beIN Sport to Launch 2 New Soccer Channels This August In USA


Two months ago, EPL Talk exclusively revealed that Al Jazeera was getting into the US soccer TV market with the acquisition of rights to La Liga beginning with the 2012-13 season. We later revealed how they also picked up TV rights to Serie A and Ligue Un, as well as how Al Jazeera was planning on spending big in the US TV rights market to capture more leads. Plus, that the network was going to be named beIn Sport.

Now finally we have confirmation of the news from an article about Al Jazeera’s plans, published in Multichannel News.

Here’s what the article revealed:

1. beIN Sport USA will launch in August, 2012. The 2012-13 La Liga season begins on August 19. The Serie A season may kick off on that same date, which doesn’t leave much time for subscribers to sign up for beIN Sport in time for the new season.

2. There will be two soccer channels for beIn Sport — beIn Sport 1 and beIn Sport 2.

3. According to Multichannel News, two distribution deals for beIN Sport USA 1 and 2 have already been signed, and Imagina U.S. is hinting that viewers may have to “switch providers” in order to watch La Liga next season. That could mean that you may need to sign up with DISH Network, as an example, to see La Liga and/or Serie A next season.

4. beIN Sport has acquired the Ligue Un rights in English-language only.

5. Importantly, it appears that beIn Sport has no plans to sublicense the rights it has obtained in the U.S. whatsoever. What this means is that soccer fans may be faced this summer with a “switch to DISH Network (or similar TV provider) for the only way to watch La Liga and Serie A TV rights.” No word on plans by beIN Sport for availability of games via the Internet, as of press time.

While the above news may be worrying for fans of La Liga and Serie A, the big question for readers of this blog is whether Al Jazeera (aka beIN Sport) plans on bidding for TV and Internet rights to the Premier League this spring/summer for season 2013-2016. If it does, it could get into a bidding war with FOX and ESPN to try to win the rights.

32 thoughts on “beIN Sport to Launch 2 New Soccer Channels This August In USA”

  1. Just in case any big shots from Al Jazeera are reading- this subscriber will never switch to Dish Network, even if it means skipping all La Liga and Serie A games next year.

      1. Me to, there are plenty of others games and plenty of other ways to watch to support exclusive deals.

    1. this is bad for Soccer in the USA
      with all the cable and sattellite providers giving at this moment EPL, La LIga and other leagues through Fox ESPN Gol Tv, it has made soccer a major force in the USA.
      now comes this new channels taking over La Liga & probrably the EPL. it will cutt off millions from watching it now, it took 15 years for all the providers to give Gol Tv, it will take 15 more to get this new channels.
      might sound good, 2 new channels but the reallity is, this is a bullet in the head for soccer fans in the USA
      we only have soccer in the INTERNET & they are been trying to take away from us.
      i have a 2 year contract with Fios i cant change providers, i cant get Dish or Direct tv, my building wont allow it.
      so all i can do is watch pirate soccer on the internet with millions of others with the same problem

      1. THE NEW ERA… with this new channels taking over…Pirate Soccer on the INTERNET is Back & back Big Time.
        why pay extra for something we cant have…is free on the internet.
        ROJADIRECTA – FIRST ROW , and many others are the number one free providers of free world soccer from the whole world…not the same as my tv..but good enough to keep my well earn DOLLAR

  2. Living in the middle east for almost my whole life. I can say that their coverage of the Champions League, English Cups, Serie A and the La Liga are just fantastic. Over there they got 10 channels and every single match of the leagues are shown live through out their channels.

    1. I don’t think anybody can dispute that. Having seen their coverage many times I can fully agree it’s top quality but that’s irrelevant here… The question for American viewers isn’t ‘how great is their coverage’ it’s ‘how on earth are we going to get to see this coverage?!’.

      1. I think we only have to wait and see. I for one don’t care about La Liga and Serie A. I only care about the EPL and UCL.

  3. since you were name dropping dish network here, can we assume that directv has no interest in providing this channel? not into the french and italian leagues much but i watch la liga sometimes. if directv offered the channels i would subscribe but nothing to change providers over, unless they get the epl and show it exclusively on bein

  4. I don’t see any mention of dish network in their statement.

    “Antonio Briceño, vice president of affiliate sales for Imagina US, said: “We don’t expect to have 100% distribution at launch, but we will reach enough homes at launch to satisfy the business plan.” He expects beIN Sport to gain further distribution over time.
    Although he would not identify the providers that beIn Sport was in advanced carriage talks, Briceño insisted that the matches would be available to U.S. soccer fans this upcoming season. “You may have to switch providers,” he noted.”

