x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Premier League fans must kick in for new decoder

Live coverage of all 380 football matches to play out over six channels of Abu Dhabi Sports.

Football fans in the UAE will be required to buy a new high-definition decoder and smartcard to watch live TV broadcasts of all 380 Barclays Premier League matches of the coming season, which kicks off on August 14. The decoders, now on sale for Dh999 at Carrefour and other hypermarkets, will provide access to the six channels operated by Abu Dhabi Sports. The broadcasts will be aired in Arabic and English.

Abu Dhabi Sports is owned by Abu Dhabi Media Company, publisher of The National. When more than four games are being played at once, other channels, including AD Sports 1 and 2, will also air matches, meaning fans will be able to watch all 380 English Premier League games live. However, contrary to previous reports, purchasing the smartcard on its own for Dh370, without the decoder, will not provide access.

To watch the games, fans in the Emirates can subscribe in three different ways: 1) Buy the new Humax HD decoder and smartcard for Dh999; 2) Upgrade existing packages through local cable providers such as Etisalat and du; 3) Sign up to watch the matches online. UAE residents wishing to subscribe to the matches from their current cable providers can call E-vision or Etisalat on 800 101 or 101, and du on 04 390 5555. Du customers can subscribe to all the new channels for Dh31 per month, while current Etisalat subscribers will receive the service for free. Cable customers can also upgrade their packages online.

Viewers in other GCC countries can gain access by contacting their local providers or satellite dealers from the first week of August. Live streaming on admcsport.com is not yet available, but future subscribers can take advantage of a newly introduced promotion rate if they register during August. Viewers in GCC countries subscribing before the end of next month can pay a promotional price of Dh270 for the season, while those outside the GCC can get online access for only Dh170.

After that, the package will cost those living in the GCC Dh370 per season - less than Dh1 per match - and Dh220 for those living outside the GCC. @Email:akhaled@thenational.ae