BeIN Sports to the challenge of a World Cup at home

It is a fiercely guarded fortress in the heart of Doha, where you have to show your credentials several times to armed guards to hope to enter. On the welcome screens, before entering one of the nine television studios and the control rooms spread over ten square kilometres, a slogan sums up the Qatari vision of the Football World Cup: “One world, one home” (one world, one house). Welcome to BeIN Media Group, a Qatari group of international media headed by the boss of PSG Nasser Al-Khelaïfi and parent company of BeIN Series, BeIN Movie, BeIN Gourmet… and therefore of BeIN Sports, where this world of excess is experienced as a real test.

“Our pride is at stake”

“We have experience, this is the third football World Cup that we have covered since our creation. But for this one, expectations are higher, recognizes Jassim al-Muftah, communications director of BeIN Group. Our pride as Qataris is at stake.”

Having become in a few years an epicenter of sports television broadcasting, BeIN broadcasts in around forty countries spread over five continents, and in seven different languages. In France alone, where it was launched in 2012, the paid package holds the exclusivity of 36 of the 64 World Cup matches. Since November 20, around a hundred French journalists and technicians out of the 300 from BeIN France have also joined the Qatari studios to broadcast from Doha. “We know that not everyone can come to Qatar to see the matches, so the pressure from the audience is enormous”adds Jassim al-Muftah, crossing one of the 800 square meter studios, changed from the colors of the Champions League to those of the World Cup in a few days.

A very political world

In Doha, the BeIN empire adjoins the other jewel of the soft-power Qatari, Al-Jazeera. The two groups are intimately linked: BeIN Médias is an offshoot of Al-Jazira Sports, created in 2003 and renamed a few months later. Despite these organic links, Al-Jazeera has little more broadcasting privileges than a traditional channel. Business is business.

Unlike its generalist elder, often accused of being the voice of Qatari power abroad, BeIN Sports wants to be apolitical. What if a player speaks out about human rights on air? “We will see on a case-by-case basis.answers Duncan Walkinshaw, director of programs for the Middle East and North Africa. “But I’ve been here for 12 years and nobody ever told me not to show this or that, assures this former Sky News. We cover football and how sport brings everyone together. »

fear of piracy

In addition to the image challenge, after the multiple criticisms suffered by Fifa and the Supreme World Organizing Committee, the channel which claims to have more than 55 million subscribers worldwide, especially fears piracy and cyberattacks during the competition. In France alone, some 4 million people watch it illegally. “The biggest threat to our industry is data theft and hacking, admits Duncan Walkinshaw. We are pioneers in the fight against attacks of this type, the group has made enormous investments to protect copyright. » The channel remembers the annoying precedent “beoutQ”, the ironic name of the Saudi pirate media which had hacked and broadcast all BeIN programs in clear, between August 2017 and August 2018, and therefore during the Football World Cup in Russia , in the midst of the Gulf crisis between Qatar and its neighbors.

Past the stress of competition – “rather a surge of adrenaline”, corrects Jassim al-Muftah – BeIN is planning for the post-World Cup. The group is eyeing new rights to acquire, which is already the largest buyer on the planet, with a portfolio valued between 10 to 15 billion dollars. After the broadcasting rights for European football championships such as the German Bundesliga until 2025, the Spanish Liga until 2024, the group is positioning itself on the broadcasting of major international competitions, particularly women’s. “We have the largest portfolio of rights in women’s sports leagues and we continue to acquire them,” slips Duncan Walkinshaw. The issue of the image is never far away for a media that hopes ” present Qatar as a model”.



The Blues first qualified in the round of 16

Always, if possible, maintain good habits. For the third consecutive time, Didier Deschamps can be satisfied with a qualification in the round of 16 of the World Cup after the first two games of the competition. His Blues did the job on Saturday November 26 by beating Denmark (2-1), imitating their elders from 2014 and 2018.

They had been brilliant in 2014 in Brazil, going 3-0 in Honduras, and battering the Swiss 5-2. The adventure ended in the quarter-finals against Germany (1-0). They had provided the essentials in 2018 in Russia, with a laborious 2-1 against Australia and a minimum 1-0 against Peru. And the story ended on top of the world. What continuation can tell the double evolution of the Blues of Qatar, convincing vis-a-vis Australia (4-1), but serene intermittently vis-a-vis the Scandinavians?

