’s operations in Nigeria.

It read, “Following articles published by some Nigerian media over an alleged dispute between StarTimes and beIN Media Group, StarTimes wants to clarify the following points:

“StarTimes has not been subjected to any court order, in Nigeria or anywhere else, in relation to a dispute with beIN Media Group.

“Though in Hong Kong, a legal proceeding is ongoing to resolve the differences between both aggrieved parties, it’s an ongoing court proceeding and not a court order. A court in Hong Kong has no jurisdiction over Nigeria.

“Whatever decision reached is binding on both parties in that country only, and would have no consequences on StarTimes’ operations in Nigeria.”

Ibeabuchi added that StarTimes had been in constant communication with beIN Media Group, saying it was confident that the two parties will resolve the issue in an amicable manner.

According to StarTimes, for several years, it has been the official broadcaster of premium sports events in Sub-Saharan Africa, including La Liga, Bundesliga and UEFA Europa football leagues, Spain’s Copa del Rey and Supercopa de España, England’s FA Cup and Italy’s Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana.

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