Egyptian Premier League for Al Jazeera Sport
Rebecca Hawkes | 21-11-2011
Pan-Arab sports network Al Jazeera Sport has reportedly acquired the broadcasting rights for the Egyptian Premier League for LE16 million (US$2.6 million).
"We have reached an agreement with Al Jazeera that will enable it to broadcast the Egyptian League this season. They will begin airing the competition's matches in the next round until the end," Samir Zaher, chairman of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) told Egyptian website FilFan.com.
While some Egyptian-owned satellite channels already have broadcast rights for domestic football, the deal will see Qatar-based Al Jazeera Sport becoming the first international TV network to show the league, says Ahram Online.
Egyptian channels Modern Sport, Modern Kora, Channel 2, Alhayat 2, Dream, Nile Sport, Almasriya, Channel 3 and Alahly TV have all shown matches from the 19 team domestic football league, which runs annually from August to May.
The EFA's Zaher told FilFan.com more broadcasters may be joining them in showing Egyptian Premier League action. "There are ongoing negotiations with three other Arab channels to buy broadcasting rights," he added.
Al Jazeera Sport, which is yet to confirm the reported rights acquisition, already has the exclusive Middle East television rights to the forthcoming FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012 football tournaments, as well as UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, Spanish La Liga, Italy's Serie A, and French Ligue 1 competitions.
The network has also this month launched a 24 sports news channel for the Arab world, available free to air on Nilesat.