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Thu 16 Jul 2009 07:07 AM

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Over 50% will cancel Showtime over Premier League loss

Online poll shows majority will definitely cancel subscription if football not shown.

More than 50 percent of people said they would cancel their Showtime subscription if the pay TV service failed to show English Premier League football matches.

An online poll by Arabian Business revealed the importance of Premier League matches for Showtime subscribers.

Some 53.3 percent of respondents said they would definitely cancel their subscription if the football was not shown.

A further 15.9 percent said they would consider canceling their subscription if matches were shown elsewhere.

The results will come as a blow to Showtime Arabia after it lost the rights to show English Premier League matches. The company’s three-year contract expires next May when the 2009-10 football season ends.

Rival firm Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC) secured rights to show Premier League football on its sports channels for three seasons starting from August 2010.

The unexpected announcement led to suggestions that Showtime subscription numbers among sports fans could drop once its Premier League contract runs out.

However, some loyal Showtime members said the football would make no difference to them, with 22.9 percent of people saying the pay TV provider had “lots of great shows and it was not the football that I signed up for.”

Only 7.9 percent of people said the news was disappointing, but they would probably not cancel their subscription.

Last week, Marc-Antoine d’Halluin, Showtime president and CEO told Arabian Business the company was set to hold talks with ADMC and hoped to continue showing Premier League matches.

He said: “If we were not able to reach an agreement I would be disappointed, but Showtime is not limited to the Premier League in any way or form.”

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

JVV 11 years ago

Great news....This would make more space for other sport!!

Gary 11 years ago

I agree. Make some space for other sports like rugby, 20twenty cricket, ice hockey etc. The poll is not accurate in any case. The soccer fans just responded more than the people who have no interest at all.

Mutaz Ali 11 years ago

I cancelled my subscription before knowing this news. Frankly speaking, it becomes very boring with its outdated program shows, series, etc.

Honest Chappy 11 years ago

I for one, will cancel if they don't show the EPL, thats the only reason i got it... the rest of the films and programs are all cut and rubbish... were in the world other than here can they show people cut up, murdered, brutally beaten and then when theres a kiss its cut? stupid... DVD's are all the same also, and for what, when you can buy the same film on the internet from abroad with all this content in, who are you kidding????

alias 11 years ago

Does this mean that Showtime will reduce the price of their packages? Mine was increased when Showtime won the rights to show the EPL. I was not given a choice even thou I hate football (sorry!) I had to pay the increased subscription fees.

Saleh 11 years ago

The Bright side of the story (especially for people like me with no interest in football) is that Showtime may pump back its resources into more interesting shows that has been cut when they added EPL like the daily comedian talk shows, Top gear (latest seasons), and custom bike building (I hope so!!)

Jebel Ali Baba 11 years ago

Regarding the merger of Orbit and Showtime: Minus + Minus not necessarily makes Plus.

showtime_viewer 11 years ago

To Honest Chappy, you are wrong in saying showtime cuts their movies. All the movies are commercial free, and are uncut in any way. Its funny how u complain bout them cutting parts of a movie and on the other side of the boat, u always have ppl complaining why these things are shown and affect moral values of the gcc, i.e. showing some sort of nudity or kissing etc... let me tell u this straight up, showtime do not cut anything, unlike other pay tv operators...

joe livingston 11 years ago

I just turned to the America Plus on Orbit and they were showing Beauty and the Geek. The same episode was shown on MBC 1 year ago, and thats free to air. Orbit and Showtime really need to get their act together. At same time ADMC"s best bet is to tie up with Showtime or show EPL on free airwaves. Both need to cooperate or end up loosing.

Bruce 11 years ago

ADMC is going to tie up with ART, that's where you'll be able to watch the EPL. Showtime didn't have enough channels to accomodate the EPL matches. I for one am releaved that I will soon be able to watch movies and series on Saturdays and Sundays rather than Hull City vs Stoke...BOOORING! and they say the EPL is the best league in the world..ppfff!