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beIN Sports sues Lebanon state TV over World Cup broadcast

Tele Liban announced the lawsuit on Saturday evening, right before the Chile vs. Brazil match

Published: Updated:

Qatar’s beIN Sports filed a lawsuit against Lebanon’s state TV for broadcasting the World Cup 2014 matches without having an authorization to do so, the Daily Star reported earlier this week.

Tele Liban started broadcasting the matches of the top football tournament on June 16, after brokering a deal with beIN Sports’ sole agent in Lebanon.

Tele Liban announced the lawsuit on Saturday evening, right before the Chile vs. Brazil match, according to the Lebanon-based news website.

beIN Sports has exclusive rights – from FIFA – to broadcast the 2014 World Cup games across the Middle East and North African (MENA) region .

The global sports network, owned by an affiliate of Al Jazeera, had awarded Lebanese firm Sama the rights to broadcast the football matches.

Sama over-priced the subscription package at more than $100 per household. Consequently, Sama was heading towards a loss.

The state, through Telecommunications Minister Boutros Harb, came to the rescue by offering $3 million to Sama – to cover its losses – and giving broadcasting rights to Lebanon’s cable channels.

However, Tele Liban's head Talal Makdessi decided to broadcast all the World Cup's matches, adding that he’d sacrifice his job to provide the Lebanese people, especially the poor, with a chance to watch the top football tournament, reported the news website.

The deal brokered by the telecommunications minister still left some without access to the games, specifically those who did not have the satellite channels.