Israel’s Public Broadcasting Corporation fires back at attempt by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to limit broadcasting rights to pre-1967 borders.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Israel’s Public Broadcasting Corporation, or Kan, is fighting an attempt by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to limit its broadcasting rights of important international soccer matches to pre-1967 borders, says a Sunday report in Yedioth Aharonoth.
Last November, Kan won rights to broadcast the Israeli national squad’s games in the preliminary rounds of both the Euro Cup and World Cup with a bid of roughly €5 million. The company intended to broadcast on two channels, one in Hebrew and one in Arabic, throughout Israel.
However, sources in Kan say that the contract sent by UEFA stated that its rights did not extend to Judea and Samaria, as these were considered “Palestinian territories” that were included in Qatar’s broadcasting rights to the Arab world. In what was perhaps an oversight, eastern Jerusalem was not mentioned.
Since it is highly doubtful that Qatar would allow any Israeli Jews to access its programs, this would mean that tens of thousands of Israeli soccer fans would be able unable to watch their team play in the most important games of the year.
“The corporation will only sign a contract that will allow it to broadcast to all Israeli citizens both in Hebrew and in Arabic, regardless of their area of residence,” Kan wrote UEFA representatives. Although the football union said it understood Kan’s position, it has yet to send a corrected contract, according to the report.