Sporting events' rights
Over 20 years, since the 1978 edition in Argentina to the 1998 finals in France, ASBU has managed to acquire the FIFA World Cup rights for the Arab region, at reasonable prices that could be afforded by member corporations. ASBU's successful experience in covering and broadcasting the Summer Olympics since the Montreal, Canada, Games in 1976 continued uninterrupted for 40 years until the Rio de Janeiro Summer Games in Brazil in August 2016.
Finally, the Council of Arab Ministers of Information issued in its regular session in May 2018 a historic and landmark decision in respect of:
- Ensuring the right of the Arab citizen to watch major national, Arab and international sporting events, in which clubs, national teams or athletes participate, by means of a Free-to-Air and unencrypted signal, regardless of the exclusive or non-exclusive owner of these events.
- The list of major national, Arab and international sporting events that are protected include:
- Arab Clubs and national teams football championships
- Arab Sports tournaments
- African Football Championships (teams and clubs)
- Asian Football Championships (teams and clubs)
- World Cup football Championships
- Olympic Games.
- Calling upon the Arab countries to enact legislation at the national and Arab levels to protect the Arab viewers and listeners and to allow them access to the list of events determined by the Council of Arab Ministers of Information.
- 4. Stressing the right of the national media outlets to request terrestrial TV broadcasting within their respective countries and calling upon the international actors who own the rights of the sporting events included on the list determined by the countries concerned to respect the public’s right to watch these events free-to-air.
- 5. Calling upon the Arab countries and ASBU to conduct a broad awareness campaign on behalf of the Arab media and the Arab public to disseminate knowledge about their legitimate right to access major sporting events, be they national, Arab or international, by means of a Free-to-Air, unencrypted signal.
- 6Calling upon the national and Arab sports federations to support the right of the Arab citizen to watch the major sporting events, be they national, Arab or international, by means of a Free-to-Air signal, along lines similar to what happens in various parts of the world.
- Requesting the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States to notify all relevant Arab and international football associations (FIFA, EUFA, AFC and CAF) with these decisions so as to implement them, each within their respective powers .
- Mandating ASBU with drafting legislation to be subsequently ratified and implemented at the Arab national and regional levels, using lessons learned from around the world and at the regional level.
Covering sporting events
Over 20 years, since the 1978 edition in Argentina to the 1998 finals in France, ASBU has managed to acquire the FIFA World Cup rights for the Arab region, at reasonable prices that could be afforded by the member corporations. ASBU's successful experience in covering and broadcasting the Summer Olympics since the Montreal, Canada, Games in 1976 continued uninterrupted for 40 years until the Rio de Janeiro Summer Games in Brazil in August 2016.)Throughout this period, ASBU succeeded in acquiring the rights of these major sporting events at reasonable rates that could be afforded by its member corporations. ASBU was therefore able to save large sums of money that have subsequently been invested in other areas and contributed to the development of the Arab media landscape.
In this context, it should be mentioned that ASBU's experience, covering over two decades the World Cup and four decades the Olympic Games, has been a model of success to the satisfaction of the parties organizing major international sporting events, such as FIFA and the International Olympic Committee.
Apart from the World Cup and the Olympics, ASBU's coverage included all kinds of sports and tournaments as per the request of its member corporations at the international, regional and continental levels, among which we can mention:
- African Cup of Nations (1994, 1996, 1998 and 2000).
- UEFA European Championship (1992, 1996 and 2004).
- Copa America (1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2007).
- AFC Asian Cup of Nations (1996, 2000, 2004, 2007 and 2011).
Besides covering football games, ASBU extended the scope of its coverage to competitions organized by other international sports federations. Hence, ASBU acquired the rights of the World Handball Championships for the years 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007 and the world volleyball championships from 2010 to 2014 as well as the rights for track and field events, swimming and other individual and team sports events ...
Throughout its long and pioneering journey in the field of sports, ASBU has ensured high quality coverage of sporting events. To this end, it has mobilized huge and efficient technical, engineering, financial and human resources, formed joint Arab teams to carry out oral coverage and to comment sporting events. It also provided for bilateral coverage in behalf of the interested corporations to enrich the media scene and serve the Arab public everywhere inside and outside the Arab world.
At the same time, ASBU continues to ensure sports exchanges between its member corporations, including a significant number of contributions in the framework of weekly and daily exchanges. These exchanges concern various collective and individual sports activities and international games, both friendly and official, as well as other sporting and tourism activities taking into account the cultural, geographical and historical peculiarities of each Arab country. At present, ASBU has acquired the rights of important sporting events at the Arab and international levels, as outlined below.
Arabian Gulf Football Cup
In the beginning of 2018, ASBU, along with the Kuwait Football Association, ensured the marketing of television rights for the 23rd Arabian Gulf Football Cup hosted by Kuwait,in which participated the six Gulf countries in addition to Yemen and Iraq. The competition, which took place between December 2017 and January 2018, received wide media coverage and was attended by a record number of spectators.
2018 Arab Volleyball Championships
For the fifth year in a row, since 2014, the ASBU Directorate-General signed a contract with the Arab Volleyball Association regarding the TV rights for all AVA organized tournaments, mainly the champion clubs tournament, the national youth teams championship, beach volleyball championships, and men and women's national teams championships.
Track and Field Diomand League
For many years, ASBU has acquired the terrestrial, satellite and cable TV broadcasting rights in the Arab region for international athletics competitions, including, most importantly, the Diamond League, which features 15 competitions organized in two Arab cities, namely Doha and Rabat..
ATP World Men's Tennis Championships
ASBU succeeded in acquiring exclusive ATP Men's Tennis Championships' satellite, terrestrial and cable TV broadcasting rights in the Arab region. According to this agreement, which extends from 2017 to 2020, ASBU will broadcast the important games in the ATP tournaments, starting from the quarter-finals through to the finals.
These high profile, top level tennis tournaments are a real asset for the member TV corporations because of the large number of games proposed and the participation of the world's most renowned tennis stars.
WTA Women's World Tennis Championships
ASBU acquired the WTA TV broadcasting rights for the same period, with a focus on the final rounds of all WTA tournaments through a 7 Grand Slam package, with quarter final, semi-final and final games broadcasted.
World Volleyball Championships
ASBU will continue to provide TV coverage of the world volleyball championships for the 2017-2020 period.
These tournaments are of great importance to the member corporations, especially that Arab national teams and clubs participate on an ongoing basis in the FIVB competitions and in light of the widespread popularity of volleyball in the Arab region.