Satisfaction in defense and midfield

It is not impossible that the Blues have in any case found a typical team. The newcomers from the start, Raphaël Varane back from injury and Jules Koundé compensating for the defensive flaws of Benjamin Pavard, have removed doubts about the form of one and the placement of the other. Raphaël Varane especially entered the competition perfectly, and it is a comfort as the Blues have so far lost many soldiers let down by their physique.

Throughout the first half, this formation in any case proved to be in place, well in its fragile certainties. Rather dominating, the Blues multiplied the chances, without however ever finding the net. But after 45 minutes, they seemed to dominate their subject, with real satisfaction on the side of Ousmane Dembélé, twirling on his right wing without neglecting his defensive folds, and Antoine Griezmann, in the oven and at the mill like he often knows how to do it, but less prominent lately.

World Cup 2022: Olivier Giroud, the mark of the copy

A very united group

The general feeling of a quiet strength, finally lacked only the validation of the score, stubbornly blocked at 0-0. The downside could also come from Kylian Mbappé, a tone below compared to the overall score. Except that a sleeping Kylian can always wake up. It is characteristic of giant players. The second half will therefore be that of his double, including a spectacular second goal from the thigh on a cross from Antoine Griezmann. Between these two goals, however, the Blues floated a little, at least enough to let the character of the Danes express themselves, the Scandinavians offering themselves the luxury of returning to the score on their first shot – a whim – on target.

This second half, less controlled, somewhat limits the enthusiasm. But if the Blues had a number of questions about the midfielder, deprived of Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté, the two performances performed by the triplet Antoine Griezmann, Adrien Rabiot and Aurélien Tchouameni, the last two discovering the World Cup for the first times, give rather satisfaction.

The team, above all, displays a beautiful unity and a communicative spirit. Welded, perhaps, by his misfortunes (the defections), and finding this balance sought in vain during the last Euro. It is a curious paradox. The absent are always wrong ? Maybe. This group is strong, solid, and wants to do great things.” commented after the meeting a Didier Deschamps who will be able to afford to rotate his workforce Wednesday, November 30 against Tunisia (at 4 p.m.). From his reactions to the two goals of his star striker, we can probably deduce that he is relieved. He is not the only one.

World Cup 2022: France qualified, Poland wakes up… the matches of Saturday November 26



World Cup 2022: France qualified, Poland wakes up… the matches of Saturday November 26

► France slips into eighth, Denmark at its worst

In a close match, the Blues of Didier Deschamps managed to win 2 goals to 1 against the rough Danes. Kylian Mbappé concluded a great collective action to give the advantage to France (61st), before Denmark equalized seven minutes later, through Andreas Christensen (68th). Salvation came at the end of the match, by the inevitable Mbappé who scored twice and his third goal in the world (86th).

Thanks to this victory, France qualifies directly for the round of 16, even before the meeting against Tunisia, Wednesday 30. With one point, Denmark is in bad shape and will inevitably have to win against the Australian to hope to see the rest of the competition.

► Australia pulls together

The Socceroos can still dream of a round of 16. After losing to France 4-1, the Australians managed to overcome a moribund Tunisia and now dream of a round of 16.

On a counter, Mitchell Duke victoriously headed a through ball from Craig Goodwin, the man who had scored Australia’s only goal against France. A goal that did not really wake up the Tunisians, certainly present in the physical engagement, but long devoid of inspiration when they recovered the ball. It took until the 38th minute to see the first interesting action of the Carthage Eagles, when their captain Youssef Msakni tried to infiltrate the opposing defense, in vain.

TO READ. 2022 World Cup: Australia, a very political outsider

Tunisia, who came back in the second half with the best intentions, lacked efficiency in front of goal and could not improve their handicap by one goal. Now she is on the verge of elimination from the World Cup after this defeat. It will imperatively have to win against France on Wednesday 30, to hope for a qualification.

