At the moment, only beIN satellite subscribers will be able to watch the event in the UAE
Uncertainty continues to surround the availability of 2018 FIFA World Cup packages Du and Etisalat’s, with little more than two weeks until the beginning of the world’s most eagerly awaited international football tournament.
beIN Sports holds the exclusive rights to broadcast the event in the region and while some beIN sports channels are available as part of the telecom provider’s cable packages, only customers with beIN satellite subscription will be able to view the games as it stands.
In a flyer distributed in April, and in a series of tweets to enquiring customers, du noted that they are yet to announce World Cup packages, but that they would do so “soon”.
After being contacted by Arabian Business, a du spokesman declined to comment other than to say that the company would make it know when an update is available.
Similarly, an Etisalat customer service representative told Arabian Business that no announcement had been made regarding World Cup packages.
In a May 21 tweet, however, the company said it is “in the final stage of negotiations with beIN to secure the rights to offer the best possible subscription deals for the 2018 FIFA World Cup event.”
Good evening Razman. Etisalat is in its final stage of negotiations with beIN to secure the rights to offer the best possible subscription deals for the 2018 FIFA World Cup event. (1/1)— EtisalatCare (@Etisalat_Care) May 21, 2018
On social media, customers of both companies have voiced irritation and dismay at the lack of clarity regarding World Cup packages.
“With two weeks to the World Cup, as du customers we’re still no closer to finding out what we have to do or what we need to make sure we can watch the games,” a local resident tweeted on May 28. “For the last month, all we hear is that there is no update. Now I’m being told to contact beIN Sports. What’s happening?”
Another resident – tweeting to Etisalat – said that “we need an immediate response whether the World Cup channels will be available or not, so that we can look for other options to watch the WC.”
In 2014, both du and Etisalat announced World Cup packages just weeks before the opening match.
The 2018 World Cup begins with a match between Russia and Saudi Arabia on Thursday, June 14.