ART’s sports rights bought by Al Jazeera?
Chris Forrester

Arab Radio & Television (ART), the major Middle East pay-TV broadcaster, is rumoured to have “sold” its numerous sports rights to Qatar-based Al Jazeera Sports. These are rumours, but from normally reliable sources.

In fact, the reports have been around for the best part of two weeks, and included claims that ART had been “bought” by Al Jazeera, to these current stories that ART has sold its extensive collection of sports rights. The sum mentioned is $2bn, and our sources say that Al Jazeera’s staffers are celebrating the move.

We must stress that the reports are unconfirmed, and might be off the mark. The deal could, for example, just be a sub-licensing deal which gives Al Jazeera access to ART sports programming, or a variation on this theme.