Abu Dhabi Media, Starzplay partner to win exclusive rights to stream Italian Serie A football league for next three seasons

Abu Dhabi Media, Starzplay partner to win exclusive rights to stream Italian Serie A football league for next three seasons
Starzplay’s reach of over 2.1 million regional subscribers will offer Serie A clubs’ maximum visibility across a population of 400 million people. (Supplied)
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Updated 30 July 2022

Abu Dhabi Media, Starzplay partner to win exclusive rights to stream Italian Serie A football league for next three seasons

Abu Dhabi Media, Starzplay partner to win exclusive rights to stream Italian Serie A football league for next three seasons
  • Football fans across MENA region can now enjoy Italian League, Cup (Coppa Italia) and Super Cup (Supercoppa Italiana) matches
  • Three-year win enables Starzplay subscribers across the region to enjoy the European League exclusively

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi Media, the UAE’s leading public service broadcaster and media company, and Starzplay, the Middle East and North Africa region’s fastest-growing subscription video-on-demand service, have secured exclusive rights to stream the premium Italian Serie A competition, as well as the Coppa Italia (Italy Cup) and Supercoppa Italiana (Italian Super Cup), for the next three seasons beginning this year. 

The Italian Football Federation granted the rights to ADM and Starzplay, which will broadcast one of the most powerful European leagues to football fans across the region. 

Starzplay’s reach of over 2.1 million regional subscribers will offer Serie A clubs’ maximum visibility across a population of 400 million people. ADM and Starzplay have been strengthening their collaboration in an effort to bolster the sports offering, such as AFC, UFC, FIFA Club World Cup, for enthusiasts in the region.

Haitham Al-Kathiri, acting executive director of Abu Dhabi TV Network, said: “AD Sports’ acquisition of the exclusive broadcast rights to Italian League (Serie A), Italy Cup (Coppa Italia) and Italian Super Cup (Supercoppa Italiana) confirms our leading position, and highlights our technical expertise and media portfolio. We are looking forward to broadcasting the competitions in partnership with Starzplay, which is enjoyed by millions of football fans around the world.




Haitham Al-Kathiri, acting executive director of Abu Dhabi TV Network. (Supplied)

“This milestone comes in line with the digital transformation of AD Sports Channel, which has an extensive track record in covering the most important sports competitions across the world with professionalism and impartiality.” 

He added: “Driven by its reputation in covering the most prominent and largest local and international tournaments with the latest technologies and in line with the highest standards of global broadcast quality, AD Sports will continue to fulfil the expectations of viewers by providing premium HD audio and video coverage.”

Danny Bates, Starzplay chief commercial officer, said: “Sports in the OTT space is a huge focus for us, and we have been investing in the live sports category over the last year with our platform witnessing an impressive subscription growth. As part of our long-term strategy, we are building this content category into one of our core products, offering the best in sports entertainment to subscribers across the region. With our stellar technical and customer support, Starzplay today is undoubtedly the best positioned platform to seize this incredible opportunity.”

He said: “Abu Dhabi Media has been a strong catalyst in driving the sports portfolio for Starzplay, and we are proud to partner with them once again to bring the popular Italian League to regional fans. Our ability to pitch and secure the exclusive broadcast rights for one of the top European leagues in a highly competitive bid, is a testament of our strength together as a team. We are confident that there is a huge untapped market in MENA which will support our goals for the coming years, and we look forward to additional category offerings in the future.”

Starzplay has added another prestigious sporting league to its growing portfolio of live sports events offering enthusiasts across the region premium and the most sought-after content. Serie A will be core to Starzplay’s sport offering, which will encompass other premium international and regional assets, such as the Asian Football Confederation, Ultimate Fighting Championship, Abu Dhabi Sport channels and FIFA events, such as the recent FIFA Club World Cup hosted in Abu Dhabi.

To watch the Italian League, sports fans can subscribe to the sports pack by visiting Starzplay.com. Subscription will entitle subscribers to access other sports and competitions in addition to the Italian League.

With thousands of hours of premium content, including live sports, Starzplay is the leading streaming platform in the MENA region, reaching over 2.1 million subscribers. The service is available in 19 countries across the Middle East, North  Africa and Pakistan.  


