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Al Jazeera to launch sports channel

Qatar-based news network Al Jazeera will launch a sports news channel across the Middle East next month, it said in a statement.

Al Jazeera go for sports - All SportsDPPI

The channel will broadcast hourly news bulletins and 20 sports news programmes covering major international tournaments and events including European football leagues on Egyptian satellite Nilesat, the statement said.

Two programmes will be dedicated to covering major sports events in the Middle East and North Africa, it said.

The channel, which will broadcast in Arabic, will provide coverage of events that are not transmitted live through a 5-hour programme broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays, it said.

Al Jazeera's first sports channel, dedicated to live sports coverage, was launched in 2003. The new channel will focus on sports news, a spokesman said.

Last December Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World Cup football tournament and in August the tiny Gulf state officially launched a bid to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

It has submitted a bid for the 2017 World Athletic Championships, and has expressed interest in hosting the Grand Départ for the 2016 Tour de France.

Al Jazeera recently bought a share of the domestic television rights of French soccer league games from 2012 to 2016. The network paid $129 million a year for the rights to broadcast two live games a week and for other associated rights over four seasons between 2012 and 2016.

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