Al Jazeera Not Planning On Bidding for Premier League TV Rights In UK, Says Report

Al Jazeera may not bid for Premier League TV rights in the United Kingdom and Europe after all, according to a report this week on the Football Economy website.

The website quotes a source at Citigroup who revealed that:

“The bidding process [for Premier League TV rights] will potentially have more twists and turns, making the process more complicated to analyse. In general, though, the direction of travel is favourable to BSkyB. The move to pan-European rights, if that happens, would raise the barriers to entry into the auction while reports of Al Jazeera’s non-involvement, if confirmed, suggest the bidding process will stay rational.”

If Al Jazeera doesn’t bid for the Premier League rights in the UK/Europe, then it makes you wonder if the network will instead focus on trying to win the US TV rights to the Premier League for the 2013-16 seasons. Those rights will go into bidding this summer with FOX Soccer expected to mount a serious bid although there are rumors about Univision being very interested in acquiring the rights.

What do you think? Is the news this week a smokescreen? Will Al Jazeera mount serious bids in the United Kingdom and United States to acquire the rights to the world’s most popular league, the Premier League? Share your opinions in the comments section below.

25 thoughts on “Al Jazeera Not Planning On Bidding for Premier League TV Rights In UK, Says Report”

  1. Charles Sale (a British sports media writer) has also indicated that Al Jazeera won’t bid. (

    My feeling is ESPN might pick up one more package, Sky will keep the rest.

    I think Sky keeps packages A (23 games, Sunday 11am ET), C (23 Monday Night Football) and F (mid-week, holidays, Saturday 7:45am ET) for sure. I think ESPN will certainly keep package D (Saturday 12:30pm ET).

    That leaves packages B (Sunday 8:30am ET) and E (Saturday 7:45am ET). I think ESPN may get B and Sky may get E. Just speculation though.

  2. Hardly a shocker, Al jazzera getting the BPL in the U.S is not going to happen either, it will be fox and espn again, if anything, there maybe an outside chance of NBC sports trying to get in on the action in some way.

    I would expect the figures for these new deals to be at least 30% more for the uk and maybe even more % rise for international broadcast deals and the global branding of the league.

    1. Expecting at least 150% increase in the value of U.S. media rights, from $60 million ($20 million/season) for the last cycle to at least $150 million ($50 million/season.) If Qatar Media were to bid for the U.S. rights, then U.S. rights could sell for around $240-300 million ($80-100 million/season.)

  3. Don’t let what happened in Germany fake you out.

    There was no political or economic reason for Qatar Media to enter the German pay sports TV market, which has been a graveyard for pay TV outfits because less than 10% of German TV households subscribe to premium packages such as the SKY Deutschland Bundesliga package.

    (Qatar Media entered the French market for “political” reasons. beIN Sport 1 and 2 in France are run as public relations exercises, with ZERO chance of ever turning a profit. Projected subscriber count will be one-third of the amount needed to break even.)

    We already know that Qatar Media will enter the U.S. Hispanic pay sports TV market. La Liga is already in the bag and a deal to purchase a controlling stake in GOLTV, Inc. is on the table according to one source.

    Does Qatar Media really want to “go big” by entering the U.S. English-language pay sports TV market as well?

    If so, will Qatar Media partner with a big U.S. media conglomerate such as Comcast (which controls NBC Sports Group and Telemundo) so that they can share sports rights?

    Comcast can definitely use a deep-pocket partner such as Qatar Media in order to bid big on college sports properties such as the BIG EAST Conference starting January 2014 and the new Division I FBS College Football “Four-Team Championship Event” starting January 2014.


    Don’t see Univision Sports acting on its own to bid for the U.S. rights to EPL. Univision Sports bailed out when bidding for Spanish-language U.S. video rights to the FIFA package in 2015-2022 went crazy (Comcast bid $600 million, an amount that would have guaranteed an operating loss for Univision) and Univision Sports didn’t bid anywhere near what Qatar Media bid (in the $120-135 million range) for the U.S. media rights to La Liga in 2012-2015.

    The only way I can see Univision involved is as the 3rd partner in the existing FOX-ESPN partnership, and only if FOX in particular is willing to give up Spanish-language telecasts of Manchester United matches. That could be a deal-breaker as Manchester United draws wells on FOX Deportes.

  4. It’s looking very likely that the Premier League will be issuing tender documents very soon as they have worked out all the issues surrounding the pub landlady case and the screening of 3pm games in Europe. They are believed to have decided on the current territory by territory deals, meaning there will be a dedicated UK domestic sale as opposed to the speculated pan-European deal. The way in which the games are packaged together will not be the same as now with 23 games in each package… that comes from a very reliable source. As for whether or not the games will remain at 138? Highly unlikely. Likely scenario is that the games on offer in the UK will be raised and those offered to Europe will be reduced in order to combat the screening of 3pm games in pubs and clubs. Expect a very similar route to the one they’ve already taken by only letting European broadcasters have one 3pm game with no English commentary allowed. The Premier League need Sky to think that Al Jazeera is a realistic prospect in order to raise the bids but the likelihood of them actually joining in and taking on Sky is very slim. There is no doubt whatsoever that Sky will remain the dominant partner and ESPN will be going in to get a guaranteed game per week instead of their current 23 for the whole season.

