beIN Sports channels disappeared from screens in the UAE over the weekend on one of the country’s two telecoms providers.
With less than two weeks to go till World Cup 2018 kicks off in Russia, sports fans no longer have access to the only broadcaster in the region with exclusive rights to the FIFA World Cup.
du tweeted that it was “temporarily unable to show beIN sports channels and packages due to a decision by the broadcaster beIN Sports.” Instead viewers are taken to an error message on a blue screen. du added it had “temporarily stopped new subscriptions of beIN packages” and current customers would receive “no charges for the period beIN Sports channels are not available.”
Games start on 14th June and du customers needed to sign up to a “summer bundle” satellite subscription to watch the action. However du has is not accepting subscriptions until the matter is resolved.
It is not yet known why the Qatar-based TV company has pulled the plug on the UAE. In July last year, viewers in the UAE lost access to a dozen channels of beIN sports. Fortunately they came back on-line shortly before the English Premier League season began on 11th August.
There’s a list of frequently asked questions here on du’s website.
Etisalat has yet to announce what premium viewing packages it will offer for the World Cup, or how much they will cost. However some customers say beIN Sports channels are still available on its eLife service.