Fact CheckMedia LiteracySport

Has DStv acquired rights to broadcast the Saudi Professional League? 

Claim: A viral tweet stating that Digital Satellite Television (DStv) has bought a license to transmit the Saudi Professional League (SPL) after Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr. 

Verdict: False. Our findings show that DSTV has not acquired broadcast rights for the Saudi Professional League. 

Full Text

Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese professional footballer who scored over 700 goals in club football and over 100 in international football. 

Considered influential due to his sterling achievements, Mr Ronaldo recently signed a deal that is said to be worth  £173 million per year with a Saudi Arabian team, “Al-Nassr.” Perceived as a fortune to the club, this signing has since recorded a huge impact. For example, since the footballer was confirmed as Al-Nassr’s new player, the club’s Instagram following has exponentially grown to 9.6 million.

Following this occurrence, there have been several statements getting circulated on social media. One of these is a tweet alleging that Digital Satellite Television (DStv) has received a license to show the Saudi Professional League (SPL) due to Ronaldo’s contract with Al-Nassr.

Has DStv acquired rights to broadcast the Saudi Professional League? 
A screenshot of the claim.

Besides this claim, having gathered 123 retweets and 521 likes, it has also sparked a debate among users who believe and those who do not believe this has happened. This is, therefore, the reason for this fact-check.

Verification

Firstly, DUBAWA visited the verified Facebook and Twitter handle of DStv but could not find any related announcements.

While the television’s earliest Facebook post was based on the Premier League, the Twitter page was about the passing of Peter Squire.

Has DStv acquired rights to broadcast the Saudi Professional League? 
DStv’s recent Facebook and Twitter update.

Following this, we discovered (from a keyword search) that Multichoice, the mother company that operates DStv recently, launched a “pop-up channel” channel for the festive season. According to the Guardian newspaper, the station only broadcasts from December 15, 2022, till January 3, 2023.

Has DStv acquired rights to broadcast the Saudi Professional League? 
Screenshot of The Guardian’s publication.

Furthermore, we reached out to DStv customer service via its verified Twitter account. The television stated clearly that it had not acquired the rights to transmit the league. 

The response read:

 “@SundayAwosoro Hi, thank you for contacting us. Please note that we do not have broadcasting rights for the League. ~JSL.”

Has DStv acquired rights to broadcast the Saudi Professional League? 
Our chat with DStv on Twitter shows that this claim is false

Conclusion

Consequently, these rumours can be flagged as false as DStv does not have broadcasting rights to broadcast the Saudi Professional League.

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