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SBD Global/January 3, 2014/MediaPrint All
Al Jazeera Sport has "rebranded its package of channels" across the Middle East and North Africa as beIN SPORTS, "bringing them in line with the broadcaster’s assets elsewhere in the world," according to Daniel Shane of ARABIAN BUSINESS. Al Jazeera, which last year paid more than $300M to secure the live TV rights to England’s Premier League for the region, "made the switch on Wednesday with little in the way of a pre-announcement." The pay-per-view network "under its new guise will operate 19 high-definition channels, with presenters Andy Gray and Richard Keys remaining in place" (ARABIAN BUSINESS, 1/2). AL ARABIYA NEWS reported the subscriptions "will also have access to two channels" in French (beIN SPORTS 13-14 HD FR); and one channel in Spanish (beIN SPORTS 15 HD ES). Subscribers "also have access to two further English-language channels, Fox Sports and NBA TV" (AL ARABIYA, 12/31). AL BAWABA reported the beIN SPORTS brand "heralds the dawn of a new age of spectator interaction that successfully unites international networks across the MENA, European, Asian and North American territories under one umbrella for the first time." The network's sports schedule includes, among others, "football, tennis, basketball, handball, athletics, motorsport, cycling and rugby." Meanwhile, the introduction of a range of multi-screen technology "ensures beIN SPORTS subscribers can access exclusive broadcasting via television, computer, tablet or smartphone" (AL BAWABA, 1/1).