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Mon 14 Jun 2010 08:49 PM

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MoE warning over World Cup viewing card price hikes

Al Jazeera asked to run full page newspaper ads displaying approved subscription prices.

MoE warning over World Cup viewing card price hikes
VIEWERS DEMAND: UAE consumers are being exploited by distributors cashing in on the demand for Al Jazeera Sport viewing cards during the World Cup. (Getty Images)

UAE consumers are being stung by distributors cashing in on the demand for Al Jazeera Sport viewing cards for the FIFA World Cup 2010 tournament, the Ministry of Economy has said.

Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, director of consumer protector at the ministry, on Monday urged consumers to report illegal price hikes on viewing cards to a ministry hotline, following a meeting with the Qatar-based sports channel.

Consumers are “urged to keep the bill of viewing card purchases and report attempts to hike the price,” the ministry said in a statement.

Al Jazeera Sport, which holds the exclusive viewing rights to the tournament, reconfirmed that viewing cards are priced from AED300 to AED600 for consumers, and between AED3,000 and AED5,000 for commercial use.

Under the terms of the FIFA deal, the Qatar channel must broadcast the opening ceremony, the first match of the tournament and the July 11 final free of charge to viewers.

Al Jazeera Sport is also reportedly considering showing Algeria’s matches at no cost; a nod to Algeria being the only Arab country to qualify for the tournament.

In a bid to stop distributors from skewing the cost of the cards, Al Jazeera has also been asked to run full page ads in UAE newspapers displaying the approved subscription price, the ministry said.

Football fans were also urged to keep a note of inflated food and drinks prices at venues showing World Cup games, and to report them to the ministry.

The ministry’s hotline number for complaints is 600522225.

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MattUK 10 years ago

So that means that the only Arab team and Arab fans in the World Cup have 270 minutes matches left for free to view.... Good luck Algeria, think you'll need it.

Nordlander 10 years ago

Well MattUK; It seems that the English have not learned through time and still retain some seeds of pride of the past........wake up it is gone ..........England is now as good as North Korea or Slovenia to be optimistic!!!!!! I agree that Algeria needs luck but if you look at the English team it surely needs divine help and not only luck,as it seems you have forgotten their childish performance againts amateur USA. If Algeria has 270 minuntues of Play and to be fair England will only have 270 + 90 min of play !

MM 10 years ago

Could MoE also look into Etisalat over charging customers AED 370 and then forcing them to stay on 1 year contract for Al Jazeera package.

MM 10 years ago

Recently when I started cross questioning one of 101 rep, he opened up said yes ELife Master package customers do get world cup free for AED 399 which includes 16mpbs internet, landline and some 30 channels of TV. But what they don't tell you is you must subscribe to Al Jazeera for 12 months compulsory for 23/pm and you can't cancel. If you downgrade or cancel you have to pay 370+23x12.

Jeremy Plumley 10 years ago

Should be renamed Edeath. I signed up for the service last Friday, askig for it to be installed for 2 TVs. One set top box was delivered Saturday but with only a 3m length of cable whereas the old TV point and the Etisalat box were more than that apart. I was promised that the service would be activated by 4.00pm that day to be able to watch the England game. You've guessed it - it's now Wednesday and still not activated. On visiting the Etisalat shop on Monday I was told that there was a technical issue which prevented the service being activated. On the screen it stated that the customer (me) had changed his mind and wanted one STB. So the guy who brought the STB had lied to his employer and this was stopping me getting hat I had ordered. As usual, Etisalat stuffs its cutomers. Jeremy Plumley

Mathew 10 years ago

much news coverage, including an editiorial was published about the world cup charge of 100$ for one month, total come to 200$, if you want to see the final. really! how many can afford this. all the world is watching this game for free. the funny part is with all these writings in the media, who is bothered to look into this matter. any official say a word about it. money talks and .... it proves even the media has no power.

Jeremy Plumley 10 years ago

Well, it's now Monday, the box has been in place nine days and still no activation of the service. At least I have been given an Etisalat Complaints Number so I suppose I should be thankful for small mercies. (It's No. 4241881 so they've had over 4 million complaints!).