► Poland and Lewandowski wake up against Saudi Arabia (2-0)

Robert Lewandowski’s Poland, finally scoring in a World Cup, took a step towards qualification by beating Saudi Arabia 2-0, which failed to repeat its feat against Argentina.

Held in check by the Mexicans at the opening (0-0), the Poles won thanks to Piotr Zielinski (39th) and the first goal of their star Robert Lewandowski (82nd). Mute in four World Cup matches (three in 2018 and one in 2022), the FC Barcelona striker has finally freed himself from a weight.

► Argentina – Mexico

For the last game of the day, Lionel Messi’s Argentina is condemned to victory against the Mexicans. After their big disappointment in their first match against Saudi Arabia, the Albiceleste must collect their first points against Mexico to hope to see the round of 16.

TO READ. World Cup 2022: a boycott, really?

Facing them, the Mexicans also need points. With a draw obtained against Poland in the first match, they will be keen to eliminate Argentina to hope, too, to reach the next round.



How ski resorts are coping with the energy crisis

Slowing down the speed of chairlifts, training device pilots in eco-driving, increasing the price of ski passes, etc. “These are the choices we had to make to try to offset, in part, the rise in energy prices! »confides Didier Bobillier, president of the Company of ski lifts of the areas of Les Ménuires-Saint-Martin-de-Belleville (Savoie).

After two years marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, ski resorts are in turn faced with the new equation: soaring electricity prices, which represent between 3 and 5% of their expenses, mainly for operation. chairlifts, gondolas, drag lifts and the production of artificial snow. The megawatt-hour produced has gone from €50 in 2019 to nearly €550 at the end of 2022.

Increase in reservations

While the ski season is about to be launched – Val Thorens (Savoie) opens the ball on Saturday November 26 – the resorts remain confident: despite inflation, they have recorded a 7% increase in reservations to date compared to last year, and prices stabilized when some had to renew their electricity contracts (the MWh had reached €1,000 in August before falling again).

“The domains are therefore finally guaranteed to be able to open, explains Laurent Reynaud, general delegate of Domaines skiables de France. But the objective of sobriety set by the government and the need to absorb a bill that promises to be particularly high require everyone to put in place an adaptation strategy. »

Chairlifts in slow motion

The majority of resorts have opted to slow down the ski lifts, by training drivers or using new automatic systems. “The objective is to save money without altering the customer’s experience: this corresponds, for example, to an additional minute on a journey of 7 or 8 minutes”, says Didier Bobillier.

A choice to which is added a series of efforts declined by the resorts: work on the cabins of the professionals at the bottom of the slopes, where better insulation can be installed, a set of sensors cutting off the heating when the door is open, de-icing systems to optimize device performance, on-site renewable energy production, etc. “Some of these measures were included in the base of eco-commitments put in place several years ago, recalls Laurent Reynaud, but we must accelerate them to achieve at least a 10% reduction in our consumption. »

Increase in package prices

Other strategies will probably be more noticeable to tourists, in the midst of inflation, such as the increase in the price of ski passes: in the 3 Valleys area, the increase is around 9%, bringing the price of a day of skiing , for a single adult, at €72, Val Thorens offering €63, and Les Ménuires €58. “But it’s much less than imagined and it concerns only a few areas, because the majority voted their tariffs earlier in the year, indexing them only to inflation”would like to remind Jean-Luc Boch, President of the National Association of Mayors of Mountain Resorts and Mayor of La Plagne.

In the Pyrenees, the more fragile areas have opted for a reduction in services: in Puigmal, the ski lifts will remain shut down on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, outside school holidays. The Peyragudes resort is shortening its season: it will close from March 26, 2023, instead of the beginning of April.

“There is still a gap to be filled”

Will the situation be further aggravated by weather conditions? The first snowflakes, which fell in small quantities, have melted due to the return of mild weather, which has forced Val Thorens to postpone its opening and the cold and dry winter that is coming could not be favorable for good snow cover.

However, the production of artificial snow is also a high item of energy expenditure. Resorts prefer to see it as another optimization lever, thanks to snow groomers equipped with GPS or snow depth sensors, as in Les Orres, and the renewal of equipment to reduce air consumption, and therefore energy.

