In a surprise move, beIN group announced on Tuesday that it has stopped providing its services in Egypt. The Nilesat sports channels of beIN have already been encrypted.
“beIN MEDIA GROUP is unable to provide services on CNE as of January 8, 2019 as a result of CNE refusing to agree to reasonable commercial terms,” the Qatari group said in a statement on Twitter.
“Viewers in Egypt can continue to enjoy beIN CONNECT services on smartphones and other devices by visiting: http://www.bein.net/connect,” the statement said.
For its part, Cable Network Egypt (CNE), the beIN service provider in Egypt, commented on the situation with a statement in which it attributed the suspension of broadcasting channels to the main source and said it was working to solve the problem.
CNE stressed that if attempts to solve this problem failed, the company will refund the subscriptions to the customers.
Al-Masry Al-Youm learned that the negotiations have witnessed the inflexibility of the Qatari side during the past period, despite the various suggestions made by the Egyptian company. The Qatari company requested extending its services for one month along with the continuation of the negotiations. CNE agreed to that period. However beIN cut the services without warning to exert pressure on the Egyptian sport fans.
The announcement came on the same day that Egypt won its bid to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
beIN is the exclusive carrier of some international sporting events, such as the five major European leagues, the European Championships League, and some continental tournaments, including the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, but the regulations allow the hosting country to broadcast the tournament on the terrestrial television.
CAF had withdrawn the Africa Cup of Nations hosting rights from Cameroon last November because of the delay in the completion of infrastructure and sports facilities, in addition to concern about the security situation. Egypt was then able to beat South Africa for the bid to host the tournament, after last hosting it in 2006.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm