Lebanese Government secures World Cup TV for all
Rebecca Hawkes
| 18 June 2014
The Lebanese population will be able to tune into all the World Cup matches on cable TV without extra charge after the government reached agreement with rights holder beIN Sports' local representative SAMA.

Lebanon's Telecommunications Minister Butros Harb said people will be able to watch the World Cup matches on television for free with immediate effect.

"The government will compensate SAMA with US$3 million in funds for the company's losses. The cell phone companies Alfa and MTC will absorb part of this compensation," said Butros Harb.

He added that Prime Minister Saad Hariri had also pledged financial support to help the population watch the tournament in Brazil.

SAMA will absorb a third of the cost "as a gift to the Lebanese people", the agent's Hasan al-Zein said at a press conference, according to YaLiban.

Matches will only be available via cable operators, not through the state-run network TV Tele Liban.

Cable operators had openly criticised the Lebanese Government for not intervening prior to the opening of the world's premier football tournament on 12 June