Exclusive: Al Jazeera Sports Network Wins La Liga US TV Rights, Says Source

EXCLUSIVE: Al Jazeera Sports Network has won the US TV rights to La Liga, beginning with the 2012-13 season, according to a source.

The shocking news means that GolTV’s flagship league will no longer be shown on the Miami-based network. Al Jazeera Sports Network’s acquisition of La Liga rights comes hot on the heels of similar acquisitions by Al Jazeera Sports Network worldwide including winning the bid to show Ligue 1 in France from 2012-13 through 2018-18, as well as the rights to show UEFA Champions League in France from 2012-2015.

Al Jazeera Sports is currently only available in Arabic on DISH Network (channel 601 in HD). No news was available as of press time in regards to Al Jazeera Sports Network’s plans for how and where it’ll broadcast La Liga games in the US starting next season, or whether games will be available online via streaming.

Al Jazeera Sports Network, in the US, currently has the rights to AFC Asian Champions League (2012-2013), Africa Cup of Nations (through 2014), CAF Champions League (2012-13), Moroccan league (through 2013), Algerian league, Jordanian league and Syrian league.

Based in Qatar, Al Jazeera already provides coverage of La Liga to its audience in the Middle East.

Representatives from GolTV and Al Jazeera Sports Network were unable to be reached for immediate comment.

43 thoughts on “Exclusive: Al Jazeera Sports Network Wins La Liga US TV Rights, Says Source”

    1. Bit dramatic don’t you think? They’ll just do the same thing they
      did in France when they shocked everybody and won Ligue 1 rights
      and launch a brand new channel available on all platforms. It’s not
      the end of the world… just a little change. The Al Jazeera sports
      channels in the Middle East are actually very professionally put
      together and feature some top class pundits and reporters. You may
      be pleasantly surprised once you see the US coverage on air.

      1. But the difference is that those were Frances soccer gms which is
        why the new AlJazeera net got major carraige in France. None of the
        American cable companies are going to feel as if they need to carry
        this channel in the US because La Liga is not a necessity in the
        US. Plus Al Jazeera still has a bad reputation from its news
        division carrying bin Laden tapes despite the fact that there news
        operation is one of the best around the world. IDK why Al Jazeera
        didn’t try to nab the US World Cup rights though, they could have
        added leverage to give cable companies in the US a reason to carry
        a potential new sports channel and the existing news net. If I were
        running Al Jazeera and wanted to see increased carriage in the
        stellar news net and a potential new sports net, I would start
        competing against ESPN, NBC, CBS, FOX and Turner for American
        sports rights like MLB and Big East which are currently expiring

      2. Not seeing much sign of that yet. They were supposed to be going on
        August 15 but as far as I can tell non of the US carriers have
        signed on yet. This really sucks!!!

  1. I really hope whatever channel they show the games on is available
    to Directv subscribers. Nobody even subscribes to Dish.

  2. Just relax. La Liga will be headed for a Spanish-language sports
    channel under the ownership of Al Jazeera. That channel will be
    separate from the existing Arabic-language Al Jazeera Sports USA
    channel. That channel, if it were a new channel, currently has no
    name and no pay TV distribution agreements in the U.S. — Consider
    that Al Jazeera has deeper pockets than NewsCorp, ESPN, Inc.,
    Univision, Comcast (NBC), etc. Do you honestly believe that Al
    Jazeera will go through the painful process of negotiating new
    deals with one pay TV operator at a time, a process that will take
    YEARS instead of months? Or do you believe that Al Jazeera will use
    its cash to buy an existing U.S. sports TV channel with
    Spanish-language audio so that it can acquire existing pay TV
    carriage agreements (and the associated subscribers), as well as a
    brand that does not carry the negative stigma associated with the
    Al Jazeera brand in the U.S.? The end game for one particular U.S.
    TV sports channel with Spanish-language audio is about to take
    place. There is no mystery what that channel is: La nueva —–
    esta aqui. Tu canal del futbol.

  3. great news!! i hope this is the demise of the crap channel that is
    GolTv… their continuous branding efforts with their 2nd rate
    commentary… ie comedy team was pathetic…. Al Jazeera will do La
    Liga justice and have the right people in place to make La Liga
    enjoyable… I hope they buy out GolTv.. while i like some of their
    management team.. their unwillingness to have better commentators
    killed this channel for most true football fans.. Cantona—

  4. HAHA …really? thats all you have?… another Hudson high school
    fan… arent you late for first period you twat. Cantona—

    1. The fact that they offer the best quality picture, better than FSC
      and others in the US. The fact that Ray Hudson, while often
      outrageous, knows more about the game vs. nearly and probably every
      English speaking commentator. Are you a dumb Arab that is trying to
      promote AJ? I have nothing against them, their news is great, but
      them trying to break into the US market by offering sub-standard
      services is not fine. Anyway, go kill yourself =)

      1. Dish doesn’t even have Directv. very few cable providers carry it
        and Directv is the only satellite provider that carrys it.

