Soccer New & Notes, January 27, 2011

Al Jazeera signs on for home World Cup

Submitted by Matt Cutler on Thu, 27/01/2011

FIFA has secured its first broadcast partner for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups after extending its existing deal with Al Jazeera Sport.

The agreement is the first to be signed in FIFA’s media rights distribution process for the two World Cups. Coming just a few weeks after the host country announcement in December, the deal sees the Qatar-based broadcaster secure the rights to the 2022 tournament which will be staged in its home country.

The agreement with Al Jazeera covers cable, satellite, terrestrial, mobile and broadband internet transmission across 23 territories and countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Moreover, Al Jazeera Sport has made a commitment to FIFA that the matches of the 2022 World Cup will be widely accessible for football fans across the Middle East and North Africa.

Al Jazeera Sport has been a FIFA licensee since 2009 and this new extension of the rights means that the channel can now tailor its programming over three consecutive World Cups. Financial details behind the deal were not revealed.

"Al Jazeera Sport more than proved its commitment to delivering high-calibre coverage to football fans during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa," said Jérôme Valcke, FIFA secretary general. "FIFA’s aim is to make the World Cup as accessible to as many people around the world as possible – and for this we thankfully have an immensely strong partner in Al Jazeera Sport for the Middle East and North Africa."

Nasser Al Khelaifi, general manager of Al Jazeera Sport, added: "We are very excited about this deal as it is great news for football fans throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa who will now be guaranteed the very best programming of the world’s most followed sports event."


Bundesliga remains in the money

Thursday, January 27, 2011
The German Football League’s (DFL) member clubs have recorded a record turnover for the sixth consecutive season, despite the 1.Bundesliga making an overall loss for the first time since 2003.

The figures, released on Wednesday in the DFL’s 2011 Bundesliga Report, outline that the 36 member clubs and capital companies generated combined revenues of Eur2.083 billion for the 2009-10 season. This amounts to an overall increase of 21.5% over the past three years.

The DFL has stated that the top two divisions recorded a growth in income in the key categories of sponsorship and advertising, media and transfers. However, despite the record turnover the 1.Bundesliga made an overall loss of Eur78 million with the League keen to point out that "just three clubs accounted for 93 percent of the deficit". The 1.Bundesliga also achieved a new record for total equity of Eur534 million, but liabilities rose to Eur644 million. Total revenues for the 2. Bundesliga ran to Eur313 million, with losses of Eur25 million.

"The Bundesliga continues to find great resonance with fans and sponsors alike," said Christian Seifert, chief executive officer of the DFL. "Professional football can therefore look forward to unaltered bright prospects going forward. Controlling expenditure remains one of the main challenges for the licensed game."

Source: Soccer Ex Business Daily

Blatter makes new Winter World Cup call
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has reopened the thorny issue of a winter World Cup in Qatar by stating the 2022 event could be staged at the beginning or end of the year.

Blatter admitted for the first time earlier this month that he expected the 2022 tournament to be played out in the winter months, in a bid to avoid the summer heat in the desert state. January had previously been mooted as an expected date for the World Cup, but the FIFA chief on Tuesday outlined other options are available.

"For FIFA, if there’s the will to change something for the international calendar for one year, it’s possible to do, because if there’s a will, there’s also a solution," said Blatter, in quotes reported by Reuters. "But for now, there are the pros and cons but it is premature to make any decisions on what may happen but all I am saying is that winter is not only January and February, winter is also the end of the year."

In other news, Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed bin Hammam has hailed Qatar’s staging of the 2011 Asian Cup as Australia prepares to face Japan in Saturday’s final. "It’s been an extremely well organised event by Qatar," he told the AFC’s official website, "Although it is 12 years between now and 2022, it was a very good rehearsal for that competition."


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