Saudi Arabia’s sports minister, chairman of UAE sports authority discuss cooperation 

Saudi Arabia’s sports minister, chairman of UAE sports authority discuss cooperation 
Updated 40 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s sports minister, chairman of UAE sports authority discuss cooperation 

Saudi Arabia’s sports minister, chairman of UAE sports authority discuss cooperation 
  • The meeting was held on the sidelines of the Islamic Solidarity Games in Turkey’s Konya

KONYA: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Sports Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal met with the Chairman of the UAE’s General Authority of Sports Ahmed Belhoul Al-Falasi to discuss cooperation in the field of sports, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Thursday. 

The meeting between Prince Abdulaziz – who is also the Chairman of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee and President of the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation – and Al-Falasi was held on the sidelines of the Islamic Solidarity Games in Turkey’s Konya.

Al-Falasi highlighted the UAE’s full support for the Kingdom’s bid to host the ninth edition of the 2029 Asian Winter Games – a move he said would be a key step in popularizing winter sports in West Asia, according to WAM. 

He confirmed his support for Riyadh hosting the 2023 World Combat Games. 

The two discussed the possibility of signing cooperation agreements in sports, with Al-Falasi highlighting the importance of organizing joint bilateral meetings and workshops to exchange knowledge between various sports entities, WAM reported. 

They also discussed the formation of joint coordination entities that comprise of various sporting authorities from the UAE and Saudi Arabia to establish action plans, strategies, programs, and initiatives.


Esports and gaming set for massive growth: Prince Faisal

Esports and gaming set for massive growth: Prince Faisal
Updated 12 August 2022

Esports and gaming set for massive growth: Prince Faisal

Esports and gaming set for massive growth: Prince Faisal
  • Leading experts, investors to gather at forum in Riyadh Sept. 7-8
  • Over 1,200 delegates to network, discuss key industry issues

RIYADH: The Next World Forum, an esports and gaming event in Riyadh that will bring together sector leaders and experts from around the world, “is a platform for ushering in a new era in the phenomenal growth of the industry.”

This is according to Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, chairman of the Saudi Esports Federation, who said that there are significant opportunities for investors in this nascent sector.

More than 1,200 delegates from across the globe are expected to attend the in-person event.

The gathering takes place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh on Sept. 7 and 8.  Delegates include ministers of sport, investors, gamers, developers, tech providers, start-ups, public sector representatives, brands and advertisers, publishers, broadcasters, and members of federations and leagues.

Prince Faisal said: “In an era where the ability to meet in person to share ideas and collaborate has never been more important, the Next World Forum bridges the gap between virtual-world creativity and real-world development. There are numerous high-level opportunities, that can genuinely shape the future of esports and gaming, which will emanate from the Next World Forum.

“I am hugely excited about the conversations that will be taking place in Saudi Arabia, a nation that truly embodies the spirit of transformation and progressive action. In esports and gaming, we are always seeking game changers — and the Next World Forum is a platform for ushering in a new era in the phenomenal growth of the industry that we all love and cherish.”

The forum will also feature gaming masterclasses, bilateral meetings, and bring to a close Gamers8 which is currently being held at Boulevard Riyadh City until Sept. 8.

Speakers at the Next World Forum include Chester King, CEO of British Esports and vice-president of the Global Esports Federation; Mario Pérez Guerreira CEO, MENA & Partner, GGTech; Sayo Olowabi, secretary general, Africa Esports Development Federation; Grant Johnson, chairman and CEO, Esports Entertainment Group; and Prof. Glenn Platt, Armstrong Chair in Emerging Technology, co-founder and director of Esports Program, Miami University.

Other delegates who will attend are David Schulman, shareholder, Greenberg Traurig; Boris Mayencourt, president, E-LVETS & Swiss Esports Federation; Emmanuel Oyelakin, president, Africa Electronic Sports Association; Mo Fadl, chief publishing officer, Bright Star Studios; Madiha ‘Madi’ Naz, esports athlete and esports relationship agent, Division; Philip Wride, CEO, Cheesecake Digital; Noura Al-Aquil, chief customer officer and head of strategy, SAP; and Mark Cai, content creator, Esports and Gaming.


