World Cup blackout due to TV rights, says WestStar

| 17/06/2010

(CNS): Viewers in Cayman attempting to watch World Cup 2010 coverage on ESPN or Univision will be disappointed as a result of a blackout on all channels other than Cayman 27 and Island 24 for the tournament. According to the local television provider, the blackout on ESPN and other channels is due to distribution rights in the Caribbean. The firm said it was only able to provide World Cup coverage on its local channels. “Broadcasting rights are a major source of income for FIFA, which sells distribution rights for specific regions and WestStar has acquired the broadcast distribution rights in the Cayman Islands,” the firm said.

“These rights require WestStar to only carry the feed delivered from IMC, the authorized re-seller in the Caribbean, to ensure the interests of the sponsors are protected. As a result, all feeds on other cable channels have been blacked out,” WestSar Director of Operations, Traci Bradley explained in a media statement.
Although games were shown on ESPN and other channels over the weekend, WestStar began blanking out channels, including the Spanish channels which local viewers pay extra for and which they hoped would enable them to see the games with Spanish commentary.
WestStar said it regretted the inconvenience but World Cup fans could still enjoy full coverage of the games on the local channels now located at 24 and 27.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    World Cup great coverage on ESPN this morning (Sunday) and hopefully we will have it on ABC this afternoon.  Do you think someone fell asleep at the switch at Weststar or have they given in to our concerns ~

  2. Anonymous says:

     ESPN back ON!!!!

    Hope it lasts

    • Anonymous says:

      No, it went off.  However channel 40 does has post-game analysis which is something the Cayman channels don’t (nor do they have half-time analysis)

  3. WRONG!!! says:

    Actually, I subscribe with a US address, pay the full fees and never get zapped – they only zap the bootleggers – who deserve it anyway for stealing!!! 

    • Anonymous says:

      US address?  Still bootleg.  Try order it with a Cayman address if it is so legal.  I think they call you ‘grey’ market… which is still a nice way to say black market and illegal.

  4. Rectus femoris says:

    A basic question for Traci Bradle: Does Weststar have formal legal permission/rights to broadcast all of its channels, or are some of them simply snatched off of satellite feeds?





  5. Anonymous says:

    I was watching ESPN in Cuba for 6 days from Fri to WED

  6. Anonymous says:

    Due to our limited cell phone options I can’t even give up Digicel in protest.  It is up to government, who after all give these people licenses, to monitor and do something about this.  We are beside ourselves with frustration and can’t do anything but complain.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Dish Network is cheaper and this would not be an issue. For those of you who don’t wish to go bootleg I suggest you looking into DN!

    Weststar has been full of excuses and poor service for years – not much has changed there.

    • Anonymous says:

      Again, Dish Network outside the domestic United States is ILLEGAL. If you beleive otherwise call Dish Network and check.

      • Anonymous says:

        No it isn’t.  I subscribe here and have an account in good standing with the Dish Network.  As far as programming and quality of signal, getting the Dish Network is one of the smarter things I’ve done.  I am a very satisfied customer.

        • Anonymous says:

          Did you give them a Cayman address?  US address?  No address?  They require an address.  Give them a call and say you are in Cayman.  See how long your box stays on.

          • Anonymous says:

            Subscribe thru Home Office and Stereo. Charlie Ergen (boss of DN) knows perfectly well DN is being received her.

        • charlie says:

          I have noticed your posting I too would like to subscribe to dishnetwork legally but is having all sorts of issues can you assist me



  8. Anonymous says:

    @ So frustrated with Weststar – THEY OWE US A REFUND!!!

    You said EXACTLY what I was gonna say!! Down to every word!! If you can read this WestStar, you SUCK!!!! The England/US game came on ABC HD and I was so excited to actually watch my first World Cup match in HD, but what do I get for paying all of that extra money every month?? I get a CRAPPY local channel with CRAPPY sound AND picture!!

