beIN Sports a global network of sports channels jointly owned and operated by Qatari Sports Investments, an affiliate of Al-Jazeera Media Networks has filed a lawsuit against the Lebanon’s state-owned Tele Liban over airing the World Cup games for free and without obtaining prior authorization, TL revealed on Saturday evening.
“beIN decided to sue the nation’s television channel TL over airing the World Cup games,” sports analyst at TL Ali Alawiyeh announced right before the Brazil-Chile game kicked off Saturday evening.
Tele Liban started broadcasting its first 2014 World Cup match on June 16, although the deal reached between the government and beIN Sports’ sole agent in Lebanon did not involve granting TL the rights to air the games.
On Monday June 16 Telecomm Minister Butros Harb revealed in a joint press conference with SAMA, beIN’s sole agent responsible for broadcasting the games, that the Lebanese people will be allowed to watch the World Cup matches on television .
Harb revealed that SAMA agreed to allow the Lebanese people to watch the World Cup through television cable companies.
“The government will compensate SAMA with USD3 million in funds for the company’s losses. The cell phone companies Alfa and MTC will absorb part of this compensation,” the Telecom Minister added.
Harb also said former Prime Minister Saad Hariri had also pledged financial support to help the Lebanese watch the games taking place in Brazil.
The decision angered the state-run TV Tele Liban because it did not grant it the right to broadcast the games.
But the National Media Council also expressed reservation on the agreement because it fell short of allowing TL to broadcast the games to the citizens who do not subscribe to cable networks