Qatari website Doha Stadium has reported that Al Jazeera has won the exclusive rights to broadcast the English Premier League (EPL) from 2013-2016.
We hardly need to remind readers that this follows a protracted drama that, according to the EPL, would be concluded by September 2012 (and obviously wasn't), which is roughly when every other global territories' broadcast rights were secured. As a litmus test for tricky regions, Burma's were decided in November.
If Al Jazeera has won the rights, at least we can all be thankful that we now need only one subscription for the English, Spanish and Italian leagues in the MENA region, plus the Champions League and FA Cup, as Qatar grabs every football right going. What happens to Abu Dhabi Sports paid offering would remain to be seen.
English pub landlords, meanwhile, who were previously largely denied Abu Dhabi Sports' Premier League stream thanks to their commitment to stifling the grey market, can potentially look forward to an Al Jazeera Sports smart card that is estimated to cost US$75 in the UK.
Al Jazeeras's easily exportable signal, which simply requires a card to be placed in a set top box, will doubtless prove popular with the UK entertainment sector, and possibly make the Premier League wonder why no UK bars are paying for their domestic offering anymore.
For an excellent look at some of the background to the story, we recommend Channel Sculptor's blog - channelsculptor.blogspot.ae/2013/04/mena-epl-and-winner-is.html