Hollywood studio Miramax sold to Qatar's BeIn Group

Hollywood studio Miramax has been bought by Qatar’s BeIn Media Group, a Doha-based entertainment group that was built on Al Jazeera’s former sports network.

Media group built out of Al Jazeera Sports network is building entertainment empire

Nasser Al-Khelaifi, right, chair of BeIn Sports and owner of the Paris St Germain soccer team, appears with player David Beckham, left. BeIn Media Group has just bought Miramax studios. (Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters)

Hollywood studio Miramax has been bought by Qatar's BeIn Media Group, a Doha-based entertainment group that was built on Al Jazeera's former sports network.

Miramax, a legendary movie studio founded in 1979 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, holds titles such as Pulp Fiction, The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love. 

Formerly owned by Disney, it was sold in 2010 to the Qatar Investment Authority and Colony Capital for $660 million US. Its sale price to the BeIn group has not been disclosed.

BeIn said Miramax would continue to operate as an independent studio – its upcoming releases include Bad Santa 2, Bridget Jones's Baby and the TV program From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series.

Doha-based Al Jazeera created its sports network in 2003 and spun it off in 2013. The BeIn Media group is the holding company of the sports network, now called BeIn Sports, and also holds a range of TV and entertainment properties.

Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi has his eye on the huge appetite for entertainment in the Middle East, including digital and cellphone-based entertainment. Two thirds of the Arab world's population of 370 million people is under the age of 30. 

Miramax is not the only Hollywood studio in new hands. In January, Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group said it is buying Legendary Entertainment, the U.S. studio behind Hollywood blockbusters including Jurassic World and Godzilla, for $3.5 billion.