UEFA reverses decision on broadcasting games to settlements

KAN said it is 'happy to bring an open and free broadcast to all citizens of Israel.'

October 23, 2018 12:59
1 minute read.
FC Basel's Mohamed Elneny (R) fights for the ball against Maccabi Tel Aviv's Eden Ben Basat during t

FC Basel's Mohamed Elneny (R) fights for the ball against Maccabi Tel Aviv's Eden Ben Basat during their Champions League play-off first leg soccer match at the St. Jakob Park stadium in Basel August 19, 2015. . (photo credit: REUTERS/ARND WIEGMANN)


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The Union of European Football Associations has reversed its decision to disallow KAN from airing UEFA games to West Bank settlements, and will now permit the Israeli public broadcaster to transmit its games to those areas.

Earlier this month KAN told the UEFA – which controls the media rights to many international soccer competitions – that it would not accept its demand to only broadcast to Israelis living within the Green Line.

On Tuesday KAN said that the UEFA had reversed its decision and will allow it to broadcast games featuring the Israeli national team in both Hebrew and Arabic to all citizens and residents of Israel.

“KAN works to ensure quality and equal public broadcasting on the radio, television and digital to all Israeli citizens, in all locations, regardless of their area of residence,” the public broadcaster said on Tuesday.

“We’re happy to purchase the rights to air the Israel national team’s qualifying games in the Euro and the World Cup and to bring an open and free broadcast to all citizens of Israel.”

Earlier, the football association said it could not allow KAN to broadcast in West Bank settlements, since it had sold the rights for the Middle East and North Africa to a Qatari company, beIN Sports, and that those rights included the Palestinian territories.

In response, KAN said it would completely relinquish the right to air the games if it could not air them to all Israelis. But just two weeks later, the UEFA appears to have dropped its demand.

Sources close to the negotiations told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that the UEFA sent a new contract to KAN that meets all of the Israeli broadcaster’s demands. The contract, according to the source, said that in some of the areas where KAN will broadcast, beIN will also be allowed to broadcast games in Arabic.

The contract is expected to be signed by KAN in the coming days.

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