ART confirms Al Jazeera sports sale
Rapid TV News has been reporting for some weeks on the sale of most of Arab Radio & Television's sports assets to rival Al Jazeera. The deal is now confirmed.
ART, in a statement fro m Al Jazeera's offices in Doha, Qatar, says the deal was signed November 24.
"Al Jazeera Network acquires ART's sport content and associated ART sport trademarks," said the statement. "ART shall continue to act as host broadcaster for the Saudi Football Federation competitions and to transmit the matches on ART Sport 7 jointly with Al Jazeera Sport Channels until the end of the 2010-2011 season. ART Sport 7 will be available on Al Jazeera Sport Channel bouquet."
Terms of the deal were not revealed but they are believed to be close to $2bn.
"Al Jazeera Sport Channel will add a wide array of sport events to the span of its exclusive right portfolio including the FIFA World Cup 2010 and 2014, the African Cup of Nations from 2010 to 2016, several football national league championships from the MENA region and all Saudi League and national team matches," said the statement.
"Al Jazeera Sport Channel will continue transmitting the exclusive rights of La Ligua, Italian Football Seri A, UEFA Champions League, Europa League, Euro Cup 2012 & 2016 and many other sports events."
"ART will distribute Al Jazeera Sport Channels +1 to +8 only on a non- exclusive basis as part of the new ART bouquets," added ART. "ART Sport and Al Jazeera Sport subscribers will be able to access free sports channels from both ART Sport and Al Jazeera's Sport bouquets, for a period of one month starting from December 1, 2009."
ART Sport channels 1 to 6 will cease to be transmitted on December 31st 2010. "ART subscribers will be able to continue to enjoy their sports programmes on Al Jazeera Sport channels as part of the ART bouquet."