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Saudi Arabia mulls new channel to end Qatar monopoly

‘We will be submitting a report on the developments and Fifa will have to look into it’

Image Credit: Courtesy: YouTube
A beIN sports TV studio. The group says it broadcasts 60 channels across five continents.
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia plans to question the monopoly over the whole Arab region by the Qatari-based banned BeIN sport, one of the arms of Al Jazeera news channel, at international level, a Saudi lawyer said.

Speaking to Gulf News, Saudi Advocate Dr Majid Garoub, who has worked with the Legal Committee of the International Football Federation for several years, said “due to the political situation in the region Saudi Arabia will have to negotiate with Fifa on the rights issues. We will be submitting a report on the developments and Fifa will have to look into it.”

The statement by Garbou, who is currently counsellor to the President of the International Law Association, came a day after press reports said “decision-makers in several Arab countries” are planning to establish a “a big Arab alliance” to put an end to the monopoly of the BeIN sports channel.

Currently, it is in the Fifa’s court to decide on the broadcasting rights and Saudi Arabia is leaving no stone unturned to prove that Qatar can’t hold a monopoly over the entire region’s sports broadcast rights.

The region is home to over 200 million viewers from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and other Arab countries.

Among the rights that BeIN bought were the rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup, the Cup of Nations in Europe, the Asian Cup, Africa Cup of Nations, the Champions League, the AFC Champions League, CAF Champions League tournaments.

However, the rights for the Club World Cup scheduled to be held here in the UAE from December 6 to 16 are yet of be finalised and that gives other television networks in the region enough time to bid and even keep BeIN Sports completely out of the picture.

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