Stations will lose money

Jean-Luc Bloch, who recalls that local authorities also do their share of the work on consumption, estimates that 30% of stations are not really secure: “They will open in satisfactory conditions for tourists, but they will lose money. » And Laurent Reynaud to complete: “We can see more clearly than at the end of the summer and we can already say that the objective of sobriety will be achieved, but there is still a gap to be filled: we are waiting for the government to decide on specific support for struggling ski resorts. »


The French ski area

France has 320 stationsor sitesalpine and nordic skiing. They are spread over seven mountain ranges: Northern Alps, Southern Alps, Massif Central, Vosges, Jura, Pyrenees, Corsica.

the turnover in 2021-2022 for the top 100 French ski resorts amounted to 1.6 billion euros, according to the magazine’s annual survey Mountain Leaders.

9% of the French population goes downhill skiing, snowboarding or ski touring every winter. The French Ski Federation has 106,000 members.



Olympic Games 2024: the budget will inflate by 10%, half due to inflation

The organizers of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games began to announce the color on Tuesday November 22: the budget will swell by 10%, half of which is due to inflation, even if, three weeks from a crucial board of directors who will validate expenses and income, they did not go into detail.

From 4 billion euros, the budget of the Organizing Committee (Cojo) – entirely private – could therefore increase to 4.4 billion euros by the end of the year. Of these additional 400 million euros, half is due to inflation. What Cojo President Tony Estanguet describes as “controlled budget”.

In 2019, the envelope was 3.8 billion euros. It rose to 3.9 billion during the last budget revision, then has been close to 4 billion since 2021.

The overall bill could stand at 8.7 billion euros

The other major operator of the Olympic Games, which is partially financed by public money (State and local authorities), is Solideo, the company that delivers Olympic works, responsible for building the Olympic village, for example. Its budget of 4.3 billion euros, including 1.87 billion of public money, was also affected by the wave of inflation born from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In total, at the end of the year, the overall bill for the Paris Olympics could therefore stand at 8.7 billion euros, against 6.8 billion projected in 2019.

Three weeks before the end of this budget revision, planned for a long time but which has taken on the appearance of a headache because of inflation, the Cojo says it has carried out a “ant work”, notably alongside the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The line dedicated to cybersecurity will also increase

On the expenditure side, excluding inflation, the unprecedented opening ceremony on the Seine will cost more than a ceremony at the Stade de France. Asked if the budget line devoted to security would increase, the Cojo replied “yes”.

The line dedicated to cybersecurity, which is of the highest concern to state services, will also increase. Among the increased expenses, the Cojo also encountered “some topics in terms of energy” or had to face “poorly anticipated costs” such as not having provided for the cost of the reclassification leave to which its employees will be entitled.

Find additional recipes

To compensate for the increase in expenditure, it is necessary to find additional revenue. The Games have three main sources of funding: a contribution paid by the IOC, ticketing revenue and sponsors. There will be “additional ticketing revenue”announced the Cojo.

On the sponsor side, the Cojo indicated that it had reached its target of 80% of the 1.1 billion euros it had set for the end of 2022, thanks in particular to the signing of secondary sponsors who were not yet revealed.

But he will also have to draw on his contingency reserve (315 million euros). He did not specify how high, except that he wants the “maintain at a significant level” and not to siphon everything off twenty months before the Olympics.

Another novelty, the State, according to the chief of staff of the Minister of Sports and the Olympic Games, “look for tracks”, “in terms of general interest and privileged policies” which could lead it to bear the costs, but nothing has been decided yet. Last week, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, had assured that there would be “no slippage in large widths” of the Paris 2024 Olympics budget.



World Cup 2022: matches and results for Friday November 25

► Iran revive with 2-0 win over Wales

Iran can dream of a first round of 16 in its history after a 2-0 victory over Wales on Friday in Doha, in the second meeting of Group B of the 2022 World Cup. “Team Meli” scored the two goals at the very end of the match by Rouzbeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezaeian, while the Welsh were reduced to 10 after the exclusion of their goalkeeper Hennessey, the first red card of this World Cup.

