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Abu Dhabi TV’s sports channels have secured the exclusive Middle East and North African rights to the English Premier League for three seasons starting August 2010.
Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC), which owns the channels, confirmed that it had also secured the internet and mobile rights to the EPL for the same period.
Although the Abu Dhabi Sports channels are normally broadcast free-to-air on satellite, the Premier League contract prohibits such broadcasts as they extend beyond the league’s regional rights restrictions.
ADMC will, therefore, seek to generate revenue by partnering with regional pay-TV broadcasters and sublicensing the rights to local terrestrial stations, according to Karim Sarkis, ADMC’s executive director of broadcast.
Commenting on the deal, Edward Borgerding, CEO of ADMC called it a “defining moment for Abu Dhabi and our media company as we establish a partnership with the world’s most exciting football league”.
“We look forward to many years of cooperation with the Premier League to develop the brand in the Arab world and to maximise the exposure to Arab-speaking families in the Middle East and North African region,” Borgerding added.
The EPL rights for the MENA region are presently with pay TV operator, Showtime Arabia.