Digiturk sale to Al Jazeera subsidiary not over: State body
ANKARATurkey’s Competition Board has approved the sale of Digiturk to Qatari beIN Media Group, but the state fund that runs the pay TV platform said the bargaining process was still continuing.
“The acquisition process of Digiturk is still ongoing,” said Turkey’s Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) President Şakir Ercan Gül, adding the state body would make an announcement once the sale was completed.
The approval by the Competition Board was “just one of the requirements” of the acquisition, he said.
Following the board’s announcement on its website on Nov. 4, media reports, which were later ruled out by the TMSF, said all shares in the broadcaster were handed over to beIN Media Group.
BeIN Media Group is the sports sector subsidiary of Al Jazeera.
The control of Çukurova Group’s Digiturk was handed over to the TMSF in May 2013.
The channel has the right to broadcast Turkey’s top football league, along with the U.K.’s Premier League, the Russian and Brazilian top leagues, the Turkish Airlines Euroleague, the Turkish basketball league and many other sport organizations.
Earlier reports had also speculated that the acquisition stood at $1.2 billion but none of the parties have made an official announcement on the matter.
TV channels Kanaltürk, Samanyolu TV, Mehtap TV, S Haber, Bugün TV, Yumurcak TV (a children’s TV channel) and Irmak TV, which belong to companies known to be close to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, were removed in early October from the country’s leading pay satellite, TV and digital operators, Digiturk and Tivibu.
Bugün TV and Kanaltürk were later seized by state caretakers.