Lebanon News

Lebanese might have to pay to watch World Cup games

Flags of nations participating in the 2104 World Cup sold in Beirut. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Talks between Beirut and Doha to grant Lebanon’s state-run TV station Tele Liban the right to broadcast the 2014 World Cup have stalled, the chairman of the state-run television station told The Daily Star Sunday.

Talal Makdessi said that no progress has followed the verbal promise made by Qatar to Lebanese officials and diplomats earlier this year that Tele Liban would be able to air the World Cup free of charge.

Qatar’s state owned BeIN, the new name for Al-Jazeera’s sports channel, has distribution rights to the 2014 World Cup. Currently, cable television provider Sama is the only one with the rights to air the World Cup in Lebanon.

In Europe and the United States, The World Cup is regularly shown on basic cable, enabling the masses to enjoy watching the matches. In Lebanon however, Sama is charging a fee of $110 to install their cable box with a subscription that allows viewers to watch all the games.

Despite the lack of progress in talks, Makdessi said he still hoped a deal with Qatar would be reached and added that Tele Liban is technically ready to broadcast the world’s most viewed tournament.

World Cup matches kick off June 12. While Lebanon has never qualified for the World Cup finals tournament, football frenzy hits Lebanon hard every four years as fans hang flags from their balconies and on their cars.





Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (

comments powered by Disqus



Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here