(MENAFN) Etisalat, a prominent telecommunications provider in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has recently made the decision to remove Qatar's beIN channels from its platform, effective as of Thursday. This move has caused a significant shakeup in the sports broadcasting landscape in the region. In response to the development, Etisalat stated that while beIN content will no longer be available on its eLife TV service, the company remains committed to investing in sports content to offer customers a wide range of popular sports programming, both directly and through partnerships with other providers.
On the other hand, beIN expressed disappointment over the discontinuation of its partnership with Etisalat, attributing the decision to the inability of the two companies to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. Despite beIN's efforts to extend their long-standing partnership with Etisalat through extensive discussions, an agreement could not be reached at this time. This outcome has left both parties with a sense of regret, considering their decade-long collaboration in delivering sports content to viewers in the UAE.
beIN is widely known for holding the regional broadcasting rights for prestigious sports events, including the highly popular English Premier League and the FIFA World Cup. Notably, Qatar hosted the World Cup in 2022. The absence of beIN channels on Etisalat's platform raises concerns among sports enthusiasts who rely on these channels to access live coverage and in-depth analysis of various sporting events.
In addition to Etisalat, another major UAE-based telecommunications provider, du, is also known for airing beIN channels. However, it remains uncertain whether du will continue to offer beIN channels after July 1. Local media reports indicate that du has not confirmed the availability of beIN channels beyond that date, further contributing to the uncertainty surrounding the future of sports broadcasting in the UAE.
The removal of beIN channels from Etisalat's platform marks a significant development in the UAE's media landscape and has sparked discussions about the availability of sports content to viewers in the region. Sports enthusiasts and subscribers are left wondering about the potential implications of this decision and the alternatives that will be offered to fill the void left by the absence of beIN channels. The UAE's sports broadcasting industry will undoubtedly undergo a period of adjustment as providers seek to address the demands and expectations of their audience in this rapidly evolving media landscape.
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