Thierry Henry, David Villa, Kaka are few of the extensive list of greats that had braced the American league after extensive stints across the pond. We are all aware of how USA based Major League Soccer is catching interest across the world, customarily through frequent interchange of players that are either imported or exported from the league.
And the league’s influence over the Middle East is growing as it aggressively attempts to spread its wings globally touching down in the UAE. At first, it started with Abu Dhabi based City Group’s acquisition of a North American franchise based in New York City via, New York City Football Club. Then came into picture, Etihad’s sponsorship of MLS, which proved significant for both parties. Finally, the recently announced partnership between the league and Abu Dhabi Sports Channel to broadcast matches live across Middle East and North Africa reaching 25 countries.
Now, if you are like me – an enthusiast of MLS football, you would be excited on the news of this partnership which translates into access to games without having to illegally stream them considering they are available on the net.
However, being a football buff in the region, it has all been about BeIn Sports who have broadcast rights to what may seem like a plethora of leagues and tournaments.
I personally looked at the few options available in the UAE to see how I could access Abu Dhabi Sports Channel and all routes guided me to OSN as being the cheapest of them all.
OSN recently acquired AD Sports channel and thus has access to Arabian Gulf League games (not of interest to many out here but a personal bread and butter), 2016 UEFA European Championship Qualifiers, the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and Copa Libertadores among others. Though, from the most basic option available through OSN, it’s available as an add-on sports package and is comparatively more cost effective than Etisalat, with OSN being AED 19 compared to Etisalat’s similar add-on package price of AED 37.
However, the question remains as majority of the football loving population in the country might have access to BeIn Sports as part of their Etisalat or Du TV packages. Would it be beneficial to add OSN to our burdening TV packages?
Personally, I have switched to watching BeIN Sports through digital subscription and moved away from Etisalat primarily due to costs involved. I am also considering subscribing to OSN as my preferred TV package mainly because not only do I get access to Abu Dhabi Sports subscription based content (not available through Etisalat), the rest of the family members could enjoy their ‘HD quality TV’ programming in a manner which will also help us save quite a few AED’s.
Feel free to send across your thoughts on this. Would love to hear them.