Free, Virgin Media and BeIN Sports unveil new coronavirus offers

French service provider Free, the UK’s Virgin Media and MENA pay TV operator BeIN Sports are among the latest pay TV operators to make free and added-value offerings available as a result of the Coronavirus crisis.

Free has extended an offering of free-to-view kids channels until the end of April and has extended and has added a number of new channels to the unencrypted list to take the total number of free channels on offer to 42.

Free originally made a set of kids channels available free to view until the end of March, but has extended this to April 30. The service provider has now added movie channels including £urochannel, Drive In Movie Channel and TCM Cinéma to the list alongside a series of general entertainment, premium, series and entertainment, music, sports, documentary, lifestyle and international services.

New free-to-view channels include generalist service Paris Première, premium channels Teva and M6 Music, series and entertainment channel MCM and Toonami, documentary channel Histoire, lifestyle channel MyZenTV and music channels Trace Urban and Mezzo Live HD, among others.

Kids channels already on offer include Tiji, Boomerang and Canal J among others.

Free has also been offering Canal+ free of charge – or free at no extra charge – while the pay TV operator continues to make its service available.

Other service providers across Europe have continued to make all or part of their line-up available free to view for a certain period of time during the crisis.

In the UK, Liberty Global-owned cable operator Virgin Media has also just announced that it is making kids channels Cartoon Network, Boomerang. Cartoonito. Nickelodeon. Nick Jr. NickToons and Nick Jr Too available for no extra charge to eligible customers.

The upgrade is available to customers on Virgin Media’s Player, Mixit without Kids TV pick and Maxit without Kids TV pick bundles at no extra cost.

MENA region pay TV operator BeIN Sports has meanwhile announced a range of entertainment upgrades and additional services to current and new subscribers.

Sports package subscribers will be given a complementary upgrade to beIN’s Premium package, which includes access to beIN’s entertainment content, until June 30. This upgrade also gives sports subscribers access to
beIN Connect, the company’s streaming offering, together with a US$8 credit per month on beIN On-Demand.

Premium and Elite subscribers, who already have access to beIN Entertainment, will receive a US$50 one-off credit to spend on the on-demand servides.

New beIN subscribers on satellite will be offered free home delivery service, wherever available, while new beIN Connect subscribers will be given two months’ subscription complementary.

Last week beIN announced similar entertainment upgrades for its Digiturk subscribers in Turkey

In Belgium meanwhile, pay TV broadcaster Eleven Sports has attempted to make up for the loss of live sports action by adding archive sports content from NBA TV to its offering. The channel will replace the absence of a live line-up on Eleven Sports 2 from 12:00-24:00 each day, focusing on one NBA team each day.

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