UAE cable TV operator E-vision has announced that it has concluded its discussions with Al Jazeera Sports to show the upcoming FIFA World Cup with subscribers paying an additional US $100 to view the competition.
The price is effectively the same as that being charged directly by Al Jazeera for satellite viewers.
The package requires a subscription to the Al Jazeera Sports network. New customers would therefore be required to sign-up to an E-vision contract including the Al Jazeera Sports network on top of the one-off $100 charge.
The news will come as a relief to E-vision customers eager to watch the competition. The pre-requisite 12-month subscription to Al Jazeera Sports could price-out a huge proportion of the football-loving Middle East.
Viewers will have access to the HD and 3D services. New subscribers will be given the HD set top box required to view both services.
Meanwhile rival du was unable to confirm or deny the availability of the World Cup on its own IPTV network.
Pay TV operator OSN said in a brief statement obtained by DPME.com that Al Jazeera was the sole pay TV operator with access to the event.
"The world cup is available on Al Jazeera Sports channels only. We are unaware of any other network that will be re-broadcasting these rights," said Ali Ajouz, SVP marketing, OSN. "On our part, we did approach Al Jazeera but it seems that Al Jazeera want to keep the World Cup exclusively. And we as OSN have neither promised nor promoted the World Cup at all to our subscribers."
In Singapore – one of the very few markets in the world that also charges for access to the centre piece of the football calendar – rival pay TV companies signed a deal to both broadcast the event. Packages there start from $66.