Qatar-owned broadcaster Al Jazeera is bidding in an auction for the rights to broadcast live French football matches. Without an appropriate platform to exploit the rights, Al Jazeera is discussing with France Telecom’s Orange TV the possibility of buying Orange’s sports channels or establishing a joint venture with the French broadcaster.
Orange is believed to be bidding exclusively for the Ligue 1 mobile broadcast rights.
The bid for the French rights is part of Qatar’s effort to leverage football as a national promotional tool. Earlier this year Al Jazeera won the right to broadcast the 2018 Russia and 2022 Qatar World Cups in the Middle East and North Africa. A Qatari fund linked to the Gulf state’s royal family last month took a 70 per cent stake in Paris St-Germain, a Ligue 1 club.