Great news for football fans in Lebanon! The Lebanese government has reached a preliminary deal to acquire the broadcast rights of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, according to a source close to Beirut-based newspaper An-Nahar.
Under the terms of the deal, Tele Liban will broadcast the World Cup games free-of-charge through its local broadcast network.
Tele Liban is the country’s public television network, owned by the Lebanese government.
According to An-Nahar, the preliminary deal allows the Lebanese government to work with SAMA Group to air the games. SAMA is the only channel in Lebanon that holds distribution rights to beIN Sports to broadcast the World Cup.
SAMA previously charged 150,000LL, or about $100, for the World Cup package, while Tele Liban aims to broadcast it for free.
The announcement comes one month after Lebanese Information Minister Melhem Riachy said negotiations were underway with SAMA group to provide live coverage of the games for free.
A source told An-Nahar that the deal will be publicly announced a few days after the tournament kicks off in Moscow on June 14.
The reported deal is expected to cost mobile operators Alfa and Touch about $5 million each on a contract fee on behalf of the government, An-Nahar added.