Egyptian Football Association Hopes To Raise $17M In TV Broadcast Auction
The Egyptian FA hopes to raise at least $17M in an auction this week of the premier league's TV broadcast rights "for clubs financially strapped by two years of political strife that has seen soccer suspended for much of that period and fans banned from attending matches," according to James M. Dorsey of MIDDLE EAST ONLINE. Egypt's Satellite Broadcasting Commission, headed by Cairo club Al Zamalek SC Chair Mamduh Abbas, has set EGP 120M ($17.3M) "as the starting price of the auction that does not include radio broadcast rights and gives the winner the ability to parcel out segments of the league to different broadcasters." The targeted price for TV broadcast rights constitutes a multiple of the $2.6M "paid by Qatar's state-run Al Jazeera network" in late '11. It was not immediately clear whether Al Jazeera would bid again for the rights that fit into its building of a significant sports franchise that includes the rights for 23 countries to the '18 and '22 World Cups "as well as to France's top league and the launch of a sports channel" in the U.S. A successful auction "would give a badly needed financial boost to clubs that are financially troubled and have often been unable to pay players as a result of Egypt's political volatility" (MIDDLE EAST ONLINE, 4/21).