BeIN Media Group in rumoured takeover of Digiturk

Broadcaster said to be in talks for acquisition of Turkish satellite network
The beIN media group runs the popular beIN sports network of channels.
The beIN media group runs the popular beIN sports network of channels.

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An affiliate of Qatari-based television network Al Jazeera is in advanced negotiations to buy Turkish satellite network Digiturk, three sources familiar with the talks said on Tuesday, a deal that would further boost its soccer offering.

BeIN Media Group, which runs the beIN sports network of channels operating in Asia, Europe and the United States, has yet to finalise the acquisition according to Reuters sources, who declined to be identified as the information is not yet public.

"The negotiations are at an advanced level with beIN. They may be finalised in the next couple of weeks," said one of the sources. Another source said beIN was negotiating to buy all of Digiturk.

Digiturk, which has broadcasting rights for Turkey's top soccer league until the end of the 2016-2017 season, is 53 percent owned by Turkey's Cukurova Holding and 47 percent owned by US private equity group Providence Equity Partners.

Cukurova, the cash-strapped company controlled by Turkish businessman Mehmet Emin Karamehmet, had its Digiturk stake seized in 2013 by Turkey's Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) because of its debts to the state agency.

No one was immediately available to comment at beIN, Cukurova or Providence. The TMSF declined to comment.

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