Du pledges to sort World Cup TV deal

Telco says still in talks; plans to announce World Cup packages soon for UAE customers.

UAE telecom provider du on Wednesday moved to reassure customers amid concerns that its TV service users could miss out on live coverage of the FIFA World Cup.

With just over two weeks to go before the start of the football tournament in South Africa, the telco has still to finalise any deal to show live coverage of the world's premier sporting event.

Earlier, Arabian Business reported that customers were becoming increasingly frustrated about how they would access action from the tournament.

In a statement sent to Arabian Business on Wednesday afternoon, du said: "We would like to reassure our valued customers that we are working with our partners to provide live action of the FIFA World Cup matches through dedicated packages. Further details will be communicated very soon."

Broadcasting rights across the region are owned by Al Jazeera Sport, and can currently be accessed either by purchasing an Al Jazeera Sports card or through Etisalat’s pay TV E-Vision.

Both are charging existing customers around $100 to upgrade to the World Cup service.

The du statement added that the company was in the final stages of talks with content providers and would shortly announce packages for the World Cup.

Earlier this month, Grand Cinemas announced it had struck a deal with Al Jazeera, to show the tournament’s matches live on its cinema screens.

Andy Fordham, project manager at Grand Cinemas, told Arabian Business that the UAE-based cinema operator plans to sell around 4,800 tickets per match throughout the tournament.

Prices will start at AED35 ($9.52) and will increase as the tournament progresses, with tickets for the final priced at AED100 ($27.22).

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Posted by: Pierre

I called DU this morning thinking that adding the family package (with the Al Jazeera Sports Channels) would give me access to viewing the WC. They quoted me 370AED for the duration of the WC where Family Package costs 29AED/month. The only explanation the guy at "Client service" gave me was : that's what marketing told us. He couldn't give any other explanation except that the family package wouldn't work. I checked the Showtime website and Al Jazeera Sports package is not mentioned anymore. They know they have a monopoly so don't care at all... DU website doesn't even mention a WC package... probably will be online when the WC is over.

Posted by: tugger

What a joke! If I had a choice I'd dump DU today. I've had a Du TV box that hasn't worked for 20 days and have still not had an engineer out to sort it. 'Customer services' simply say reboot the box! Add to this that even if they do fix the box they're not offering the world cup! 2 weeks to go and they say there will be an announcement soon but I'm not expecting anything before the 2014 world cup! I've never known anything like it. I've got kids and can't simply go to a bar to watch so that's not an option. I could watch via VPN on BBC and ITV but my 16mb du connection has been getting slower and slower. Even with the VPN I used to see 5mb connection to UK servers, now I'm struggling to get 1mb. Quality and reliability of picture is diminishing all the time and I thoroughly expect the online coverage to be unwatchable. 6 months ago I could watch skyplayer live football clear as day, now I can't get 5 minutes. Du simply gets worse and worse without a care in the world for their customers. I spend over 800 AED every month for my 'services' and frankly I feel like I'm being defrauded every month.

Posted by: clyde

@ harry barracuda, Well here's the cheaper way of doing it. Projectors from BenQ, Viewsonic, Acer, Mitsubishi. (search for DLP 3D ready models starting at $700 onwards). Add to that a standard PC, USB video grabber card and a software called Stereoscopic player. Feed the output of a Jazeera Box into it, and output via the projector. Use Nvidia glasses (there's cheaper alternatives but this is not the place to explain the thing :-) Besides that, Panasonic 3D Tvs, and samsung are on the market for the average consumer. @ Paul, Fortunately selling 3DTVs or anything to do with the marketing of the cards is not my business. (My work is a Stereographer and production of 3D content for the movie industry) The funny thing is, if anyone can spend money on tech today... (consumers and businesses) it's right here in the region. Just look at all of us who are still here, and the influx of people arriving. Not to mention the (quality?) "imported talent" at the helm of the media industries here right ;-) Regards

Posted by: Paul

Clyde...while obviously I recognise you've a business to run and money to make, the sad fact is that very few people globally are equipped to watch 3D TV. Traditionally this region lags behind the West in terms of technology and I would point out that AFAIK, 3D TVs only came out in Europe about 3 weeks ago and only one broadcaster has any sort of 3D broadcasting potential. The technology is simply too new for it be affordable for the mass market. The 2014 World Cup may be a different matter but for now, to expect this region to be ahead of more technologically advanced and more economical places is ridiculous.

Posted by: Harry Barracuda

Clyde, I'd be grateful if you could give me a brand name for the equipment needed to watch the 3D broadcasts; I couldn't agree more that they haven't exactly been pushing the technology, but I wonder what the uptake is in countries where they have. Why ESPN were crowing about showing football in a country where they still call it 'sarcer" I have no idea...

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