MBC to air Saudi football league, King Cup matches in $1 bln deal

The deal is worth four billion and 100 million Saudi Riyals

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MBC group on Thursday won the rights to broadcast Saudi Arabia’s Professional Football League and King Cup matches for the next 10 years.

The deal is worth 4.1 billion Saudi Riyals (around $1.093 billion). The value of the Saudi Professional League and the King’s Cup has increased from 150 million Riyals to 410 million per season.

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation issued a statement on MBC attaining the broadcast rights following its alliance with al-Riyadiah channel.

“After reviewing all proposals to sell the broadcast rights, we chose the best one presented from the alliance between the Saudi [al-Riyadiyah] channel and MBC group. The [agreement] is worth 4.1 Saudi billion riyals and is valid for 10 years,” the statement read.

“The Saudi professional football games, the King’s Cup, the Crown Prince Cup and the Super Cup will be broadcast on MBC channel. The Saudi League First Division, Prince Faisal bin Fahad Cup, the Youth League U20 and Youngster League U17 will be broadcast on al-Riyadiyah,” the statement also said, adding that Ahmad Eid, head of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, will sign the agreement with representatives from MBC and al-Riyadiyah on Aug. 7 in Riyadh.

The financial returns will be distributed to clubs via two different contracts. Saudi professional football teams will attain returns from MBC’s contract while the Saudi League’s first and second divisions will attain returns from the Al-Riyadiyah channel.

In other news, MBC hired Saudi sports commentator Jaafar al-Suleih and Emirati sports commentators Amer Abdullah and Fares Aawad to commentate on football games. It also agreed to work with reporters Abdullah al-Odayabi, Abdulrahman al-Dehaim, Badr Rafea and Riyad al-Mezher.

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