The UAE Pro League Committee – the commercial rights holder and organising body of the Arabian Gulf League – announced on 12 September that, for the first time in the region, certain matches in the Arabian Gulf League will be available on a pay-per-view basis only.
The Arabian Gulf League is the UAE’s professional league which consists of 14 clubs, playing each other twice during a season. During the course of the 2013/2014 season, 2 matches per round will be available on a pay-per-view basis only.
The Pro League Committee explained that the decision had been made following extensive consultations with its host broadcast partners, motivated by a desire to increase match attendances.
As Colin Smith, CEO of the Pro League Committee, stated: “Together with our host broadcast partners Abu Dhabi Sports Channels and also with Dubai Sports Channels, we decided that the introduction of a subscription element to the broadcasting of our League would be a very positive step to take for the new season. By encrypting two of the seven matches per round on Pay-TV, we intend to drive greater stadium attendances, and over the longer term, the subscription element should also facilitate increased investment in the League.”
This broadcasting strategy aligns with established major football leagues throughout Europe, and represents another step in the strategy to grow the game in the UAE.