Saudi weightlifter Mansour Al-Saleem wins gold and two silvers at Islamic Solidarity Games

Saudi weightlifter Mansour Al-Saleem wins gold and two silvers at Islamic Solidarity Games
Updated 12 August 2022

Saudi weightlifter Mansour Al-Saleem wins gold and two silvers at Islamic Solidarity Games

Saudi weightlifter Mansour Al-Saleem wins gold and two silvers at Islamic Solidarity Games
  • Thursday also saw a bronze medal for the Kingdom in the men’s table tennis team competition and another for Ali Al-Mabrouk in taekwondo

Vice President of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee Prince Fahd bin Jalawi on Thursday presented Saudi weightlifter Mansour Al- Saleem with a gold and two silver medals in the 55 kg competition at the Islamic Solidarity Games in Konya, Turkey.

Al-Saleem had claimed his medals by winning the snatch category with a lift of 115 kg, taking second in the clean and jerk with 137 kg, and finishing in overall second position with a total of 252 points.

In the men’s table tennis team competition, Saudi’s Ali Al-Khadrawi, Abdulaziz Bushulaibi, Khaled Al-Sharif and Turki Al-Mutairi took the silver after losing 3-0 to Iran in the final.

The quartet had earlier in the tournament defeated both Kyrgyzstan and Lebanon by a score of 3-0, before overcoming Azerbaijan and Yemen in the quarter-finals and semifinals respectively, also in straight sets.

In taekwondo, Ali Al-Mabrouk took the bronze medal in the under 80 kg competition after losing 8-7 in the semifinals to Turkey’s Huseyin Tarkal.

By close of play on Thursday night, the Saudi medal tally stood at 12 (one gold, seven silver and four bronze).

Meanwhile, the Saudi sprints quartet of Abdullah Abkar, Mohammed Daoud, Ahmed Al-Marwani and Fahad Al-Subaie qualified for the final of the 4x100m relay after finishing third in the semifinals with a time of 40.12s.


Razzetti claims European 400m medley gold, Hosszu wins 97th medal

Razzetti claims European 400m medley gold, Hosszu wins 97th medal
Updated 12 August 2022

Razzetti claims European 400m medley gold, Hosszu wins 97th medal

Razzetti claims European 400m medley gold, Hosszu wins 97th medal
  • In the medley, the 23-year-old Razzetti made the most of the absence of world champion Leon Marchand, winning in 4 min 10.60 sec, more than six seconds outside the European record set by French swimmer Marchand in winning the world title
  • Hungarian 33-year-old Katinka Hosszu claimed the 97th medal of her career as her team finished third, behind winners Netherlands and runners-up Great Britain, in the women’s 4x200m relay final

ROME: Alberto Razzetti won the men’s 400m medley as the hosts claimed two medals on Thursday in the opening final of the European swimming championships in Rome.

“Winning here in Rome, in this pool and in front of our public, is something incredible,” said Razzetti after his victory in the historic Foro Italico pool.

“To hear the screams of the public when you hit the wall first is something I will never forget. It’s really very emotional. I hope this is a good omen for the whole Italian team.”

Hungarian 33-year-old Katinka Hosszu then claimed the 97th medal of her career as her team finished third, behind winners Netherlands and runners-up Great Britain, in the women’s 4x200m relay final.

In the men’s 800m relay, Hungary claimed gold, their third medal of the evening, anchored by Kristof Milak, the double butterfly champion at the World Championships in June. France were second and Italy third.

In the medley, the 23-year-old Razzetti made the most of the absence of world champion Leon Marchand, winning in 4 min 10.60 sec, more than six seconds outside the European record set by French swimmer Marchand in winning the world title.

Razzetti beat Hungarian David Verraszto (4:12.58) and another Italian, Pier Andrea Matteazzi (4:13.29).

“Two medals here at home is very emotional. It’s a great feeling to be here, and it’s an extra motivation for the whole team in the days to come,” Matteazzi told AFP.

“We started well, we are really happy. We are a nice group, we are a strong team, we have seen in the last few years that Italy has done really good things. I hope and I’m sure we’ll all do good things.”

The evening’s semifinals suggested the Italian team, the top European nation in the World Championship medal table will quickly give Razzetti and Matteazzi their wish.

World champion Nicolo Martinenghi was the fastest qualifier in the men’s 100m breaststroke, comfortably quicker than Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands, the runner-up in Budapest.

