Ahli channel to air games exclusively

الخميس، 12 أكتوبر 2006 - 01:20

كتب : Hatem Maher

Ahli satellite channel, set to launch later this year, will have the exclusive satellite rights of airing the team's domestic games, club chairman Hassan Hamdi said on Wednesday.

"The matches will be aired terrestrially as usual but our channel will be the only available satellite broadcaster," Hamdi told a press briefing.

"There are huge numbers of Ahli fans abroad and we want to make the maximum benefit through increasing the channel subscriptions."

Hamdi, who is also the chairman of Egypt's leading advertising agency of Al-Ahram, didn't reveal how much a subscription would cost.

Satellite networks Arab Radio and Television (ART), Dream channels and Orbit have already struck a deal with the Egyptian FA to broadcast the local league matches, including Ahli games.

But Hamdi said that the administration would only do what is best for Ahli as it has the full authority to decide whether to sell the satellite rights to other channels or not.

ACL Reconsideration

The Ahli president said also that the club isn't boycotting the Arab Champions League (ACL), a tournament fully sponsored by the ART.

"Ahli haven't boycotted the tournament but we don't have enough time to participate in other competitions," he said.

Defending both the Egyptian and African titles, Hamdi said that his side's calendar is busy enough.

"The players will get overworked if we took part. However, the board may discuss the matter later," he added.

Ahli refused to take part in the ACL this year after they were handed a two-year ban by United Arab Football Association (UAFA) following their decision to forfeit midway through the first edition.

The Egyptian and African champions said in the close season that they will only return to the Arab arena should UAFA issue an official and public apology for suspending Ahli.

Meanwhile, Hamdi said that it is too early to talk about extending the contract of manager Manuel Jose.

Jose's contract expires at the end of the season but Hamdi said there is no reason to worry.

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