Tubi Announces FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Channel Launch Ahead of Soccer Competition

Fox Entertainment’s ad-supported VOD streaming platform Tubi Sept. 14 announced the launch of its FIFA World Cup free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channel for the upcoming global soccer tournament Nov. 21 to Dec. 18 in Qatar. The U.S. team qualified for the tournament after missing out in 2018.

The channel features highlights and analysis from the quadrennial soccer competition and includes content from past FIFA World Cup tournaments. Additionally, every FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 match will be available for free on-demand and programmed into the channel as replays. Tubi’s FIFA World Cup FAST channel joins its growing lineup of more than 150 sports, entertainment and local news channels from partners including the NFL and Major League Baseball.

“We’re thrilled to give our viewers different entry points to enjoy one of the largest global sports events, whether they want to drop into the experience via our FAST Channel or actively engage through VOD,” Farhad Massoudi, founder/CEO of Tubi, said in a statement.

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At launch, the FIFA channel and on-demand offerings will offer viewers premium library content, including series and films highlighting past and future FIFA World Cup tournaments, such as “FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: Qatar Prepares.” Additional FIFA World Cup content featured on Tubi includes: “FIFA World Cup Classics,” “FIFA Women’s World Cup Classics,” “Gold Stars — The Story,” “When the World Watched” and “Etched in Gold.” Fans will also be able to watch past matches from FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 and FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019.

Special Fox Sports Digital content celebrating FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will also appear on the channel in the lead-up to the tournament. During this year’s celebrated tournament, the channel will roll out event coverage featuring highlight compilation videos.

The channel joins Tubi’s growing linear FAST channels, including the recently launched Gordon Ramsay FAST Channel, News on Tubi, Sports on Tubi, Tubi Originals, The TMZ Channel and “The Masked Singer,” as well as Tubi en Español.

Al Jazeera’s U.S. News Service ‘AJ+’ Ordered to Register as Foreign Agent by DOJ

Al Jazeera+, the English-language online news service of Qatar-based news organization Al Jazeera, has been ordered by the Justice Department to register as a foreign agent operating in the United States.

In a Sept. 14 letter from the DOJ, the government says AJ+ should be subject to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), claiming the streaming video platform engages in political activities on behalf of the Qatar government.

“Journalism designed to influence American perceptions of a domestic policy issue or a foreign nation’s activities or its leadership qualifies as ‘political activities’ under the statutory definition,”  Jay Bratt, the counterintelligence chief at the DOJ, wrote in the letter.

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AJ+, which produces videos for social media in English, Arabic, French and Spanish, has offices in Doha and Washington, D.C. The FARA determination would only apply to the English-language AJ+ based in the U.S.

The letter came the day before the Trump Administration announced an accord between the United Arab Emirates and Israel. Al Jazeera claims the DOJ action is a condition of the UAE/Israel agreement since it claims the UAE, together with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, has sought to impose an economic blockade on Qatar, alleging the country has ties with Iran — claims the country denies.

“The UAE has confirmed it presented the United States with preconditions prior to announcing the Abraham Accords, and we received DOJ’s letter the day before the UAE signed the Accords,” Al Jazeera said in a statement to The New York Times. “Hobbling Al Jazeera was one of the top conditions of the UAE’s blockade against Qatar and the Justice Department just gave the UAE what it wanted,” the statement said.

Patrick Toomey, senior attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, assailed the FARA designation on AJ+ as politics by the Trump Administration.

“This order is a threat to the freedom of the press,” Toomey said in a statement. “People in the United States rely on dedicated news organizations for reporting on world events and the human impact of our government’s policies around the globe. The government should not misuse a vague and overboard ‘foreign agent’ law to target news organizations for political purposes.”