Turkish media are reporting that Sheikh Nasser Al-Khelaifi of Qatar has acquired a controlling stake in leading Turkish satellite pay TV operator Digiturk, which is to become part of the Al Jazeera Media Network, in what would mark the largest takeover deal in the Turkish media market.The purchase would also make Al Jazeera a prominent player in Turkey, which is the top TV market in South-Eastern Europe, and boost its soccer offering ahead of the 2022 World Cup finals, scheduled...
As boss of beIN Media Group, the ambitious Al Jazeera spin-off that bought Miramax in 2016, he is changing the pay-TV landscape in the Middle East by expanding its pay-TV service from sports into movie channels.
A former professional tennis player and an advisor to Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Al-Thani, Al-Khelaifi started his TV career in 2003 as Director of Rights Acquisitions of Al Jazeera Sport, when the channel was first launched. He was promoted general manager of the Qatari sports channel in 2008. In 2013, Al-Khelaifi oversaw the spinoff and rebranding of Al Jazeera Sport into beIN Sports, and became the beIN Media Group boss. BeIN Sports has 22 channels broadcast across the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, North America, Australia and Asia.
Since 2011, he has been Chairman and CEO of famed Qatari-owned Paris Saint-Germain soccer club. French sports daily L’Equipe in 2016 named him ‘the most powerful man in French soccer.’ After building the beIN premium sports network, Al-Khalaifi expanded the group’s scope from sports into movies in 2016 by launching movie channels in the Middle East and stepping up competition with OSN, until then the only general entertainment paybox in the region.
BeIN subsequently announced the purchase of iconic film and TV studio Miramax, and inked a volume deals with Warner Bros. They have other deals in place with local distributors of Hollywood product that give them muscle in the largely untapped Middle East pay-TV arena. Also in 2016, beIN bought Turkey’s top pay-TV platform Digiturk.