    For those who aren’t aware, please make sure to turn the volume down the minute the halftime whistle blows, because when that stupid Digicel commercial comes on, it’s loud as HELL and almost blew my friggin brand new surround speakers!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Complain to Digicel.  I saw some comments below that have me calling Digicel.  Why are they willing to put their name all over an inferior product… then when WestStar airs better stuff goes to the lawyers and has all else taken off?!  Shoot if WestStar kept them on and got sued they’d have to raise prices again!  I don’t want that as they are high enough.  hahahaha!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I am disgusted with the continued poor service Weststar provide. This latest World Cup coverage, or lack of coverage,being the ‘icing on the cake.’

    I unfortunately belong to a strata and as such do not get a choice as to my provider and for that pleasure pay close to $140.00 a month.

    It appears to me that ESPN would have invited all current broadcasters to pay an additional sum to allow World Cup coverage as would be expected from a professional company. It is clear that west Star refused to pay the fee and elected the cheap option, that being the sub standard service we are getting on 24 & 27.

    If i ever get the opportunity to change to a dish service i will not hesitate to do so.

    Thanks West Star, you have completely ruined this world cup, lets face it, it only comes around every four years!

    • Anonymous says:

      Only the one Jamaican company has the rights.  Not ESPN, not anybody else.  I read on another news story comment that the company that has the rights is called IMC.  I think they own SportsMax too.

  10. rob green says:

    Bad news WestStar viewers. I’ve just checked their schedule on their website and only half of the final group games are shown live.

    This is because final group games are played at the same time. Note that ESPN & ESPN2 are broadcasting all the games live (but they’ll be blocked).

    You would have thought 24 & 27 could do the same but no. That would require some thought (for their customers).

    Do you feel lucky? Check the listings. Anyway if you are one of the 16 teams (such as USA) to be shown in the evening at least you’ll know the score already so you can avoid getting over excited!

    PS; Advise to Westtar customers; demand a credit for interrupted service. They gave me one.


  11. rob green says:

    In response to the commenter that states Digicel are to blame I think thats letting WestStar off the hook. They shouldn’t be looking to ‘wing it’ and should have bought a decent package.

    As far as Digicel are concerned I think they ought to look seriously at the quality of product that they sponser. It probably isn’t the best marketing ploy as a telecommunications complany to plant your logo on a low quality broadcast.

    • Anonymous says:

      They bought the only package available.  How is that ‘winging’ it?  There is only one company who purchased the rights for the Caribbean.  This content for World Cup is what they are broadcasting.  Your comment makes no sense.

  12. Around & Around We Go says:

    I dont have West-Star anymore but to be fare about this..This is nothing new to areas that are being blacked out i have Sat-Tv and when a game comes on that is not for my makret area whare i have my sub dish from it is blacked out till the game is over..

    So on this one i can see whats happening.. But they still got crap for service i had it for only 1mth and closed it out and went with Dish… I am happy as i can be:)…….. Too bad other companys dont see the demand for another cable or tv service..


  13. Anonymous says:

    This is unverified but I hear that a broadcast company in Jamaica is who paid for Caribbean rights for FIFA World Cup.  Digicel paid this company for exclusive advertising rights throughout the Caribbean.  Then when WestStar tried to leave the other channels on despite them already paying the Jamaican company to air them that Digicel saw the other stations on and threatened legal action from lawyers against WestStar to take them down.  All but the ones WestStar paid for.  Sounds like WestStar tried to hook us up and Digicel slammed the door.  If this is true we should be complaining to Digicel!!!!  Again, this is unverified though.  Maybe Cayman News Service should look into this.  Please.


      This is correct. XXXX As far as the rest of the service they provide I have always been happy. I think they do a great job with the exception of all the spanish channels. Their should be NOOOO spanish channels in Cayman. It is against the law to have broadcast in spanish here. For everyone else complaining MOVE BACK TO WHERE YOU ARE FROM. Remember Weststar is a young company.