Iranian players, silent during their first match of the 2022 World Cup, sang their national anthem before this meeting. The choice, described as “collective” by captain Alireza Jahanbakhsh before the World Cup, not to sing during the match against England, had been seen as a sign of support for the victims of the harshly repressed demonstrations in their country.

► Qatar eliminated after losing to Senegal (3-1)

Qatar, beaten by Senegal (3-1) on Friday at the Al-Thumama stadium in Doha, was eliminated from its World Cup, five days after its defeat in the opening match against Ecuador (2-0).

With Ecuador failing to defeat the Netherlands, Qatar became the first World Cup hosts to exit the competition on matchday two of the group stage.

► The Netherlands hooked by Ecuador (1-1)

The Netherlands and Ecuador, both victorious on the first day in Group A, were neutralized (1-1) on Friday in Doha and will be in favorable tie next Tuesday when aiming for the round of 16 of the World-2022.

► England – United States

For the last match of the day, England will face the United States. The English, who started their competition very well against Iran (6-2). As for the Americans, they managed to hold Gareth Bale’s Wales in check in their first meeting (1-1).

Despite some concerns, England star Harry Kane should start the game well. A won match would allow England to qualify already for the round of 16.

► Neymar, hit in the right ankle, will be forfeited against Switzerland

Neymar, victim of a sprain Thursday against Serbia (2-0), is affected in the ligament of the right ankle and will be absent Monday against Switzerland during the second match of Brazil at the World Cup-2022, announced Friday the doctor of the Selecao.

Rodrigo Lasmar, doctor of the Brazilian federation (CBF), announced that Neymar suffered from a “lateral ligament injury” ankle, while defender Danilo also suffers from a sprain. “We won’t have these two players for our next game, but they are continuing their treatment with the aim of recovering them in time for the rest of the competition”he said in a video broadcast by the CBF.



World Cup 2022: no boycott for the debut of the Blues, followed by 12.5 million viewers

The French team made a successful debut at the 2022 World Cup: more than 12.5 million viewers followed Tuesday from 8 p.m. on TF1 its big victory against Australia (4-1), according to figures from Médiamétrie published Wednesday, November 23.

While the World Cup in Qatar had been the subject of boycott calls before its start, this match achieved the “best audience since June 2021 for all programs and all channels combined”, welcomed TF1.

This number of viewers is comparable to that of the first match of the Blues at the 2018 World Cup, again against Australia (12.6 million), which took place on a Saturday noon.

Over 5 million viewers for the opening game

At the time, however, viewers of the entry into the running of the Blues represented a larger share of all those watching television at that time (69% audience share, against 48.1% for Tuesday’s game).

TF1 is the only channel in France to broadcast the World Cup unencrypted, also broadcast on beIN Sports for a fee. Sunday, November 20, the opening match between the host country – Qatar – and Ecuador, broadcast at 5 p.m., had attracted more than 5 million viewers.

These audience scores seem to show that the calls for a boycott of which the competition was the object did not have a notable impact. Since the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar in December 2010, the competition has sparked many controversies on subjects such as respect for human rights and the protection of the environment.



World Cup 2022: why are six players from the South Korea team called Kim?

In France, the most common surname is Martin, borne by 235,846 people, which is equivalent to 0.35% of the population. In South Korea, 10 million people are called Kim… That is 20% of the country’s inhabitants! It is therefore not surprising that four defenders of the national team present at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar bear this surname.

The reason is to be found in the kingdom of Silla, which extended in the south-east of the Korean peninsula for almost a thousand years, between 57 BC and 935. One of the royal families of this period, which imposes and reigns during seven hundred years on Silla, decides to use the Korean word Kimwhich means “gold”, as his surname.

Fill the state coffers

If in Korea surnames have long remained the prerogative of aristocrats, it becomes advantageous to have one at the end of the Joseon period, which lasts from 1392 to 1897, because it confers economic and social advantages, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Indeed, two wars against China and Japan push the ruined Joseon dynasty to allow slaves and commoners to adopt a surname. The reform thus aims to fill the coffers of the State, since people without a surname were not taxable.

