Tele Liban director Talal Makdessi had promised to broadcast all World Cup 2014 matches even if it meant risking his own job. (The Daily Star)
BEIRUT: Tele Liban will face a court hearing Monday after being sued by BeIN Sports over broadcasting World Cup 2014 matches without authorization.
The lawsuit was filed after the state-sponsored Tele Liban broadcasted all of the World Cup's matches since its beginning on June 12. The lawsuit was acknowledged by a sports analyst on Tele Liban Saturday evening, before the beginning of the Chile vs. Brazil match.
BeIN Sports had granted exclusive broadcasting rights to the Lebanese firm Sama, who priced the World Cup-package at more than $100 per household. After public outcry over the expensive deal, Telecommunications Minister Boutros Harb announced that the state would pay $3 million to Sama to cover the company’s losses and give broadcasting rights to Lebanese TV cable providers.
The deal between the ministry and the company still left some Lebanese without access to the World Cup, notably those who possess their own receivers or others who do not have any access to satellite channels at all.
As a result, Tele Liban's head Talal Makdessi decided to broadcast all the World Cup's matches, saying he would sacrifice his job for the sake of providing the Lebanese in general and the poor specifically with the chance to watch the world’s most popular sports tournament.
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