While local time at the first whistle in Brazil (the organizing country of the event) was 17:00 Thursday 12th June, in the UAE the time was 00:00 Friday 13th June. Keep in mind the “+7″ hours time difference in case you schedule your favorite matches using Brazilian hours.
In order to view the 2014 Fifa World Cup in the UAE, you initially needed to subscribe to beIN Sports Package for a monthly fee of 78 AED (~22 USD). The process was very easy from the etisalat receiver box, go to Menu -> Extra -> Self Service and select the package.
Starting from 1 of June, beIN Sports Group is extorting UAE football fans and is asking for an additional one-time-payment of 450 AED (~123 USD) to subscribe to a “World Cup Package“. This new package contains the following channels : beIN Sports 1 HD, beIN Sports 2 HD, beIN Sports 11 HD English and beIN Sports 13 HD English. These channels have been removed from the beIN Sports Package for the period of the World Cup.
Luckily for me, I did not fall from the coconut tree yesterday. While this may be a common practice in the UAE, since Etisalat is the only provider of TV services, I will not stand for this kind of abusive actions. I encourage you to take action and prevent other major sport events (Olympic Games, UEFA Champions League, etc) from being overcharged ever again.
My first reaction since receiving an official answer to why I am missing channels in my beIN Sports Package was to unsubscribe. The second thing I did was to submit a complaint and ask for a refund. I am confident that I will need to escalate this complaint in order to achieve my goal, but I am a patient man with a past experience of civilized European services.
The problem of watching live matches of the World Cup remains. Here are a couple of solutions:
Install and use Sopcast : The software provides a simple, free way to broadcast video and audio or watch the video and listen to radio on the Internet.
- Purchase and use a VPN : The main advantage of using a VPN is that all UAE internet restrictions disappear, but more importantly you can view freely country-restricted video streams.
For HD viewing it is recommended that you have at least 20 mbps bandwidth. For normal (up to 480p resolution) video you can work with 10 mbps.
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May the best team win
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