Football flop

UAE's sluggish demand for World Cup TV cards...

With less than a month to go before the start of the football World Cup, sales of cards that allow television viewers to see all the action remain low, a UAE distributor has said.

"So far, we have sold just under 130 cards," a spokesperson for Abu Dhabi Media, the sole distributor for Al Jazeera Sports Channel cards in the UAE, told Arabian Business.

"They recently went on sale at 23 Eppco petrol stations all over Dubai, as well as at outlets of Target Electronics and Wadi Nada Electronics in Deira, Mirdif, Satwa and Al Twar."

The figure does not include existing subscribers to Al Jazeera Sports, who can upgrade their subscription by visiting the Al Jazeera Sports Channel website.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Etisalat's pay TV arm E-vision told Arabian Business a deal had been made with Al Jazeera Sports to screen matches, although a channel had not yet been chosen.

He added that final details of the arrangement would be made public "within a week". A spokesperson for du was not able to comment.

Al Jazeera has exclusive regional rights to screen one of the world's most popular sporting events.

Existing subscribers wanting access to five specially dedicated channels - including Al Jazeera Sports 3D - will be charged $100 for the upgrade, while non-subscribers will pay $130.

Al Jazeera will also broadcast the matches live on new website, which will be created specifically for the World Cup.

Al Jazeera Sport said it has earmarked 350 staff for 1,000 hours of 2010 World Cup.

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