      • Anonymous says:

        You should get a job as Customer Service rep for Weststar.

      • Anonymous says:

        For you ANGRY CAYMANIAN! from an ANGRY LATINA.  If everyone else that complaining about Weststar TV would go back to where they’re from, Cayman would be in a BIG MESS!!! Can’t you read, see or hear what’s going on??? a blind man can tell you that Weststar service is poor!!! the Spanish channels has nothing to do with the service, I guess you’ll soon be demanding Government schools to stop teaching Spanish too!!!

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, their service is extremely poor but, we still have a right to complain about this service if it involves a language other than English so the Spanish channels has alot to do with the service.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Once again Weststar is charging us top dollar for sub-standard service.  Sorry but I can’t buy the FIFA argument because we have heard too many excuses from Weststar for too many years to believe anything they say.  It obviously has something to do with advertising revenue.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Weststar’s custom service is poor. They didn’t bother informing us until we started complaining.

    So do we get a fund for the times we can’t watch the channels

  16. So frustrated with Weststar - THEY OWE US A REFUND!!! says:

    So frustrating.  

    ….and you couldn’t even watch matches on Cayman27 if you have the upgraded DVR/HD box which you pay MORE $$$ for.  I had to miss watching them over the weekend and on public holiday Monday because there was NO SOUND on Cayman 27.  Apparently for us customers who pay the extra for the DVR/HD boxes we get no HD channel to watch it on, nor do we get sound to watch it on the local non-HD channel!!!!!

    On Tuesday I called to query why they did this, and why ABC, ESPN were blocked out.  Weststar customer service rep they said it wasn’t them who blocked it but that it was the stations in the USA.  I see from the article above, that wasn’t true.

    FOR THOSE WITH DVR or HD boxes, A LITTLE TIP that I only was able to get after waiting forever on the phone for a Weststar customer service rep once they opened on Tuesday (meanwhile World Cup matches were missed on the weekend)……   you apparently have to put Cayman 27, now ch. 27 on cable, to MONO under the audio setting to watch the World Cup matches.  Hello?  Mono???  Why is Cayman 27 not in stereo like ALL the other channels?  This was most annoying to have to first of all watch it on Ch. 27 becaues they blocked it out on ALL the other channels that were of better quality but then to only get to view it and have NO SOUND at all?!?!  I gave up and went out instead. 

    WESTSTAR owes us a refund this month for reduced services and reduced channels, especially those of us who are paying EXTRA for HD channels and can’t get them because THEY have blocked them!

    What they should’ve done is TELL CUSTOMERS about this beforehand instead of leaving us high and dry with no customer service reps to explain since their office was closed on the weekend and for the public holiday.

    Nice one Weststar.  (NOT!)

    I’ll be looking out for options when a new cable company opens up – hopefully soon.

  17. Anonymous says:


  18. Anonymous says:

    So despite paying an extra 12 dollars a month for HD service I cannot watch live on ESPN HD but instead have to watchin piss poor quality on Cayman 27.

    Unacceptable, and a huge waste of money. they should start investing some of the hundreds and often thousands of dollars we all have to pay them every year into improving the quality of the service.

    Over half the channels are barely watchable including the 2 local stations which we are forced to watch the world cup games on.

    • Anonymous says:

      I enjoying it in high quality on my Dish Network 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

        Your enjoying an illegal feed… Dish Network doe not have distribution rights in the Caribbean…if you beleive otherwise call Dish Network at 1-800-823-4929.

        • Anonymous says:

          Enjoying is right! Better picture, and audio… hush WestStar clients.

          • Anonymous says:

            I thought this was a good wholesome country.  Enjoying illegal activities????  Wow!  Guess it is a facade.  No wonder crime rate is up if even at the smallest of issues you go illegal.

      • ANGRY CAYMANIAN says:

        Not anymore your not….all boxes where hit so now you have no T.V!!!!!!!!!!