As the World Cup countdown begins, less than two weeks ahead of the big kick off in Russia, football fans in the UAE could be left sweating on how they will watch the greatest show on Earth.
Du subscribers to beIN Sports, the region’s premier football viewing platform, are currently unable to view channels due to an unspecified decision by the Qatar-based broadcaster.
Sports fans hoping to tune in to the weekend’s World Cup warm up matches featuring all of the main contenders for this summer’s showpiece event have been left with a blue screen and message apologising for the restricted service.
Etisalat is also yet to announce a World Cup package of matches to be shown live in the UAE, just days ahead of the first game of the tournament between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia on June 14 in Moscow.
Du has told subscribers they will be informed of any developments as soon as they are made and that they will not be charged for their subscription to beIN Sports while the service is unavailable.
“We understand the inconvenience caused by the sudden and unexpected loss of the service,” a du statement reads.
“There will be no charges for the period during which the channels are not available.
“We are currently assessing the situation and any decision on the matter of compensation will be communicated to our customers.”
Customers can cancel their subscriptions without financial penalties and are still able to view beIN channels online or by subscribing to beIN Connect for mobile services.
In 2012, Etisalat and du offered their customers special packages to watch all 64 matches live during the World Cup in Brazil.
Etisalat’s eLife customers could access a World Cup viewing package at no extra cost with Dh499 eLife Sports or Premium Packages. Channels included two in Arabic, two in English, two in French and one in Spanish.
A one-time charge for matches was offered for Dh450, but similar deals have not yet been announced for the 2018 tournament.
In 2012, du provided a viewing package through five dedicated beIN Sports channels for Dh440 plus no rental fees.
Ahead of the 2017-18 Premier League football season, access to the beIN Sports TV network was also blocked.