x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Aljazeera fee causes annoyance

UAE football fans have reacted with mixed feelings to Aljazeera Sport's decision to charge additional fees for this summer's World Cup package.

DUBAI // UAE football fans have reacted with mixed feelings to Aljazeera Sport's decision to charge additional fees for this summer's World Cup package. Amr Shereen, an existing Aljazeera subscriber who regularly tunes in to watch the Qatari broadcaster's exclusive coverage of Uefa Champions League and Europa League matches, as well as Spanish Primera Liga, Italian Serie A and English FA Cup games, is glad the World Cup fee is not higher.

"It's not that bad," said Shereen, who owns a private contracting company based in Dubai. "I'm still annoyed because I had Aljazeera +9 and +10 [the television provider's designated World Cup channels] for January's African Cup of Nations but then lost them after that tournament. "Now I'm having to pay to get them back. But the price is OK, it's more the principle." Aljazeera subscribers in the emirates who want to watch the World Cup will have to pay a Dh367 charge to upgrade their existing packages, while new subscribers will have to pay Dh280 for the company's basic annual plan, plus Dh367 for the month-long World Cup upgrade.

For new subscribers not wanting to opt for a full-year subscription, Al Jazeera is also offering a six-month package, which includes the World Cup channels, for Dhs477. "On one hand, I'm glad Aljazeera aren't just going to bill me automatically for the World Cup," said another subscriber Steve Young, who works for international power solutions firm, Aggreko. "I've not had any contact from Aljazeera so far though and I don't know if that's a miscommunication of a general lack of communication. Ultimately, I could have missed games I wanted to watch and I think Al Jazeera should make more of an effort to contact its customers to explain what is happening on."

emegson@thenational.ae