World Cup distribution plans take shape in GCC

Telco, cinema and online access plans revealed as tournament nears.
Al Jazeera Sport, Go telecom, Grand cinemas, Middle East, News, Delivery & Transmission

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A number of distribution streams in the GCC for the FIFA World Cup have been revealed.

Saudi Arabia-based GO Telecom has announced that it will offer free access to the Al Jazeera Sport’s World Cup coverage for customers signing-up for 12-month subscriptions.

Existing and new customers taking shorter packages are eligible for a discount on the Al Jazeera package.

Earlier this week UAE telco Etisalat announced that it was working to secure a deal with Al Jazeera Sports to allow its customers access to the content.

A deal in the UAE is also expected with the country’s largest cinema chain, Grand Cinemas. Al Jazeera revealed it intends to offer the content in 3D. Given the low numbers of 3D TV sets available in the Middle East, this coverage is expected to be shown in cinemas, a model already used widely in Europe for major sporting events.

Grand Cinemas told DPME.com sister site ArabianBusiness.com that it would be offering tickets to World Cup screening from US $9.5 for early stage matches up to $27 for the final. A spokesperson indicated that as much of this as possible will be done in 3D.

The company offered IPL coverage on its screens in April of this year.

Al Jazeera will also offer coverage on a new website Aljazeerasport.tv that will operate during the tournament.

Meanwhile, sales of TV access cards in the UAE are yet to take off with the sole distributor in the UAE claiming that just 130 had been sold so far. The cards are being sold in petrol stations and selected electronics stores.

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