UAE operator du restores beIN Sports ahead of FIFA World Cup

BeIN Sports channels went off-air on du networks during the weekend

UAE telecoms operator du has restored beIN Sports channels in the country after a deal was reportedly signed between the two on Sunday.

On its website, du confirmed that “beIN channels are back and the regular broadcasting has resumed”.

The operator said users can subscribe to the beIN Sports package at the regular subscription price.

The company has also announced an exclusive standalone package for the duration of the FIFA World Cup at a cost of Dhs551.

BeIN Sports channels went off-air on du networks during the weekend, less than two weeks ahead of the start of the biggest international football tournament, FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Du did not provide details for the pullout, saying the action was taken by beIN.

However, Qatar-based beIN said in a statement on Twitter that despite “lengthy negotiations, it has not been able to reach an agreement to continue its services over du’s network”.

The agreement between the two ended on May 31, and although du was provided an extension of 24 hours to conclude the renewal process, no deal was reached, beIN said.

Du has not yet formally responded to media queries.

Also read: Dubai football fans lose access to beIN Sports, as Etisalat rolls out World Cup package

The UAE’s other telecoms operator Etisalat confirmed on Sunday that it was continuing to offer beIN Sports channels.

Etisalat also rolled out its FIFA World Cup 2018 package, offering all 64 games for a price of Dhs555 ($151), excluding VAT. Those interested can subscribe to the package via channel 777 on their TV sets.

BeIN Sports was temporarily blocked in the UAE last year, after the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain cut all ties with Qatar.  The channel was later restored in the country.

It is part of the larger Al Jazeera network of channels and holds the exclusive broadcasting rights to a number of major international sporting tournaments including the UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, La Liga, Formula 1 Grand Prix and the NBA, amongst others.

Read more: UAE unblocks Qatari broadcaster beIN Sports