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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

Du and Etisalat to offer refunds after suspending BeIN Sports packages 

Move follows blocking of sports network due to Qatar boycott

BeIN currently screens top flight sporting events including Wimbledon, which runs for the next ten days. Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP Photo
BeIN currently screens top flight sporting events including Wimbledon, which runs for the next ten days. Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP Photo

Etisalat and Du have confirmed the suspension of their BeIN Sports package and said customers will not be charged for their package for the last month.

The sport network, which is broadcast from Qatar, was blocked several weeks ago due to the diplomatic rift with GCC states.

Some subscribers said on Twitter that they had to pay the subscription despite the ban, while others said they have already been refunded.

Etisalat told followers on Twitter that eLife Western Plus, OSN Ultimate Sports and Abu Dhabi Sport channels would offer some alternatives.

BeIN currently screens top flight sporting events including Wimbledon, which runs for the next ten days.

Amr Shokr, a 31-year-old Egyptian said that he has a direct subscription with BeIN sports Channels.

“All the channels are working as I got a direct subscription from the main company, I don’t know if it will be blocked too after my subscription ends in November,” said Mr Shokr.

“BeIN has exclusive rights to broadcast the world cup, English Premier, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and France Ligue 1 leagues and these are the most important ones,” he said.

“Some of them might be available online, but in this case you need to use a VPN programme to make the site work and I think this is against the law and it won’t be working properly.”

An Etisalat customer said that he was charged for the BeIN subscription last month and didn’t receive any refund till now.

“They requested the amount to be paid in my June’s bill, which is totally opposite to their statement, I filed a complaint and will see if they will give back the amount,” said Saeed Salem from Dubai.

Rob Balmer, manager of Brunswick Sports Club in Dubai said that their business will definitely be affected by the ban.

“We are currently looking for other alternatives, but at the moment there isn’t much so it’s greatly going to affect our business as a sports bar.

“There are others in the area that have BeIN sports still but that’s purely because they have satellite dishes which is unable to be cut off, unlike the cable connection subscription that we have.”

“BeIN sports hasn’t breached any contract so they own the right to screen many leagues, and the most important one the English Premier league so it’s going to be hard to find it on any other channels, and we hope that a solution will be available soon,” he added.

BeIN Sports currently has the rights to show

- Champions League

- English Premier League

- Spanish Primera Liga 

- Italian, French and Scottish leagues

- Wimbledon and other tennis majors

- Formula One

- Rugby Union - Six Nations and European Cups