MBC wins TV US$1BN rights deal for Saudi Arabian football

Rebecca Hawkes

Pan-Arab free-to-air satellite broadcaster MBC has secured the broadcast rights for the Saudi Arabian Professional Football League and the King Cup, in a ten-year deal worth over US$1 billion.

"The Saudi professional football games, the King Cup, the Crown Prince Cup and the Super Cup will be broadcast on MBC channel", said a Saudi Arabian Football Association statement.

"The Saudi League First Division, Prince Faisal bin Fahad Cup, the Youth League U20 and Youngster League U17 will be broadcast on al-Riyadiyah," it added.

The deal, valued at a total of SAR4.1 billion, sees a hike in the annual rights cost for the Saudi Arabian Professional Football League and the King Cup from SAR150 million to SAR410 million per season.

Ahmad Eid, head of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, will sign the agreement with representatives from MBC and the al-Riyadiyah channel on 7 August in Riyadh.

MBC has also appointed Saudi sports commentator Jaafar al-Suleih and Emiratis Amer Abdullah and Fares Aawad for forthcoming football commentary, according to the group's news channel Al Arabiya.