Updated on May 7 with a further statement from Ooredoo
BeIN Sports channels will no longer be shown on Ooredoo’s Mozaic TV and Ooredoo TV services, the state telecom provider has announced.
In a message to its customers yesterday, Ooredoo said there had been an “unfeasible response” to contract negotiations between the two parties.
Sports fans expressed frustration this week after the Qatar-based beIN channels shown through Mozaic TV went off-air from May 1, coinciding with the finals of the English Premier League.
Ooredoo initially cited “technical difficulties” before it and beIN then admitted they were locked in discussions over contract renewal.
The two firms had last signed a two-year deal in May 2014, which has now expired.
Yesterday, Ooredoo broadcast a new message to its Mozaic TV customers, saying that the two companies had severed ties and that beIN channels would no longer be shown.
It blamed beIN for what it described as the “sudden and unexpected withdrawal of the channels, which is a huge disappointment for you and us alike.”
The message continued:
“We have been trying very hard and in good faith to renew our contract with beIN management for several months. We have offered many concessions including a significant increase in our fees, but all of our efforts have reached a dead end.”
In a recorded message on its customer helpline number (111), Ooredoo further described the issue, saying:
“We want you (the customer) to know the situation has not been caused by Ooredoo. Despite seven months of attempting to renew the contract we received an unfeasible response just three days before the company (beIN) cut the service,” it said.
In a media statement issued on May 7, Ooredoo claimed a week of negotiations broke down last Thursday after”beIN continued to demand an unreasonable amount for the contract renewal.”
“…not one, but two increased offers were rejected by the sports company within a period of a week, after months of communications silence,” the statement said.
It added: “other telecommunications companies across the region had also faced similar issues with beIN, but had been given a full month to respond to the offer.”
Doha News has asked beIN Sports for a comment.
Ooredoo said customers who pay for the beIN package will not be charged for their subscription, and they will be given free entertainment channels in compensation.
However, with the UEFA Champions League final, UEFA Euro 2016 football championships, Wimbledon tennis and the summer Olympics in Rio all set to take place in the coming months, some Ooredoo customers are reportedly canceling their service.
Jeezus, All 20 BeIn Sports channels removed from Ooredoo, no longer broadcasting them. Horrendous news for the world of football
— Graham A (@graham1A) May 5, 2016
— Khanan (@alikhanan) May 5, 2016
BeIN said there are a number of other ways to watch its channels, although all of them require customers to take out subscriptions at an additional cost.
The channels are still being broadcast online on laptops, smart phones and smart TVs through the beIN Connect service and immediate subscriptions can be set up via the website.
This costs $7 for the first month, and then up to $20 per month to subscribe after that.
Or a beIN set-top box and satellite disc can be ordered online, through beIN kiosks in Villaggio Mall, City Center Mall, Lagoona Mall and Al Khor Mall or by calling beIN contact center on 133. Payment can be made over the phone using a credit card or by cash, on delivery.
The sports package costs $25 a month in addition to installation and set-up fees.