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Israel To Broadcast FIFA World Cup To Arab States For Free

Israeli television will broadcast the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia with Arabic commentary for the first time, offering free coverage of the football (or soccer, as it is known in North America) competition to regional countries. The Israel Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) will air the games via satellite, thereby breaking a Qatari monopoly on Arabic-language coverage of the event that is not affordable for many in the Middle East. The IBC reportedly purchased the broadcasting rights for around $8 million and intends to rival Doha’s beIN Sports, which charges $45 per household to watch the tournament, in countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. Israel qualified for the World Cup finals only once, in 1970, four years before being expelled from the Asian Football Confederation and forced to compete in the tougher European qualifying draw. The World Cup is due to kick off on June 14 in Moscow.