Muslim TV network AL JAZEERA is probably best known for being the primary source of videotaped leaks from Osama Bin Laden, Al Qaida and other jihadist groups. But while Americans were preoccupied with the network’s political coverage, the Qatar-based company has stealthily built up a solid sports network five years ago, with a portfolio that now includes the Middle East broadcasting rights for Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A and, starting next fall, the UEFA Champions League.
(AL JAZEERA is best known for breaking news on this guy, but Cristiano Ronaldo could overshadow him within 12 months. That’s not a joke at all, it’s big news.)
Well, now the Muslim network is apparently readying for their biggest bid for sports legitimacy of all - by planning to acquire the rights to the English Premier League.
According to BLOOMBERG NEWS, a contract between Al Jazeera & the EPL would run from 2009 through 2012. Though the EPL’s Mideast rights are currently held by Sumner Redstone’s pay-tier SHOWTIME ARABIA, there are plenty of reasons to believe that AL JAZEERA’s intentions are legitimate and significant … and that a successful bid for the English top-flight’s rights could completely change the way the network is viewed across the world, which could have deep socio-political effects in countries as far and wide as the U.S.