Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC) has revealed it will broadcast English Premier League matches over the internet from the start of next season.
According to a report in the National on Thursday, the broadcaster said it will not resell its rights to a pay TV broadcaster or sublicence them to a terrestrial channel as expected.
Instead it will offer the matches over broadband internet in the Middle East and North Africa region.
"Broadband is growing. Etisalat and du are taking broadband to people's homes. Why don't you just distribute football games online at zero cost? Well, that's what we intend to do," said Edward Borgerding, the chief executive of ADMC, cited by the paper.
ADMC won a three year contract for exclusive regional rights to broadcast the EPL last year, taking it from Orbit Showtime, now known as OSN, which had had the package for sometime.
ADMC's television offering is made up of free-to-air satellite channels which are restricted from broadcasting EPL games, so it was assumed by some media commentators that the firm would seek a partnership with a paid-for TV operator.
Under the move, viewers will pay a $15 (AED55) monthly fee for the rights to stream games through online video, the paper reported.
"This is something that we are going to try to drive into the marketplace in the Middle East now," Borgerding said.
"We are going to price it differentially, because it's cheaper to do it online. We want to drive people to do this because it's in our self interest to do this."