Al Jazeera to sue Egypt’s ERTU
October 17, 2013
By Chris Forrester
Egypt’s state-backed broadcaster ERTU has been accused of stealing the exclusive TV rights held by Al Jazeera Sports of Tuesday’s Egypt vs Ghana football match. Tension between Egypt and Qatar are already at fever pitch because of various arrests and the formal banning of Al Jazeera news journalists from Egypt.
Al-Jazeera Sports announced on air that it will prosecute Egyptian television for infringing its rights. During the match, Al-Jazeera Sport repeatedly broadcast a message declaring that Egyptian TV does not have the right to broadcast the game. Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) head Essam El-Amir told Al-Ahram’s Arabic news website that broadcasting the match was the “right decision” and Egyptian TV would “air any matches it wants.”
Moreover, the ERTU boss said they would be charging Al Jazeera News a quite staggering sum of Egypt£200 million (about $30m) because Al Jazeera News used ERTU television signals capturing the various protests during the recent pro President Morsi and anti-Morsi campaigns. The Egyptian authorities recently closed down Al-Jazeera’s Cairo offices and arrested several of its Cairo-based staffers, charging them with license violations. In addition, a Cairo court in September ordered Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr, the dedicated Al Jazeera Egypt channel, be taken off air. However, the channel continues to broadcast its programmes.