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Al Jazeera: World Cup broadcast sabotaged

Technical problems on opening night ruin broadcast in areas across the Middle East.

June 12, 2010 11:13 by

Al Jazeera Sport has said it is taking legal action after its exclusive broadcast of the FIFA World Cup opening night to the Arab world was blocked, reports Gulf News.

The broadcast of the opening ceremony and the opening game in the region was disrupted repeatedly, with the picture reportedly disappearing for long periods of time in the first half.

“Despite its considerable efforts to bring the best coverage to the most possible fans across the Middle East and North Africa, including 18 free-to-air games from the group stages, Al Jazeera Sport viewers repeatedly lost their signal through the course of Friday’s opening fixture,” said the channel in a statement.

Al Jazeera Sport said the block was beyond its control and it shared the frustrations of the viewers. The company urged viewers to move from the Egyptian Nilesat provider to Arabsat to be able to watch the match, says the paper.

“We do not know yet who is behind the interference, but we will go after whoever has caused this terrible act that has deprived millions in the Arab world from watching the start of the World Cup,” said Nasser Al Khalifi, the chairman of Al Jazeera Sports.

“We are shocked by what happened because the World Cup is not a political programme that someone wants to block. It is a global sports event and we had spent months negotiating with Fifa to enable viewers in the Arab world to enjoy some matches for free. Unfortunately, there are some people who have political motives, but we will go after them,” he said.

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  1. Timol on June 12, 2010 5:51 pm

    I just think this is really unfair.As a south african, I stayed back in the middle easy for the first two weeks of the worldcup as I thought I could view these matches on TV.I paid for the additional AlJazeera sports package just days before the worldcup could begin.I havent been able to watch a full match yet,let alone half a match with no desruption.I really feel cheated.I would have flown home to watch the matches live instead if I had known in advance that Aljazeerah would treat this event so lightly.Why was the channels activated so late? Why was these so called sabotages not invisigded and precaution taken none the less?Why is the communications to customers so poor?What cant we get answers?Do we still have to be stuck with these viewing packages for 11 months after the worldcup,when all we wanted was 30 days of exellent broadcast,and paid for that as well?This really dents the chances of the 2022 bid and someone has to take the heat for this one.Consumers MUST be compensated as well.

  2. Basel A-Shaban on June 13, 2010 9:44 am

    Al-Jazeera Should do the right thing, they should refund people their money.

    It is a sad situation however, subscribers should not be the one that pay the price. They paid to watch the world cup, Al-Jaxzeer failed to deliver, regardless who is doing this, the subscribers are entitled to receive the services they subscribed to receive based on the agreement they signed that Al-Jazeera accepted. Subscribers delivered on their obligation by paying for the service however, Al-Jazeera failed to deliver. This is not an act of God, therefore, Al-Jazeera is legally liable to refund each penny they received from subscribers. Al-Jazeera can pursue all the legal actions they want against whoever caused this problem, the subscribers should not be the one that be held in the middle of this battle. PAY UP AL-JAZEERA.


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