We’re very close to completing Digiturk sale: CEO
BERLIN - Anadolu Agency
AA photoDigiturk CEO Ümit Önal has said they are very close to completing the sale of Digiturk to Qatar’s beIN Media Group.
Stating that the negotiations on the sale had been continuing for more than a year, Önal said: “A preliminary agreement was signed during these negotiations, and both sides waited for the implementation of these terms during this period. It is possible to say that all conditions have been accomplished. We are very close to completing the sales process. I believe the TMSF [Turkey’s Savings Deposit Insurance Fund], which is managing the sales process, will make a public announcement when it is officially completed. But, I can say that it is very close.”
Speaking about an auction for the rights to Spor Toto Super League broadcasts, Önal said it was very likely that the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) would conduct the broadcasting auction. “If the law on the Clubs Union is enforced, then it could also conduct this auction. For us, it is more important to have an auction in line with the monetary conditions based on a ground embracing the realities and all aspects of the football industry rather than who will be the tendering body,” said Önal. He also said it was important for Turkish audiences to be able to view an uninterrupted and high-quality broadcasting service in the new league season.
Digiturk is currently paying $400 million, including taxes, to the TFF annually for each football league season.
But Önal also said foreign currency payments were creating problems due to the fact that their subscriber profits were in lira while their payment is in foreign currency, which is gaining value against the lira. Önal also said they would be using 4K technology in the upcoming seasons for both basketball and football. “This content will be available at the SamsungStore, that is to say, we are creating content jointly.” He also said they were testing VR technology for their broadcasts. “We will offer the Turkish audience at least one match a week with VR technology. In addition, we will use 4K technology twice a week – one basketball match and one football match,” Önal added. “We are working hard to be the leader of the sector. We have 165 employees in the R&D department. They are developing software and hardware for projects including those supported by TÜBİTAK,” he said, referring to Turkey’s state science body.