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Al Jazeera to launch sports channels in US

Al Jazeera has said it will launch two new sports channels in the US in August. Separately, the Qatar-based broadcaster’s recently launched French sports channels have secured carriage with cable operator Numericable.

Al Jazeera plans to launch US versions of beIN Sport 1 and 2. According to the broadcaster the channels will offer a mix of Spanish, French and Italian league football as well as Copa America football and qualifying matches of South American football teams ahead of the Brazil World Cup in 2014.

BeIN Sports managing director Youssef Mohammad al-Obaidly reportedly said the group was in advanced negotiations with distributors and had so far secured two major deals for the channels.

Separately, beIN Sports 1 and 2 France are close to securing carriage on Numericable’s cable platform, according to a report in financial daily Les Echos. Al Jazeera has already signed deals with ISPs Free, Bouygues and Orange, though it has not yet struck a deal with rival CanalSat, with which it shares rights to French Ligue 1 matches.