  5. I hope this Al Jazeera thing does not work out either. They are a very anti-American and anti-Christain media outlet. They will show their games and then in the commericials and promos spread their sharia-islamic BS. Islam is the true evil in this world. The religion of the devil.

    1. You are a close minded bigot. Sadly we have many of those who also happen to the soccer fans. Please tell me you are a fan of the Manchester United Red Devils.

      1. What does Man United have to do with anything? I’m a United fan and don’t agree with his views in anyway. The way you group supporters of a certain club is almost as bad as him grouping a religion as being bad.

        Bigots could just as easily be a Celtic or Chelsea fan, or any other team. Lets not forget the religious-fuelled incidents between Celtic and Rangers supporters as recently as 20 years ago. Hell, the clubs themselves even discriminated against players based on their religion.

      2. Stop being an ignorant Jason, Do NOT talk about Islam that way, you didnt even know what does it say, its a very peaceful religion, try reading some from Quran and you will discover that you know nothing.

    2. Jason – Try coming back when you’ve actually got a clue what you’re talking about. I hope you were aiming to make yourself come across as a complete thick moron? You did really well!

  6. I don’t agree with Jason, but the reality is that there are lot of people in the United States who don’t respect or understand Al Jazeera. No wonder they’ll be known under the beIN Sports name. Far much more palatable than Al Jazeera unfortunately.

    The Gaffer

  7. One “tell” to pay attention to is the bidding for the media rights to the Premier League in Middle East/North Africa ex-Israel ex-Turkey (MENA).

    Qatar Media Corporation is expected to bid for the rights to the Premier League in MENA against the incumbent, Abu Dhabi Media Company.

    Whichever bidder that wins the rights in MENA is expected to pay the bulk of the production costs for the 24/7 Premier League TV network (PLTV) that is being produced by Premier League Productions at the studio of IMG Sports Media in London.

    If Qatar Media were to win the rights in MENA, that will increase the likelihood of Qatar Media bidding for the rights in the U.S. market. The production cost of PLTV can then be amortized across multiple markets.

    (Currently, SuperSport in Sub-Saharan Africa and SingTel mioTV in Singapore also relay PLTV. They pay a licensing fee to the Premier League for the right to retransmit PLTV. )

  8. Nothing official from the Premier League (they never comment on these things) but various sources claimed on Friday that all bids had been rejected in the first round so a second round of bidding was being forced. This has today been reported a bit more widely. Likely reasons for this are

    1. Sky and ESPN are the only bidders and they’ve realised this so have lowered their bids or bid a similar amount to last time. Not happy with this because they were expecting anywhere up to a 20% increase, the Premier League have ordered a second round of bidding in order to raise more money

    2. There was a brand new entrant to the bidding and their bid was within the margin that the Premier League felt was too close to award either way so they’re asking people to put in a fresh (higher) bid

    It’s being reported today that Al Jazeera DID in fact enter the bidding in the first round so it would seem option 2 is looking the likely one… Al Jazeera could have very well been the highest bidder but it was too close to Sky’s for them to be awarded the packages without Sky having the chance to respond…

    I’d put money on an announcement coming very soon!

    1. Embargo. Keep your eyes out for an announcement coming very soon.

      Here’s an advance look at what’s on offer in the UK for 2013-16

      Package A
      26 matches at Sat 12.45pm
      13 1st picks
      13 4th picks

      Package B
      6-18 matches at Sat 5.30pm; 6-7 matches at Sun 12pm or 1.30pm/2.05pm; 2-3 matches on Bank holidays
      22 3rd picks
      4 5th picks

      Package C
      26 matches at Sun 1.30pm/2.05pm
      13 2nd picks
      13 3rd picks

      Package D
      26 matches at Sun 4pm/4.10pm
      20 1st picks
      6 4th picks

      Package E
      18-22 matches at Mon 8pm; 4-8 matches at Sun 4pm/4.10pm or Sat 12.45pm
      12 2nd picks
      10 4th picks
      4 5th picks

      Package F
      12 matches at Sat 5.30pm
      8 2nd picks
      4 4th picks

      Package G
      10 matches on Midweek and Bank holidays; 2 matches at Sat 12.45pm
      5 1st picks
      5 2nd picks
      2 5th picks

  9. ESPN uk don’t have any premier league games? BT? LoL wtf. 3 billion pounds! That’s 4.6 billion dollars just for the uk. Nicely done BPL, revenue sharing should see all clubs be healthier now!

    On a side note, Glasgow Rangers should join English league and get up to premier league. No sense in putting up with the SFA.

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