Arab media giant launches 4 sports channels on back of winning rights to Saudi league
The Dubai-based MBC Group is eyeing rights to cover European football leagues as part of its most recent expansion which involved the launch of four new sports channels.
In an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya News, the English language platform of Al Arabiya News Channel, MBC chairman Sheikh Waleed al-Ibrahim said that the group is considering leagues which “have no commitments at this stage.”
“There is nothing stopping us to bid for other leagues once their current broadcasting rights contracts expire,” Sheikh Waleed added.
Earlier this month, MBC Group – the region’s biggest broadcaster, of which Al Arabiya News is part – launched four new channels called “MBC Pro Sports” on the back of a landmark USD 960 million deal which secured rights to the Saudi football league matches.
Sheikh Waleed said that MBC’s vision is to transform the overall experience of how football is watched and enjoyed in the region.
“We are not only about covering them, we want to introduce the concept of sports entertainment to the Saudi viewer and to the whole region, we will raise standards and enhance the overall experience,” he added.
“We are in this for the long-haul and viewers should know that when we say that we are proud to have acquired the rights to the most important Arabian football league (the Saudi football league), we take this as a major responsibility on our part.”