  5. As a fan of La Liga this is very disturbing news that right now bein only has been signed up by Dish. Even if they are able to get Dish and Direct TV that still leaves cable (which has many more subscribers) uncovered. Which cable companies will add bein? Are soccer fans going to have to petition their cable companies to carry bein?

    I’ve always advocated that the leagues that sell their TV rights should not only look at the bids in terms of money alone but also how those bidders intend to use those rights and their ability to show the games to the most number of soccer fans. What good is it to sell the rights for money only when the majority of fans won’t have access to the games.

    I like Al Jazeera and think they are a very able company based on their news division and from what I’ve seen of their coverage of soccer in France. But I am worried about their US plans. Buying the rights to La Liga and Serie A without access to the market is a very bad idea. They should have had their TV statiosn in place first across the cable/satellite systems before buying the rights to La Liga and Serie A.

    I believe that this will make the EPL and Bundesliga, carried by Fox and ESPN, the big winners as the mainstream soccer fan will watch more EPL and Bundesliga games since La Liga and Serie A won’t be available.

    1. very good point, the EPL and Bundesliga will win out of all this. i can prove this.
      i watch how the EPL wont allowed their games to be shown for free in the Internet world, this left millions of soccer fans to be force to watch the Spanish league. the result.. it made Barcelona and Real madrid the best known teams in the world, i didnt know the other 18 teams in that league. know i know them all, it made the Spanish league the biggest league in the world, but now they also wont allow their game free on the internet, now im looking how South American soccer is taking over big time , all this only in a few months.
      this is the problem with this new channels. it will cut the poppularity of the Spanish League and give it back to the EPL.
      i love the Spanish league but since i can not get those channels, i keep my wallet safe and just go back to see English Footbal “EPL” and keep my soccer addiction at a low cost

  6. I think Gaffer used the Dish Network example because of Al Jazeera’s current relationship with Dish Network. I’m pretty sure DirecTV (for example) will carry this network eventually. Dish Network informed me that they had no intentions of adding Universal Sports Network, but as soon as DirecTV added the network, Dish soon followed.

    Frankly, other than watching Barcelona & Real Madrid, I have little interest, so it doesn’t matter to me if DirecTV decides not to carry the channel. Now in beIN lands the Premier League, then I will be pissed because if DirecTV doesn’t offer it, there’s no way I switch back to Dish Network (worst provider next to Comcast in my opinion)

    1. The only matches that beIN Sports USA will have in 2012-2013 that can draw more than 200,000 U.S. TV viewers are:

      Barcelona vs Real Madrid

      Real Madrid vs Barcelona

      (Sorry Serie A fans, but AC Milan vs Inter, AC Milan vs Juventus, Inter vs Juventus, and their respective reverse fixtures don’t sell well enough in the U.S. in either English or Spanish. )

      Of all the cable and satellite TV providers out there, only one has the necessary leverage to force Qatar Media to either buy time or sublicense those two matches to a bigger network:


      Comcast owns 51% of NBCUniversal, which owns the Telemundo free-to-air Spanish-language network.

      (General Electric owns the other 49%.)

      There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Barcelona vs Real Madrid and Real Madrid vs Barcelona will each draw over 1 million U.S. TV viewers if they were to air on Telemundo.

      Let’s see if Comcast will use its leverage to force Qatar Media to buy time on Telemundo to air el clasico.

      1. Comcast is the biggest pay TV operator in the U.S., with local cable TV franchising agreements which allow Comcast to control 22 million pay TV households.

        DIRECTV (satellite TV) is #2, with control of 18 million U.S. TV households.

        Time Warner Cable and Bright House Network (which negotiate programming as a single unit) is #3, with control of 14 million U.S. TV households.

        DISH (satellite TV) is #4, at just under 14 million U.S. TV households.

        The others are relatively “small potatoes” compared to the “Big 4”.

