Dubai: UAE telecoms provider Du has made a surprise deal with BeIN Sports to show the network’s content, including the Fifa World Cup, on its channels, a source close to the negotiations said on Sunday.
Despite Doha-owned BeIN Media Group releasing a statement earlier in the day saying that the pair had failed to reach an agreement, a deal has in fact been signed, and the sports channels will shortly be reinstated on Du’s system, the source told Gulf News, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
According to the individual, an announcement of the deal’s completion is expected some time on Monday.
The news follows a muddled 48 hours of statements and counter-statements made by the pair, after BeIN Sports removed its channels from Du sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning.
Shortly after, Du released a statement saying that they were “temporarily unable to show beIN sports channels and packages due to a decision by the broadcaster beIN Sports.”
Less than 24 hours later, fellow state-owned telecoms provider Etisalat announced its World Cup package on Sunday morning.
Later that day, BeIN Media Group issued a statement via its Twitter, informing its customers that following “lengthy negotiations,” it had failed to reach an agreement to continue its services with Du after the pair’s previous contract had expired on May 31.
Nevertheless, Du continued to inform customers throughout Sunday that it was “working with our partner to restore broadcasting beIN Sports channels.”
In a breakthrough late on Sunday evening, the two parties appeared to successfully reach an agreement, allowing Du to continue broadcasting BeIN Sports.
The source told Gulf News that much of the confusion surrounding BeIN Sports’ status on Du was as a result of commercial negotiations taking place.
Set to begin in less than two weeks, the first match of the Fifa World Cup 2018 will see Russia, the host nation, play Saudi Arabia, on June 14.