UPDATED: beIN SPORT 1, the new English-language soccer network in the United States, is moving closer to a launch on both DirecTV and DISH Network, according to multiple reports.
The DBSTalk.com user community has discovered that DirecTV has added beIN SPORT 1 in HD as a test channel that currently isn’t viewable to subscribers. The practice of adding a test channel typically is done one week before launch to ensure that the channel is operating correctly. One week from today just so happens to be the day that beIN SPORT officially launches. Although it cannot be confirmed as of press time, it’s possible that beIN SPORT may launch on DirecTV on Wednesday, August 15.
According to DirecTV, the satellite TV provider typically doesn’t comment on programming deals that may or may not be in the works. Similarly, EPL Talk contacted beIN SPORT who said they can’t comment at this time.
Meanwhile, a test channel for beIN SPORT 1 has also been added to DISH Network, according to the Satellite Guys website, hinting at a potential launch for the network on that satellite provider as early as next week.
While the anticipation is launching for the formal announcement of beIN SPORT being available to TV viewers, the new soccer network is currently broadcasting a free live Internet stream on its website. That free stream may end when a distributor (i.e. DirecTV or other providers) adds the new soccer network. beIN SPORT does plan on adding Internet streaming options to its website, but the decision hasn’t been announced when those will be available and whether they’ll be available as an a la carte option.
In the meantime, the most important action for soccer fans in the United States to take is to contact your local TV provider to demand that beIN SPORT is added. The new network will launch beIN SPORT 1 (for English-language broadcasts) and beIN SPORT 2 (for Spanish-language broadcasts), but in order to help see them, you’ll need to let your TV provider know that you want beIN SPORT.
beIN SPORT currently has the exclusive US media rights to La Liga, nPower Championship, League Cup, Serie A, Ligue Un, Copa del Rey and several other leagues/tournaments.
Meanwhile, beIN SPORT has announced they they will be showing the friendlies between Valencia and Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow and, this Sunday, Cologne versus Arsenal, live on beIN SPORT’s streaming service. Check the Premier League TV and Internet schedule for full details.
According to an executive at beIN SPORT, the new soccer network is actively working with distributors to bring the channel to soccer fans nationwide. A key element of how quickly the channel can be added, though, relies on you, to demand that the channel is added and to spread the word to your friends, family and soccer community.
Thanks to EPL Talk blogger Earl Reed and EPL Talk reader Jason Gatties for the news tips.