Qatar-based Al Jazeera Sport will broadcast some matches of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa free of charge and without the need of a special $100 viewing card, it was reported on Tuesday.
Under FIFA broadcast conditions, Al Jazeera, which has the exclusive rights for the Middle East region, must show the opening ceremony, the first match and the final of the prestigious tournament free, Qatar daily Gulf Times reported.
The paper added that Al Jazeera Sport was also considering showing for free the semi-finals as well as the matches involving Algeria, citing a source at the TV company.
"All rights holders will have to air the opening ceremony, the first match on June 11 (South Africa v Mexico) and the final on July 11 free. That's part of an agreement with FIFA, but Al Jazeera Sport may go a step further and telecast for free the semi-finals as well," the source told the paper.
"There is also a plan to air Algeria's matches free because it's the only country from the Arab world to qualify for the event," he added.
Football fans wishing to watch all the matches will have to shell out QR355 for a new Al Jazeera card or sign up to a special package offered by local cable providers.