Football’s governing body FIFA has confirmed the extension of its broadcast rights agreement with Al Jazeera Sport for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar. The agreement is the first to be signed in FIFA’s media rights distribution process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups, which it suggests, coming just a few weeks after the host country announcement in December, 2010 is testimony to the enduring appeal of the world’s most-watched event.
The agreement with the Qatar-based TV channel covers cable, satellite, terrestrial, mobile and broadband Internet transmission across 23 territories and countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Al Jazeera Sport has made a commitment to FIFA that the matches of the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be widely accessible for football fans across the Middle East and North Africa.
Al Jazeera Sport has been a FIFA licensee since 2009 and this new extension of the rights means that the channel can now tailor its programming over three consecutive FIFA World Cups. According to FIFA, Al Jazeera Sport has committed to unprecedented presence and production levels from the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil onwards, including free TV coverage as agreed between the two parties and in line with FIFA distribution policies.
“Al Jazeera Sport more than proved its commitment to delivering high-calibre coverage to football fans during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. FIFA’s aim is to make the World Cup as accessible to as many people around the world as possible – and for this we thankfully have an immensely strong partner in Al Jazeera Sport for the Middle East and North Africa,” said Jérôme Valcke, FIFA Secretary General.
Nasser Al Khelaifi, General Manager of Al Jazeera Sport, described the deal as “great news for football fans throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa who will now be guaranteed the very best programming of the world’s most followed sports event.”
The territories covered by this agreement are: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE, Yemen and the territory of Palestine.