Etisalat by e& removes BeIN channels with immediate effect

Talks had been continuing between UAE company and Qatari broadcaster over renewal of services beyond June 1

BeIN Sports has the Middle East broadcasting rights to Premier League games. Reuters
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UAE telecoms operator etisalat by e& has confirmed it will no longer carry BeIN channels on its TV services from Thursday.

The company told The National in a statement that the decision had been made for "commercial reasons, effective June 1".

Qatar's satellite broadcaster beIN said this week that discussions were continuing over the inclusion of its channels in etisalat by e& packages.

Etisalat by e& on Sunday warned its customers that the beIN channels may not be on its TV service from the start of June.

"Etisalat by e& informs its valued customers that it will discontinue beIN supplied channels due to commercial reasons, effective June 1, 2023," the company said in a statement issued in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Customer discounts

"Customers with eLife packages where beIN content was previously bundled will now receive an automatic and ongoing monthly discount of Dh184 on their bill for the period starting from June 1 onwards.

"Customers may change, downgrade or cease the affected eLife packages without penalty prior to September 30, 2023.

"For customers subscribed to beIN as an add-on to their eLife service, the recurring add-on fees for the service will no longer be charged starting from 1st June 2023 and any exit charges for the beIN add-on will be waived.

Business customers will be contacted directly. Customers who wish to continue accessing beIN content can do so directly through beIN official channels."

On Monday, beIN said talks were continuing with Etisalat by e& over its content being available on eLife.

“Discussions are currently ongoing with Etisalat regarding the renewal and inclusion of beIN’s channels in etisalat packages from 1 June,” a beIN spokesman said.

On its website, etisalat by e& had advised customers that they would receive a refund if the beIN channels were removed.

“If the service is discontinued, beIN content will be automatically removed from eLife subscriptions and your invoice will be reduced accordingly,” it said.

The beIN Ultimate Package on etisalat by e&, which includes sports, entertainment, music and movie channels, costs Dh200 ($54) a month.

BeIN Sports has the Middle East broadcasting rights to Premier League games and aired last year's Qatar World Cup throughout the region.

Football fans with eLife packages face the prospect of missing out on this Saturday's FA Cup final between Manchester City and Manchester United, as well as Manchester City's Champions League final clash with Inter Milan on June 10, both of which will be broadcast on beIN.

Updated: May 31, 2023, 11:13 PM