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EBC slapped with “WARNING” over a heated battel with FIFA for televising segments of matches that FIFA does not want the media org to televise

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The World’s biggest and most prestige Football organization FIFA has sued the largest television broadcaster in Ethiopia, EBC (Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation) an 80 plus year old television broadcaster. This comes after the Tele giant broadcasted matches without the allowance of any deal between FIFA.

EBC is expected to give tens of millions worth of copyrighted infringement penalty to the organization. The EBC has roughly 50 million viewers that roughly 1/3 of BBC’s which is 151 million. EBC’s entertainment branch was the one which illegally broadcasted the FIFA games into not only YouTube but also YouTube. This is if FIFA decides to sue and wins the battel.

EBC had signed a deal with FIFA to broadcast 28 matches and not fully the 64 matches which televisions usually do.

EBC’s sports department official who preferred to speak anonymously told Addis Zeybe that the prior agreement between FIFA and EBC is to broadcast “all the Qatar 2022 World Cup games”. But later EBC is approached with a new deal arrangement that allows it to only broadcast 28 matches which EBC refused to accept. He said, “when this happened EBC proposed options of paying more money or its initial payment getting refunded”. 

Addis Zeybe

“We refused to comply with their new [28 matches scheme] because we’ve already informed the public and even got into sponsorship deals. So since we got the FIFA rights to broadcast all the matches with our first agreement, we have decided to go forward accordingly. There wasn’t anything that says ‘28 matches’ in the initial document.” 

“Full payment is settled for all the matches according to the first agreement. And since we paid not EBC’s but the Ethiopian people’s money, we are obliged to broadcast the matches irrespective of the outcome and will continue to do so. We are working to resolve the disagreements though.”

EBC

“Despite FIFA pointing out the issue of the illegal breach to EBC it is said that they continued the piracy operations of the said signal” – Soka25east

EBC’s official believes the dispute may not have been basically incited by FIFA as an institution but by corrupt individuals/agents in the association and is plausibly fueled by the business interests of private satellite TV broadcasters operating locally. 

“Such private sports satellite broadcasters operating in Ethiopia would possibly conspire to get EBC prohibited from having full rights to air the matches. This is because if a national broadcaster is granted such rights, their local market is expected to be affected,” he said.  

FIFA’s official document on media licensees for Qatar 2022 World Cup shows that SuperSport International, New World TV (Free to Air), BBC Radio Sub-Sahara, and RFI – Radio France International are licensed to broadcast the matches from FIFA while Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) is licensed to televise the matches from New World TV (Free to Air). 

It is indicated in Soka25east.com’s news that “FIFA has threatened to exclude EBC from the FIFA Family of broadcasters such that the Ethiopian national broadcaster will no longer be permitted to acquire commercial rights from FIFA directly or indirectly.”

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