ADMC spreads English football

Deals struck between Abu Dhabi Media Company and local telecommunications companies

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Football fans will be able to watch the English Premier League (EPL) over cable TV networks in Bahrain and Qatar. The news comes following deals struck between the Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC) and local telecommunications companies. A spokesman for ADMC, which owns and publishes The National, said yesterday a "deal has been done with Nuetel in Bahrain" to broadcast the games over cable.

ADMC holds the MENA-region television and digital broadcast rights for the EPL for the 2010-2013 seasons. Nuetel said it would be showing the matches but could not confirm the exact pricing. Qatar's Qtel said yesterday it had signed an agreement to show the competition via its Mozaic TV+ service and would charge customers 35 Qatari rials (Dh35.33) a month for a one-year subscription. "Mozaic TV+ will be the only service in Qatar providing coverage of the EPL," the company said.ADMC has formed agreements with Etisalat, du and Saudi Telecom Company to show the games over cable networks. Du customers can subscribe to all the new channels for Dh31 per month, while Etisalat has announced that current subscribers will receive the service free.

Aside from cable TV, fans can also subscribe to watch the games via satellite TV and to stream them online. For those with a compatible set-top box, the smartcards needed to view the games retail at Dh370 (US$100) in the UAE. A package with smartcard and HD satellite box costs Dh999. The live online streaming package, available at, will cost Dh370 per season in the GCC and Dh220 in countries outside the area.

The season starts on August 14 and a special preview programme will be aired on the AD Sports channels the day before. The former international footballers Ian Rush, Steve McManaman and Marcel Desailly will present the first EPL show.