  5. well at least this time you added more substance to your ignorant
    post. Your claim of best picture quality is based on what?? what
    league.. different production teams produce different quality
    feeds.. La Liga better than the EPL broadcasts?? NO.. Hudson a good
    commentator?? here is where you really show your stupidity.. Hudson
    couldnt hold a candle to Tommy Smyth …. and thats saying
    something.. his only following are the preteen crowd (ie.. you) who
    thinks orgasm comments are FUNNY.. and because he has a Geordie
    accent you think the idiot is credible. Your comment about Al
    Jazeera shows you have never seen their broadcast and probably are
    still in your mommys basement watching DirecTv.. Al Jazeera have a
    top quality sports channel.. great productions and great on camera
    talent.. The Arab and kill yourself comment is just pathetic and
    shows your maturity level.. so yes.. bye GolTv and with welcome
    arms.. I welcome Al Jazeera.. now get back to school..you swot.

  6. Cantona you are wrong. You go to any board and you will see the
    feedback. GolTv definitely has a better HD picture than FSC. All
    networks choose different types of HD to broadcast. I believe all
    the Fox networks broadcast in 720p. I am no pro at this but anyone
    can clearly see the picture quality difference between FSC and Gol
    and even ESPN. Everyone has their opinion…. but Tommy Smyth……
    what a joke. I need more than two hands to count the times he has
    either stuttered or made an outright mistake in saying something
    during a game. Ray Hudson knows his stuff and he makes it funny as
    well. He was/is a great commentator that is balanced out by Phil
    Schoen. As far as Al Jareeza….. well I am disappointed in La Liga
    for selling out. Either they know something… or they don’t care
    that they will lose a lot of their USA fan base. I sure hope Al
    Jareeza sub licenses the rights or buys a network that DirecTv
    carries. I guess I am one of the few….. but for one will miss
    GolTv. :(

  7. The biggest difference between Smyth and Hudson, according to
    sources: 1. Smyth actually prepares for telecasts 2. Hudson
    allegedly walks into the studio 5 minutes before each telecast and
    skims through the notes that were prepared by his broadcast partner
    That would explain the lack of substance in Hudson’s “color

    1. Not likely for BSkyB to lose UK domestic rights to Premier League.
      ESPN UK is the one that is more likely to walk away if Al Jazeera
      were to bid.

  8. If this is true it will be a great shame if AJ don’t bring Ray
    Hudson and Phil Schoen to the new channel. Ray’s combination of
    character and knowledge mean he is a unique television personality,
    perhaps even phenomenon. We should celebrate that in today’s world
    of scripted reality shows and trope-regurgitating television, Ray
    Hudson hasn’t lost a hint of raw personality despite the deadening
    expectations placed upon people in his position, most of whom in
    the English-speaking world have merely aped the bland
    “professional” stereotype of those they grew up watching, becoming
    nothing more than ciphers in the process. Ray brings passion to
    broadcasts and brings them to life with the enthusiasm of the
    terraces. Ray knows what he is talking about: he has played in the
    English Football League, and in the U.S. has played competitively
    with some of the best players in history, even if that is not at
    the very highest level. The reactionary nature of television
    broadcasting might make it hard for Ray to get on, say, Sky or FSC
    without toning it down, but that doesn’t mean GolTV with Phil and
    Ray isn’t something both credible and entertaining at the same

    1. The new channel will have Spanish-language audio. Al Jazeera is
      going after the Hispanic market in the U.S. as well as
      Spanish-speaking Latin America. Again, no guarantee that the new
      channel will have English-language audio or English-language
      closed-captioning. Even if the new channel were to have
      English-language audio, there is no guarantee that the new channel
      will need English-language talent based in South Florida. La Liga
      International match video come with English-language voiceover
      provided by MEDIAPRO. Al Jazeera has English-speaking sports TV
      talent based in Doha, Qatar, including big names such as former
      England star Gary Lineker.

  9. You can’t buy love, but you can buy a World Cup, Foreign TV rights,
    The front of the Barcelona shirt, The entire city of Manchester,
    and … a goat.

  10. Any news yet on which cable station will broadcast la Liga next
    season (2012-2013)? My husband and I love European soccer.

    1. i just called directv, comcast and verizon no one has any idea
      about what aljazeerah or la liga are . those americans only care
      about baseball cheese and food stamps

  11. Im getting nervous, too. I was planning on buying access to GolTV
    for la liga but now im not sure what i’ll do. all in good time, i
    guess. i heard somewhere that ESPN was launching a soccer-devoted
    channel (in the US) but i also heard it was spanish only (sounds
    like ESPN Deportes to me)

  12. This is a disgrace. Who from LIGABBVA is responsible for this? What
    did Florentino Perez do? It’s amazing because if you know the
    etymology of the word LIGA in Latin and its history, you know this
    extremely antithetical. But I like to know who signed off on this,
    and also for Serie A. Silvio Berlusconi? Will Milan Channel stay on
    GolTV? And how about the Crosses on all these Club’s Jerseys. I
    read next the same group of people involved in this “CHANGE” are
    also planning to undo the Crosses of Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC
    Milan, etc.

  13. I love this and it will be good if Aljazeera can win the right to
    broadcast The English Barclays Premier League. Am delighted about
    the move for the right. I can’t wait anymore to see Aljazeera
    broadcasting Barclays Premier League.

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