Mar 272014

The chief executive of Discovery has held talks with potential partners about launching joint bids for premium sports such as the Premier League TV rights.

The owner of the Discovery factual channel, the new majority shareholder in Eurosport, is aggressively eyeing the UK market, its biggest outside the US, including bidding for Richard Desmond’s Channel 5.

David Zaslav, chief executive of the US cable giant, kept his cards close to his chest on the Channel 5 sale process, where Discovery is considered to be a frontrunner among buyers offering much less than Desmond’s lofty £700m-plus target.

Zaslav was more open about the potential for Discovery to enter the next three-year Premier League TV rights deal, which is expected to start later this year, as part of a strategy to boost Eurosport in the 55 markets it broadcasts.

“Eurosport is a bigger platform than ESPN on cable in the US and it reaches more people,” he said, speaking at the FT Digital Media conference in London on Thursday. “The question is what we do about that. If we look at big sports rights will be careful about it, we are going to be thoughtful about it.”

The idea of a potential joint bid opens up an intriguing range of possibilities, not least of which could be the potential to join forces with Virgin Media to snatch the TV rights.

Another option could be to partner with BSkyB, which is desperate to see off direct rival BT in the next football rights auction, with whom Discovery already has a strong commercial relationship.

Jul 152013

Al Jazeera Sport – win English Premier League rights for all 380 live matches for MENA

The exclusive broadcasting rights in Middle East North Africa for all 380 Barclays English Premier League matches per season for the seasons 2013/14-2015/16 has been awarded to Al Jazeera Sport.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Al Jazeera Sport as a new partner in Middle East North Africa”  said the Premier Leagues Richard Scudamore.

Al Jazeera Sport’s chairman, Mr. Nasser Al Khelaifi, was delighted to obtain the rights, which were acquired from international media company MP & Silva.

He said: “We are extremely excited by the addition of the Barclays Premier League for the next three year cycle, the value that this can add to our customer proposition and extending further our portfolio of top European football.”

Al Jazeera Sport plans to bring its subscribers complete coverage of the Barclays Premier League including dedicated studios for both Arabic and English coverage.

Premier League Chief Executive, Mr. Richard Scudamore said, “We are extremely pleased to welcome Al Jazeera Sport as a new partner in Middle East North Africa. We look forward to working with them and are confident they will broadcast the Barclays Premier League in a comprehensive and innovative manner to our fans in the region.”

Al Jazeera Sport will be the exclusive Barclays Premier League broadcast in the Middle East North Africa region which includes: Bahrain, Iraq, Iran; Kuwait; Jordan; Lebanon; Mauritania; Oman; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Sudan; South Sudan; Syria; United Arab Emirates; Yemen; Algeria; Chad; Libya; Morocco; Somalia; Tunisia; Egypt and Djibouti.


To cover this extent of matches, Al Jazeera Sport will launch three additional HDTV channels, and has signed up what it describes as the best-loved and most respected local commentators to cover the games. Richard Keys and Andy Gray, formerly of Sky Sports, will present the English-language coverage, while Ayman Jada and Mohammed Saadon Al Kuwari will present the Arabic coverage.


You will require an Al Jazeera viewing card

You will require a satellite dish aligned to 26 east or 7 West.

It is unlikely that these live English premier league matches ill be made available on the Al Jazeera channels on Hotbird satellites at 13 east, as these Hotbird satellites are able to be received in the UK.

Al Jazeera Channels – this page

Al Jazeera Satellite Frequencies

Live Football on Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera Viewing Cards