Kim, Lee or Park

The wealthy merchants of that time therefore wished to appropriate this symbol of power and could buy the right to bear the patronymic of prestigious but penniless families. The new rich fake the archives in order to be able to boast of a noble filiation.

Later, it was the Japanese who colonized the peninsula in 1905 and forced Koreans to adopt surnames. Most choose Kim, Lee or Park, three powerful clans in the region. Together, these three names make up 45% of contemporary South Korean surnames, and the surname of the current ruling dynasty in North Korea is also Kim.

This shared surname therefore does not necessarily presume a common ancestor. However, the law has long prohibited South Koreans from marrying someone with the same name as them. After three tries, the government finally succeeded in abolishing this provision in 1999.



World Cup 2022: matches and results for Thursday November 24

► Switzerland wins against Cameroon 1 to 0 thanks to Embolo

Switzerland beat Cameroon 1-0 thanks to a goal from Breel Embolo for their entry into the World Cup-2022 on Thursday in Doha, and took the lead in group G before the Brazil-Serbia match in the evening.

Embolo remained impassive after his goal, scored after returning from the locker room. The striker, a native of Yaoundé, had announced before the match that he would try not to celebrate if he scored with the “Nati” against his native country with which he has kept very strong ties.

► Uruguay and South Korea back to back (0-0)

Uruguay and South Korea, despite the pedigree of their respective attackers, did not find the opening (0-0) after a balanced and lively match in which the defenders took the upper hand on Thursday at Doha in Group H of the 2022 World Cup.

If the former Bordeaux player Hwang Ui-jo wasted a great opportunity in the box (34th), it was Celeste who proved to be the most dangerous, Godin (34th) and Valverde (90th) touching the posts while Suarez , replaced by Cavani (64th), and Son were little in sight.

► Portugal beats Ghana 3-2, Cristiano Ronaldo historic goalscorer

Portugal beat Ghana 3-2 to enter the 2022 World Cup in Qatar (Group H), thanks in particular to a penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo, who became the first player to score at five different World Cups on Thursday. at Stadium 974, Doha.

The 37-year-old Portuguese star, without a club since breaking his contract by mutual agreement with Manchester United, made World Cup history by converting a penalty (65th). The Ghanaian Andre Ayew equalized (73rd), but Joao Felix (78th) then Rafael Leao (80th) revived the Portuguese, who however trembled at the end of the match after the goal of Osman Bukari (89th).

► Brazil – Serbia

For the last game of the day, Neymar’s Brazil will face Serbia at 8 p.m. French time. Defeated in the quarter-finals in 2018, the Brazilian “Seleção”, the most successful in the history of the World Cup, will try this year to win their sixth world title.

For that, it would be better that their entry into the running against Serbia, 21st in the Fifa ranking, is successful, at the risk of finding themselves back against the wall against Switzerland and Cameroon in the following matches.



World Cup 2022: a boycott, really?

More than 12 million viewers watched the French team’s first match against Australia on Tuesday 22 November. Either the best audience of the year for TF1. Enough to give food for thought to the anti-boycott of the World Cup in Qatar, so criticized in terms of human rights and for its ecological nonsense.

However, the figures must be analysed. In 2018, in Russia, the first match of the Blues, again against the Australian Socceroos, had gathered 12.59 million viewers. An equivalent score in number of viewers but much more powerful in market share (69% in 2018, against 48.1% in 2022), the most convincing element of comparison given the different boxes of the two programs and the different broadcast period.

Analyze over the long term

“You have to be careful when comparing slots that are not the same”, recalls in this regard Nicolas Hourcade, sociologist specializing in supporterism. “The 2022 figures are certainly inflated because new comparators come into play, such as people watching matches in bars”, explains the specialist. The measurement of audiences away from home (secondary residence, hotels, bars, airports, train, bus, etc.) was implemented by Médiamétrie in 2020, so the comparison with previous World Cups is biased.

“People can be disgusted by the conditions in which the competition is taking place and will not follow it continuously, but reserve the important matches for themselves. » Thus, according to Nicolas Hourcade, it will be interesting to analyze the figures for the final round, with the knockout matches, to see if a quarter or a semi-final where the Blues do not play corresponds to usual audiences or not.