By Lynne Roberts
Doha channel secures exclusive rights for Middle East and North Africa for four years, report says.
Al Jazeera Sports has won exclusive broadcast rights to UEFA Champions League matches across the Middle East and North Africa for a period of four years, it was reported Wednesday.
The Doha-based channel beat off stiff competition from ART, Orbit, Showtime and Abu Dhab to secure the deal, reported Qatari daily The Peninsula.
It includes rights to the quarter, semi and final UEFA Cup matches, the UEFA Super Cup and internet and mobile rights.
Live broadcast of the Champions League and the UEFA Cup will run from 2009 to 2012. The channel is expected to sub-licence live matches to a number of free-to-air broadcasters across the region.
“This is a major development for us. Right now, we have about one million subscribers. We are looking at a figure of three million subscribers in the next two years”, said Al Jazeera Sport General Manager Ayman Jadah.
The channel is working on providing English commentary during matches, Jadah added.
The bid figure was not revealed.