Qatar wealth fund loses bid for Swiss sports giant

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share
Reigning World Cup champions, Spain, shown after a dramatic 1-0 victory over Holland in Johannesburg in 2010

Reigning World Cup champions, Spain, shown after a dramatic 1-0 victory over Holland in Johannesburg in 2010

Qatar Investment Authority, the Gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund, has lost its bid to acquire the media agency that controls the broadcasting rights to the FIFA World Cup.

London-based private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital agreed to pay €550m ($707m) for Infront, the agency that controls the rights to the World Cup, six winter sports federations, AC Milan and the World Superbikes series, British media reported Monday.

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which owns stakes in Barclays, Sainsbury’s and the London Stock Exchange, was the only other bidder after Dubai’s sovereign wealth fund dropped out of the buying race this year.

QIA was said to be particularly interested in the hosting rights for the World Cup, which it will host in Doha in 2022.

InFront is run by Philippe Blatter, the nephew of FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s, who was forced to defend bribery allegations this year after Qatar was named as the World Cup host.

Qatar’s Al Jazeera in June won the rights to broadcast French football from 2012 through to 2016 prompting concerns over how it will deliver sports events to its new audience as it doesn’t have a mainstream platform in Europe.

The state-backed broadcaster also owns the broadcast rights for the UEFA Champions League or France's La Ligue 1.

The CEO of Dubai’s Orbit Showtime Network, which lost the exclusive rights to air Premier League football matches in 2010, has said state-backed firms in the Gulf have a near monopoly on TV rights for top footballing events as their deep pockets can out-bid rival networks.

Abu Dhabi Media Company bid is rumoured to have bid up to $300m for a three-year deal to broadcast the Premier League.

“The people who own the Premier League today cannot make money for what they’ve paid,” David Butorac told Arabian Business in February.

“There are people who are paying for sports rights in this market that have no commercial imperative to make money.”

As a result, broadcast rights are being sold for increasingly sky-high sums, he added. “The issue with sports rights is this market, is the sports rights have gone for uneconomic rates.”

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Women edge into Gulf boardrooms as economies, societies shift

Women edge into Gulf boardrooms as economies, societies shift

Amina al-Rustamani, CEO of TECOM Investments, is leading the...

2
Dubai mulls rule change to lure more domiciled funds

Dubai mulls rule change to lure more domiciled funds

Proposed rules would create a new class of funds in the Dubai...

Gulf's rift over Qatar may slow investment, reforms

Gulf's rift over Qatar may slow investment, reforms

Analysts suggest dispute may not hurt immediately but could impact...

Most Discussed
  • 54
    Three UAE women attacked with hammer at London hotel

    I really feel that Arabian Business.Com should now close this comments page. This should be all about sympathy for the families not what it is/has turned... more

    Wednesday, 16 April 2014 1:06 PM - Adrienne
  • 51
    Why Dubai isn't a plastic city

    What is definitely not a plastic city. The Arabs have a culture dating back to several centuries. 50 years back Dubai was just a fishing village. Today... more

    Tuesday, 8 April 2014 3:49 PM - P. MADHUSUDAN
  • 48
    DMCC boss Ahmed Bin Sulayem entertains Robert Mugabe in Dubai

    @fga ''However today, simply because he decided to dispossess a few white farmers of their land and redistribute to the poorer indigenous blacks'' more

    Sunday, 13 April 2014 3:02 PM - Matt Williams