BEIRUT: Lebanon’s state-sponsored television channel Tele Liban is moving closer toward airing the World Cup this summer, according to a senior executive at the station.
“Qatari Al-Jazeera Sport technicians have requested the frequency on which Tele Liban broadcasts its programs,” the executive, who requested anonymity, told The Daily Star over the phone. “This is positive and indicates that we are proceeding on the right track.”
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 and plans on charging $110 for the full package. Should Tele Liban gain the rights to broadcast the World Cup, they plan to air it free of charge.
Youth and Sports Minister Abdul-Muttaleb al-Hinawi announced in a television interview Wednesday evening that Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani has promised Lebanon that Tele Liban would be broadcasting World Cup 2014.
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.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 23, 2014, on page 4.