The exclusive broadcast rights to Saudi Arabia's Professional Football League matches, which MBC Group had secured as part of a ten-year, Dollars 1.09 billion deal in 2014, have now been given to state-owned Saudi Telecom Group (STC) for a reported $1.8 billion by KSA's General Sports Authority. That agreement was worth 4.1 billion riyals, according to Saudi broadcaster Al Arabiya.
The deal follows the detainment of Waleed al-Ibrahim who was assigned in MBC for its management control amid a crackdown in corruption in the world of business.
MBC was not immediately available for comment. It appears that the deal with MBC, therefore, has been rendered void.
Under the terms of the MoU, STC will have the exclusive right to carry out transmission of all local football matches, Saudi Professional League tournaments, King's Cup, Crown Prince's Cup, and all the matches of the Saudi national team that are in the jurisdiction of the Saudi Football Federation. They were looking to develop the football sector in Saudi. Saudi Telecom, 84 percent owned by the government through the Public Investment Fund and other institutions, is seeking more investments in new technology to diversify from traditional sources of revenue, Chief Executive Officer Khaled Biyari said past year.
"As is the case with all our investments, an investment deal with this size was definitely backed by detailed study of the expected returns", he said.
Saudi Arabia has been mulling plans to privatize soccer clubs as part of efforts to overhaul the economy and raise non-oil revenue.
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