Egypt Independent

Sale of Egyptian concert footage to Rotana under investigation



The Public Funds Prosecution launched investigations yesterday into alleged violations by the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) in connection with its selling the rights to televise footage of concerts of famous Egyptian singers to Rotana satellite channel, owned by Saudi businessman Prince Walid bin Talal.

The prosecution sent a request to the Information Ministry for a copy of the original contract and other related documents. 

According to investigations, in 2004 the head of the ERTU sold the rights to recordings of famous Egyptian singers–estimated at 11,000 minutes of footage–to a satellite channel for a price of US$10 per minute. Regulations stipulate that one minute should cost between US$500 and US$1000. The regulations also require that the sale of such rights should have a limited time frame.

The Administrative Control Authority also revealed that dozens of Egyptian movies have been sold to satellite channels at prices much lower than specified by the ERTU’s internal regulations.

The deal to sell the televised material was made months before Mahmoud el-Beltagui–the former information minister–assumed his position, said official sources at the Information Ministry.

The same sources also said Prince Talal had wanted to exchange rights to Egyptian films owned by his company for Egyptian songs, but el-Beltagui refused.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.