After several days of negotiations, the Government and Sama, the local company with exclusive ‘World Cup’ broadcast rights from ‘BeIN Sports’, reached an agreement allowing local viewers, to watch, without extra charge World Cup games through cable providers.
The Ministries of Telecommunication (MoT), Information (MoI), and Youth and Sports (MoYS), will take on broadcast charges to be paid to Sama. “We will announce at a later stage the amount which will be paid, along with the funding sources,” Minister of Telecom Boutros Harb said.
Both mobile operators Touch and Alfa were present during negotiations, and are likely to participate in the funding.
Hassan Al Zein, General Manager of Sama, said: “One third of the cost will be borne by citizens. The remaining amount will be provided by other sources, including mobile operators Touch and Alfa.”
Sama will provide the necessary cards and equipment along with permits and certifications to all distributors and cable service providers.
Al Zein said that the service will be offered only to analog cable providers. People with their own receivers won’t be able to receive signals, unless they buy the specific card.
Sama and the MoT called cable providers to contact company offices in Mar Mikhael, to be provided with the necessary instructions on how to provide this service freely.
Harb said that a joint committee will be formed between the MoT and Sama to follow up on the execution of the agreement.