Al Jazeera bids in France for European Qualifiers, report says

Pay-television broadcaster Al Jazeera is bidding for the rights in France for European football qualifying matches, excluding those of the France national team, for the Uefa Euro 2016 and the Fifa 2018 World Cup tournaments, according to L’Équipe.

The newspaper said that Al Jazeera, like pay-television rival Canal Plus, is only interested in acquiring the rights to the games that do not involve France. The France matches are reserved for free-to-air television in the country by listed events legislation.

Commercial broadcasters TF1 and M6 are bidding for France’s qualifiers, but public-service broadcaster France Télévisions has decided against a bid.

The qualifying games are included in the new European Qualifiers product being sold centrally by football’s European governing body, Uefa. Al Jazeera would exploit the rights on its new BeIN Sport 1 and 2 channels in France. BeIn Sport launched last week while BeIN Sport 2 will launch in August.

Uefa is selling the rights for the European qualifiers on a centralised basis for the first time.