Thursday September 28, 2023

Saudi Arabia Reportedly Blocks Qatari World Cup Streaming Coverage

  • TOD TV is a subsidiary of Qatar’s beIN Sports.
  • KSA's Public Investment Fund was reportedly interested in acquiring a stake of beIN.
Saudi player wins ball from Argentinian player in World Cup match-up
Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports
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Many viewers in Saudi Arabia may not have been able to watch their team’s massive upset against Argentina — or any other match at the World Cup.

The Saudi government has reportedly blocked TOD TV — the World Cup rights holder in the country and a subsidiary of Qatar’s beIN Sports Media Group — from showing matches in the kingdom.

Saudi-based subscribers have been complaining to the streaming service on social media, with many requesting refunds.

TOD TV has apologized to those subscribers, characterizing the outage as a “temporary loss of service.”

“This is due to reasons beyond our control,” TOD TV said. “We value our viewers having a premium user experience and are working on resuming normal services as soon as possible.”

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Saudi Arabia Pivots, Now Wants to Buy In on BeIn

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BeIN Sports has been caught in the political crossfire between Qatar and Saudi Arabia before.

In 2017, Saudi Arabia and four other Arab countries boycotted Qatar for its support of political Islamists, Iran, and news channel Al Jazeera. BeIN lost its broadcast license in KSA during the dispute.

The two nations smoothed things over in 2021 — and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund was reportedly even interested in acquiring a stake in beIN as recently as mid-October.

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