By Andy Sambidge
TV firm says first game, final is free to all; mulls plan to show semis, Algeria games for free.
Qatar-based Al Jazeera Sport will broadcast some matches of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa free of charge and without the need of a special $100 viewing card, it was reported on Tuesday.
Under FIFA broadcast conditions, Al Jazeera, which has the exclusive rights for the Middle East region, must show the opening ceremony, the first match and the final of the prestigious tournament free, Qatar daily Gulf Times reported.
The paper added that Al Jazeera Sport was also considering showing for free the semi-finals as well as the matches involving Algeria, citing a source at the TV company.
"All rights holders will have to air the opening ceremony, the first match on June 11 (South Africa v Mexico) and the final on July 11 free. That’s part of an agreement with FIFA, but Al Jazeera Sport may go a step further and telecast for free the semi-finals as well," the source told the paper.
"There is also a plan to air Algeria’s matches free because it’s the only country from the Arab world to qualify for the event,” he added.
Football fans wishing to watch all the matches will have to shell out QR355 for a new Al Jazeera card or sign up to a special package offered by local cable providers.
The fact that AlJazeera is considering to show some games for free is a great initiative and if it transaltes into reality that would be even better.... with that in mind this will mean 7-8 matches guaranteed. this will not deter anyone from buying a subscription but will also not prevent slightly interested poeple to enjoy a few matches...
MF - read the article, its part of the agreement FIFA has imposed for the inaguration, first match and finals. But why are we receiving comments from Al Jazeera source " may be / considering" going one step further to show many more matches??? Cash Rich Monopoly over a poor man's game???!!!
just to be clear, apart from the mandatory games showing they are considering to show semi finals and the algeria games, which i'm hopeful it will go through....
Al Jazeera will completely ruin viewers enjoyment of the world's greatest sporting event. They are a bunch of inept amateurs!
I purchased the package and the reception was terrible (constantly searching for signal) ... watched 30 min of 90 min game but did get a chance to listen to commentators who couldn't get a gig with any other channels .... hope better quality for game 2
This was a disgraceful performance by Al Jazeera, I paid KD 29 for this package & at times apart from the picture freezing there was no reception for the RSA V Mexica game. Shame on you for cheating the people in Kuwait
I guess i am among lots of ppls whom r just finding this paid broadcasting just unfair. 90% of the mapamond countries r just casting it free; its a one of kind event its the cream of footbal and we must pay for that in MEA. Just umbelievable and shamfull OMG just no comments further
I also have paid $100 and I continuously loose the world cup channel signal. This is not acceptable! To make things worse, there is no way I can find on Aljazeera web site to even report the problem. Very unprofessional.
Can anybody explain why a citizin in Angola for example can watch the world cup matches for free while this does not apply to all Arabs.
It is all elementary my dear friends. Al Jazeera, just like many other companies in the Middle East are doing nothing but milking all the money we, regular mortals, still possess. Without a doubt a shameful tactic and the only thing that can be truly done about it is to not fall for this money making scheme. I'll bet someone from Al Jazeera management will loose the Ferrari they just booked if we do not buy the World Cup cards. :O) Anyways, Google the Internet and you will find plenty of options to watch the matches online...sometimes even for free at the cost of quality. To add a bit more fire to the flame, UAE telecom operator du has even gone as far as blocking some German (free-to-air) channels, which show the matches just to make money on the World Cup. Hmm...I wonder if there is any family relationship with Al Jazeera here? Or it may be a bet on who gets the Ferrari first...