Al Jazeera Media Networks is still considering an investment in the Mediaset Premium pay-TV arm of Italian commercial broadcaster Mediaset, according to the Italian press.
Sheikh Ali Bin Thamer al Thani, a member of Qatar's ruling family – the financial backers of Al Jazeera – told reporters "anything is possible" at an event in Palermo on Thursday (26 June).
This followed his comment a day earlier, in Milan, that "Mediaset is a big company and a great opportunity for us ... we're evaluating the possibility in different ways".
The debt-ridden MediaSet Premium, which is owned by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, currently serves just over two million subscribers. Mediaset also owns 22% of Spanish pay-TV platform Digital+.
An injection of capital would help Mediaset Premium mount a more serious challenge to Rupert Murdoch's Sky Italia when negotiating top flight football rights. Sky pays €561 million per season for the rights to all Serie A matches, while Mediaset pays €268 million per season for the rights to show the matches featuring the 12 largest teams.
Al Jazeera's sports network beIN Sports has expanded in the past two years from its original base in the Middle East and North Africa to global territories including France, US, Canada, Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong.