ADMC confirms no FTA or pay TV deal for EPL rights
by Vijaya Cherian on Feb 14, 2010

Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC) has revealed it will go it alone in distributing English Premier League (EPL) matches, refuting previous reports suggesting it planned to do deals with pay TV or FTA broadcasters operating in the Middle East.

The state broadcaster will make the EPL available on three different platforms including high-definition set-top boxes (STB), IPTV or streaming via broadband Internet with different price options to ensure that more viewers can have access to the matches. Rates for the different platforms have not been confirmed yet.

Contrary to previous opinion, ADMC is not expecting to tie up with regional pay TV operators or broadcasters to show the EPL.

Instead, viewers may be encouraged to purchase an HD STB and a corresponding smart card from the broadcaster to view the encrypted sports channels.

ADMC is currently in the process of negotiating distribution arrangements with major retailers to ensure easy availability of its STBs. It is also in the process of finalising content distribution agreements with cable operators such as Etisalat and du following which rates for each platform will be announced.

Those who already have a HD STB may still need to purchase a second encrypted smart card to view the channels. ADMC, however, was not available for futher clarification at the time of going to press.

Karim Sarkis, executive director of Broadcast at ADMC commented that ADMC is "launching a compelling offering that will provide enhanced accessibility and a high quality product at value-for-money for the EPL fans across the region”.

Ed Borgerding, chief executive officer of ADMC, added that the state broadcaster’s “ambitious plans to offer a world-class sports experience via new and cutting-edge delivery platforms reflect the investment that ADMC is making in premium content and the distribution platforms that will deliver it to the end consumer”.

ADMC has exclusive regional broadcast rights to the EPL for the next three seasons commencing August 2010.