The Giant Sports Arm Of Al Jazeera Just Got A Foothold In Australian Pay TV

Man United’s Wayne Rooney skips around Tony Kroos of Bayern Munich in a UEFA Champions League match earlier this year. Photo: Getty

The sports offshoot of the giant Al Jazeera television network, beIN Media Group, is about to enter the market in Australia.

beIN is buying Setanta Sports Australia, a sports pay TV channel specialising in international football and rugby available through subscriptions on Foxtel and other platforms.

The subsidiary of the Qatari state-owned global television network is in the final stages of acquiring Setanta from the Dublin-based Danu Investment Partners.

Al Jazeera has been expanding its sports rights across the globe since it entered the European market in 2011, buying live French Ligue 1 matches from 2012 to 2016 for 90 million Euros a year.

Setanta Australia broadcasts include the German Bundesliga, UEFA Europa League and RBS Six Nations and is available to 2.5 million subscription households via FOXTEL in Australia, as well as distribution via fetchTV and online.

The value of the acquisition, which is subject to approval by Australia‚Äôs Foreign Investment Review Board, hasn’t been revealed.

Yousef Al-Obaidli, beIN Media Deputy CEO, says he’s very happy to take the brand to another market.

“Australians are very passionate about sports and we are proud to fulfil this passion and provide them with a unique experience,” he says.

Danu Investment Partners Co Founder Leonard Ryan said: “We believe this is a win for our loyal customers in Australia, who will share in beIN SPORTS commitment to producing sports coverage of the highest quality.”

beIN Media Group is a global media conglomerate that operates premium sports networks in Middle East and North Africa, France, USA, Canada, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines & Hong Kong.

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