Advanced Television

World Cup streaming ban hits Saudi viewers

November 28, 2022

By Colin Mann

Saudi Arabia football fans hoping to watch World Cup action on streaming service TOD TV claim the government has blocked the platform from screening the games. TOD TV, which holds the rights to show the World Cup in Saudi Arabia, is owned by Qatar’s beIN Sports Media Group.

The service’s website says: “Sorry, the requested page is violating the regulations of the Media Ministry,” with TOD TV apologising to viewers “for the temporary loss of service … due to reasons beyond our control. We value our viewers having a premium user experience and are working on resuming normal services as soon as possible.”

Qatar’s beIN group was affected by a political dispute between the state and Saudi Arabia in recent years as part of boycott on Qatar over its political stance, losing its licence to broadcast in Saudi Arabia. However, after Saudi Arabia mended ties with Qatar in 2021, beIN resumed service for the Saudi market.

TOD TV is broadcasting some of the matches, including Saudi Arabia’s, for free, but 42 matches were only going to be available on the streaming service, which apparently was blocked just before the start of the tournament on November 20th.

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