Al Jazeera Sports kicks Canal+ out of Champions League

Pascale Paoli-Lebailly ©RapidTVNews | 06-12-2011

Qatar is taking a tighter grip on French football: Al Jazeera Sports has just won four of the five UEFA Champions League media rights packages in France for 2012–15.

Al Jazeera Sports is be run by Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the current president of Paris football club PSG.
The new TV deal sees the Qatar-based broadcaster take pay-TV, mobile and online TV rights for the 2012-2015 period. Each season Al-Jazeera Sport will broadcast 133 matches live across its television channels, internet and mobile services.
The channel is said to be pouring €61 million each year for the rights while Canal+, who to date was sharing the FTA rights with TF1 is investing €31 million.
A few months ago, Al Jazeera—whose sport channel is set to launch in France next Spring on cable, ADSL and satellite—won part of the French League 1’s rights for 2012-2013.
Commenting on the award of these French media rights, European football governing body UEFA said: "UEFA welcomes the opportunity to develop a partnership with Al-Jazeera in France. We highly value their production expertise and commitment towards the UEFA Champions League in the Middle East and North Africa and we look forward to being part of their channel development in France. The level of interest in the UEFA Champions League rights confirms the continuing strength of the competition."