Al Jazeera makes Digiturk bid

December 19, 2013 08.56 Europe/London By Julian Clover

DigiturkAl Jazeera has emerged as a potential buyer for the Turkish pay-TV platform Digiturk.

The Qatari broadcaster, known for its Arabic and international news channels, is considering the bid to further expand its remit. Al Jazeera already runs sports and childrens’ channels.

Barclays Capital is said to have been appointed to assist in the bid.

Digiturk was one of a number of firms within the Çukurova group that were seized by the state bank the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF). Çukurova was said to be $450 million in debt.

Providence currently owns 47% of the Digiturk platform.

Known bidders also include Türk Telekom, which has made a 53% non-binding offer, while Canal+ and D-smart had also been listed.

Local media said Al Jazeera’s interest is based around football rights ¬– Digiturk has a $321 million-a-year deal for exclusive rights to Turkey’s Super League.

Qatar itself is slated to host the 2022 World Cup.