In the women’s 200m backstroke, two-time defending champion Margherita Panziera was more than a second-and-a-half faster than Eszter Szabo-Feltothy of Hungary.

Nyls Korstanje of the Netherlands was fastest in the 50m butterfly semis. Italian Thomas Ceccon, who won the 100m backstroke at the world championships, was third.

Britain’s Ben Proud, who has had a busy schedule in a crowded summer, scratched. He won two golds, one in this event, representing England at the recent Commonwealth Games, and took the 50m freestyle gold in Budapest.

Frenchwoman Charlotte Bonnet was quickest in women’s 100m free followed by Marrit Steenbergen, who then anchored the victorious Dutch relay team.

On Friday, David Popovici, the Romanian 17-year-old freestyle specialist, will make his first appearance of the championships in the 100m freestyle heats.

In Budapest, he became the first man in almost 50 years to complete the 100-200m double at the World Championships


Late eagle lifts Kim to share of FedEx St. Jude Championship lead

Late eagle lifts Kim to share of FedEx  St. Jude Championship lead
Updated 12 August 2022

Late eagle lifts Kim to share of FedEx St. Jude Championship lead

Late eagle lifts Kim to share of FedEx  St. Jude Championship lead
  • Kim and Spaun both posted 8-under par 62 to open the tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs, the three-tournament series that culminates with the Tour Championship where an $18 million winner’s prize will be on offer

WASHINGTON: South Korean Siwoo Kim holed out for eagle from the fairway at the 18th hole on Thursday to grab a share of the first-round lead alongside J.J. Spaun at the PGA Tour St. Jude Championship.

Kim and Spaun both posted 8-under par 62 to open the tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs, the three-tournament series that culminates with the Tour Championship where an $18 million winner’s prize will be on offer.

Kim hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation at TPC Southwind on Thursday, but his most spectacular hole didn’t involve a putt.

He was on the right side of the fairway at the 453-yard 18th, where his eight-iron from 171 yards out found the hole.

“It was a perfect shot,” said Kim, who said he was just trying to get the ball to 10 feet, left of the pin.

Kim followed his birdies at the second and third with a three-putt bogey at the fourth.

Feeling uncomfortable on the greens, he said he changed his putting grip and then rolled in a 21-foot birdie from the fringe at the 10th before making four birdies in a row at the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th.

That run featured a 23-foot birdie at the 14th.

Spaun’s day also included a run of four straight birdies, from the ninth through the 12th. He started with a 14-foot birdie at the first and a four-footer at the second, rolled in a 17-footer at the ninth and added two more birdies at 16 and 18.

“I’m hot, figuratively and literally, I guess,” Spaun quipped after his round in the steamy Tennessee weather.

“I think I putted really well and I drove it really well. I guess I hit 15 out of 18 greens. So that’s a pretty good combo.

“When you’re hitting a lot of greens and putting well and hitting fairways, it’s hard to complain about how I played today.”

Spaun won his first US PGA Tour title at the Texas Open in April, a victory that put him into his first Masters the following week.

If he can make it to the 30-player Tour Championship, he’ll likely secure a berth for next year’s Masters with a lot more time to prepare.

“That’s the place to be, and hopefully (if I) keep playing well this week and the next couple weeks, I’ll be there,” he said.

This week’s field features 125 players, but only the top 70 in the FedEx Cup standings will advance to next week’s BMW Championship in Delaware.

Only 30 qualify for the Tour Championship at Eastlake in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kim and Spaun held a one-shot lead over American Sahith Theegala, who had seven birdies in his seven-under 63.

It was a further stroke back to Tony Finau, J.T. Poston, South Korean Lee Kyoung-hoon and Austrian Sepp Straka.

Finau is the designated defending champion thanks to his victory at last year’s Northern Trust in New Jersey, which was replaced this season as the first playoff event.

Mexican Abraham Ancer won the WGC St. Jude Invitational in Memphis last year but is banned from the PGA Tour after jumping to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series in June.

A host of big names had plenty of work to do after the opening round.

Reigning FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay and British Open champion Cameron Smith were in a group on three-under 67.

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy — denied by Smith at St. Andrews last month — carded an even-par 70, while top-ranked Masters champion Scottie Scheffler posted a one-over par 71.