Lausanne: The International Olympic Committee on Monday awarded the Middle East and North Africa broadcast rights for Olympic games between 2018 and 2024 to beIN Sports.

Broadcasting sources said the Qatar-owned company, which is moving into a growing number of sports markets, paid more than $150 million (Dh551 million) for its first direct deal with the IOC, which will cover four Games.

The IOC has again broken with tradition in the accord. It had previously dealt with the Arab States Broadcast Union, which paid a reported $32 million for the rights to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and next year’s summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Last month, the IOC awarded the broadcast rights to most of Europe to Eurosport, owned by Discovery Communications of the United States, for the Olympics in 2018-2024 for $1.3 billion.

The IOC did not give a figure for the Middle East-North Africa contract, which covers an area running from Algeria to Djibouti.

In announcing that beIN had won a tender, IOC president Thomas Bach said: “With its excellent track record in broadcasting, we believe that it will provide fantastic coverage across the region of each edition of the Olympic Games, including free-to-air television coverage.

“BeIN Sports has also committed to providing unprecedented promotion of Olympic sports all year round, including significant support for the Olympic Channel in the future,” he added.

BeIN Media Group CEO Nasser Al Khelaifi said: “Our direct acquisition of the Olympic Games from the IOC fulfills our ambition of bringing all premium sports to our viewers in the region. We look forward to further growing our relationship with the IOC.”

The deal covers all broadcast platforms, including free-to-air television, subscription television, internet and mobile phone in all languages.