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SBD Global/March 18, 2013/Media

UAE's Professional League Committee Plans to Boost Revenue With TV Rights Bid

The UAE’s Professional League Committee "threw open the tender" for it’s domestic football competitions in the forthcoming three seasons from '13-14 in "a bid to maximize it’s revenue potential from broadcasting rights," according to Yasir Abbasher of GULF NEWS. The announcement of floating tenders "came at a time when broadcasting rights turned into an undeclared war between some of the channels in the region with most of the regional TV stations failing to show the matches of the AFC Champions League." The channel with the exclusive rights had apparently demanded Dh 734.6M ($200M) from each channel wishing to show the matches live, "resulting in none of the local sports channels in the UAE being able to show the matches of their four teams in the major continental competitions live." PLC CEO Colin Smith said, "We have looked at different models from different leagues throughout the world and have decided to split our tender in two packages. Package A would be the Pro League and the Reserve League while package B consists of the Super Cup and the Etisalat Cup" (GULF NEWS, 3/16).

ONLY ONE: In Abu Dhabi, Amith Passela wrote Abu Dhabi Sports and Dubai Sports channels "have shared the broadcast rights of the Pro League for the five years since the game turned professional," but only one will be able to hold the rights from '13-14 to '15-16 following the announcement by the Pro League Committee. PLC exec committee member and Right Licensing Committee Chair Hamad Nekhirat Al Ameri said that "they were looking to build upon the successes for the past five years." Al Ameri: "We need to continue to grow awareness, professionalism of how competitions are being showcased" (THE NATIONAL, 3/16).
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