There’s a new kid on the sports block, Qatar-based Al Jazeera’s Be In Sport channel (or beIN SPORT as it styles itself) and it has chosen TBWA Paris to handle its imminent launch in France alongside sibling media agency OMD.
Be In Sport has won the pay-TV rights in France for the Euro finals this summer and also in 2016. Al Jazeera, which already runs a successful news operation from Doha, has targeted sports, especially football, as the vehicle to help it expand globally and the tiny but oil-rich state of Qatar has more than enough money to challenge the likes of the UK’s BSkyB and Disney’s ESPN in the US for plum sporting rights.
Qatar has also won the contest to host the 2022 World Cup, unless a FIFA inquiry into the voting decides on an unlikely re-run. The Qatar government is expected to spend a mind-boggling £130bn on new facilities including, it’s said, air-conditioned stadia (it’s on the hot side in Qatar in the summer).