    2. Do wonder even if Dish does get it, where the channels would go packaging wise.

      For the peanut gallery, Dish is hardly a bad provider. I mean even coming close to comparing it to cable companies is untrue. Dish is very good, like Directv is.

  7. Does anyone know if beIn has an internet presence in Europe where they have rights to show soccer? It looks like most fans of La Liga and Serie A won’t have acccess to games, at least in the beginning as it will take time for beIn channels to be added on most cable/satellite stations, therefore the only alternative would be internet streaming.

    1. In their own Middle Eastern market they do. You can choose to have an online only subscription if you don’t want to receive the channels by satellite but for Europe that’s not a trend that many broadcasters follow. Offering online only subscriptions isn’t something broadcasters do over here, they just offer their regular satellite/cable channels and then the same content can be streamed to laptops, mobiles etc; you have to be a TV subscriber first though.

      Apart from France they don’t operate anywhere else in Europe… even over there, details are still pretty sketchy although they know they’ll be launching one of their channels in time for the Euros. Canal+ (who they outbid on rights) have refused them carriage on their CanalSat system so French viewers will be facing similar problems to American viewers!

  8. Eff off with Dish. I’ll just stream the games that you will most likely tr to make me pay $50/month to see. Douche bags…

  9. All I’m saying is that DISH better offer this channel! And if they do, what about packaging? I’m not raising the package I have now, it’s way too expensive. (I have the cheapest one) Anyone know if there’s a chance it’ll be on the smallest package?

  10. My guess this will be on the 2 satellite providers and that’s it. US cable companies all balked at adding Al Jazerra, not because they don’t have the space, but because of their parent companies fears of losing advertisers when they start getting complaints about adding a network that shows the opposite view of what US government wants us to hear. They were all afraid of a “Muslim network” and being labeled as terrorist appeasers.

    Now trust me, that is as far from the truth as possible. I have watched Al Jazerra online and their reporting is ten times better than the crap the US networks report on. They actually report facts, not want the the corporate or government wants us to here.

    So my guess is they are going to be just as afraid about adding beIN.

  11. I will never subscribe to anything related to Al Jazeera. They are a network that supports terrorists. Supporting them just puts more money in the pockets of people who want to kill Americans.

    1. @ Fred: That’s the most ignorant statement I’ve heard. However, not very surprised by your comments. Open your mind to something other than the force fed news coverage you probably watch from Fox! If you think Al Jazeera is bad, what about Rupert Murdoch & Ted Turner?

  12. If I had my say, I think it would be very wise if BeIN Sports offered these games streaming online for some sort of annual fee. It would take away all the problems of distribution through cable and satellite companies plus EVERYONE has access to the internet. I believe this whole thing would work very well if they were able to put together a decent streaming package like MLS Live does or

    I would sign up in a heartbeat if they did this. If there’s no online streaming, then it’s just not worth the fiasco of finding a provider who carries the channel plus paying the supposed additional fee to have that channel in the first place.
    Plus, if the games were online, I could watch them while I’m on the go or at work since most kickoff times are in the middle of the day here 😉

    Just my two cents..

  13. Well, all I can say is “ARRRRGHHH!”. I’m a FC Barcelona supporter and based in the U.S. I have AT&T Uverse. I’m sick to my stomach that GolTv lost Liga rights. They also fired Phil Schoen. Ray Hudsen and Phil Schoen were the best T.V. duo out there. I follow BarcelonaFootballBlog and we’ve talked a lot about beInsport and their lack of organization for U.S. viewers. I recommend urging your providers and even ESPN & FSC to try and lease games from beInsports. I agree with comments above about this hurting Soccer expansion in the States. It’s been steadily gaining more and more and this will put a hault to some of the growth if it’s not sorted out by Aug. To answer a comment above: The EPL requires bidding broadcasters to have broadcasting capabilities in place before they receive a bid. Liga doesn’t. Any surprise? The RFEF of Liga is the worst run organization in all of football. The never have the schedule for seasons figured out before the end of the season is near!

    1. John, for the record, Phil Schoen and Ray Hudson were not fired. Both gave their notices, and left GolTV to join beIN Sport.

      The Gaffer

  14. I watched a match last night. Broadcast was good, announcers good. Football was good. Ecuador def Chile. Good quality picture and broadcast. Now have Fox Soccer, Gol TV and BeIN. Good.

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