Al Jazeera buys Digitürk

Al Jazeera has acquired Turkish pay TV operator Digitürk via its BeIN Sports arm.

Financial details of the acquisition were not released.

Reports in April suggested that BeIN Sports was expected to pay between US$1 billion and US$1.2 billion for the operator.

Digitürk, which holds top-tier Turkish football rights until the end of the 2016-17 season, was previously nominally owned by Cukurova Holding, the outfit controlled by businessman Mehmet Emin Karamehment, whose stake in the pay TV operators was seized two years ago by state financial institution the Turkish Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) in lieu of taxes owned to the state.

Digitürk, which was 47% owned by private equity group Providence Equity Partners, has about 3.5 million subscribers.

Nasser Al-Khelafi, chairman and CEO of BeIN Sports and chairman of the Qatar Investment Authority, said that the deal was “a natural step” for the company, given the proximity of the Turkish market to the MENA region.