BEIRUT: Lebanon is maintaining efforts and intensifying contacts with Qatari officials to broadcast the World Cup, Youth and Sports Minister Abdul-Muttaleb al-Hinawi said, adding he is optimistic about securing a deal soon.
“We are still pushing for getting Tele Liban the rights to broadcast World Cup games and we are doing everything possible in this regard,” Hinnawi told The Daily Star.
“We have intensified contacts with Qatari officials and hopefully we will get the approval for the state-run television as soon as possible, the entire government is working for this aim,” he added.
“The deal is now in its final stages.”
LBCI television later quoted a spokesperson of the cable television provider Sama, the only provider with the rights to air the tournament in Lebanon, as saying “contacts are ongoing about broadcasting the World Cup games but there is nothing serious up to the moment.”
Last month, Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani promised that Tele Liban would be able to broadcast the 2014 games, but despite a flurry of meetings and discussions this week, a contract has still not been drawn up.
Tele Liban has got all technical preparations ready for transmitting the games, but is still waiting the approval of Qatari company BeIN, Al Jazeera’s sports channel, which has distribution rights to the World Cup.
Sama charges $110 for a subscription but will air the games for free if Tele Liban is given a contract.