Israeli national team won't be broadcast in Judea and Samaria?

Israeli broadcaster reportedly not allowed to broadcast in Judea and Samaria national team qualifying matches for Euro and World Cup.

Mordechai Sones ,

Soccer (illustration)
Soccer (illustration)

The Israeli Broadcasting Corporation Kann won the broadcasting rights tender published by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) through the American company CAA11 in November 2017, allowing it to broadcast the national team's qualifying games for the Euro and World Cup.

According to market estimates, the Corporation is supposed to pay about five million euros for the rights, including the possibility of broadcasting the games in Hebrew on Channel 11 and in Arabic on channel 33.

However, this morning Yediot Aharonot reported that a contract signed by UEFA states that rights will be valid in Israel only, not including the "Palestinian territories" that include Judea and Samaria - where there are Israeli cities, towns, and villages - and Gaza. UEFA also did not clarify whether they were referring to eastern Jerusalem.

The demand stems from the fact that the broadcasting rights in the "Palestinian territories" were acquired by a Qatari company. However, the significance for the Corporation is that it will not be possible to broadcast the games in areas such as Ariel and Ma'aleh Adumim.

UEFA told the company a year ago that the desired model is where the broadcast will be received only by Israeli decoder owners - Hot, Yes, Idan Plus, Cellcom, and Partner - and will be locked for direct reception from the satellite outside of Israel.

Kann told CAA11 they would not be able to prevent broadcasts to Israelis living in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, and stressed that since the broadcast would not be received via open satellite, the demand was superfluous. "The corporation will only sign a contract that will enable it to broadcast to all Israeli citizens, both in Hebrew and in Arabic, regardless of their area of ​​residence," the company representing UEFA was told.

The European Football Association stressed that they understand the Corporation's demand, but a year later they did not produce a contract confirming the request.

Kann declined to comment.