beIN SPORT Moving Closer to Launch on DirecTV and DISH, Says Report

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 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.

43 thoughts on “beIN SPORT Moving Closer to Launch on DirecTV and DISH, Says Report”

  1. This is excellent news. I’m not tech enough to know about test channels but it sounds promising.

    I posted this in a previous post, but this is the response I got back from DirecTV when I requested beIN SPORT be added.
    “Thank you for writing about the beIN Sport soccer channel. I understand that you are an avid soccer fan.

    We currently do not have plans to broadcast beIN Sport channel. While we are unable to comment on upcoming programming decisions, I can assure you that we are always reviewing our programming options to make sure we bring you the best possible TV experience.

    We value your programming interest so I have forwarded your request to DIRECTV management. Many of the decisions we make are direct results of the comments and suggestions we receive from our customers. We release a statement to the press whenever we add channels to our lineup.

    Please visit our website for the latest updates.”

    1. I just read a rumor that Gol TV will keep its Spanish language channel on DirecTV as part of the Sports Pack or Spanish Package. beIN would then move to 620. If this is true, the thought is Gol TV got some financial compensation for this move.

      And yes, everything I’ve read points to beIN being available as part of the Sports Pack. Who knows, maybe they will offer it free to everyone for a month as well, like they did with Universal Sports Network.

  2. One industry source told me that beIN SPORT LLC is paying a substantial “launch fee” that effectively means the following:

    beIN SPORT LLC will pay MSOs to carry beIN SPORT 1 USA, not the other way around.

    The infamous New York Post media critic Phil Mushnick was tipped off last week by an industry source, whom I suspect to be someone associated with FOX Soccer LLC, because the New York Post is owned by NewsCorp:

    I have verified independently with a different industry source that beIN SPORT 1 USA will effectively generate NO NET REVENUE from subscriber fees during the first year of operation, if not longer.

    In other words, Sheik Hamad Al-Thani capitulated by showering MSOs (i.e. DIRECTV, DISH, and likely AT&T Uverse and Verizon FiOS) with expensive gifts.

    Let’s see how much more money Sheik Al-Thani wants to throw around, as everyone knows by now that beIN SPORT LLC has no chance of ever making money unless beIN SPORT 1 USA can reach at least 60 million subscribers.

    ESPN, Inc. has to be laughing, now that it knows that it will likely get EPL matches via sublicense for NO CASH during the new contract cycle regardless of whether ESPN Inc. were to choose to partner with either FOX Sports Media Group or beIN SPORT LLC, instead of having to pay around $8 million/season to FOX like it does now.

    1. Thanks for the info.

      But I don’t see why ESPN will get sublicenses from beIN Sport for EPL matches when beIN does not have the rights to EPL matches. Can you explain?

      Also, assuming ESPN does get sublicenses from beIN sport (regardless of the league), why would they be spared having to pay a fee?

      1. beIN SPORT LLC will need an American media company as partner in order to meet certain stipulations before it can bid for U.S. rights to EPL for August 2013-May 2016. The bids are expected to be due on October 5 at 1200 New York Time.

        beIN SPORT LLC’s best option, in my opinion, is to convince ESPN, Inc. to ditch FOX Soccer as a partner.

        ESPN, Inc. knows that beIN SPORT LLC is advised by idiots (at Imagina U.S., who were unable to hammer out a single agreement with an MSO and lied to the trade media about it for months) who are completely overmatched at the negotiations table.

        Look for ESPN, Inc. to take advantage of the situation to demand a NO CASH sublicense for up to 80 EPL matches, offering “leftover” product from (that won’t fit on ESPN2 or ESPNU) such as UEFA World Cup qualifiers, int’l friendies, X-Games Brazil, youth sports events from Disney’s Wide World of Sports, plus minor conference college basketball (from the likes of the Mid-American and Sun Belt conferences.)

        ESPN, Inc. also knows that FOX Sports Media Group is desperate to keep FOX Soccer in business so ESPN, Inc. can make the same demand with FOX: NO CASH sublicense in exchange for leftover product.

        If beIN SPORT LLC doesn’t like ESPN’s proposal, its other options are even more costly, as the likes of NBC Sports Group and Turner Sports (both of which would be interested in partnering with beIN SPORT LLC) would likely demand significant cash contribution to assist in bidding for big ticket American sports TV products, such as the 2015-2026 College Football Championship Game (minimum $2.4 billion contract over 12 years) or the Big East Conference College Football package.

        ESPN, Inc. in 2012 is in the exact same position as Setanta Sports North American was in 2009 when Setanta was able to play ESPN and FOX Sports Media Group off each other before switching its allegiance from ESPN, Inc. to back FOX Sports with its bid for the U.S. rights to the 2009-2012 UEFA Champions League.

        In other words: the sublicensee is the “diva” who gets to choose betweeen two desperate guys who want to take her to the prom. ESPN, Inc. is the new “Setanta” and is almost guaranteed to win no matter whether it decides to partner with beIN SPORT LLC or FOX Sports Media Group.

  3. It’s not uncommon at all for a new channel to pay MSO’s to for carriage. Even large cable channel operators like Disney have paid a decent amount of money per subscriber for carriage when launching new cable channels.

    As to what it’s break-even subscriber number is, I don’t know if anyone who really knows is saying. So I would take the 60 million number with a grain of salt for now.

  4. Great news for me, a Directv sub, but a shame for cable subs. Hopefully they set up their streaming service quick so at least there’s that option for cable subs.

  5. Typically DirecTV launches its new channels on Wednesdays. This is not a hard fast rule, but it occurs more often than not. So the timing may be coincidental.

  6. I hope they are working on deals with cable operators as well. I think there probably are more cable subscribers than satellite subscribers interested in soccer.

  7. For someone whose provider choices consist of Time Warner Cable and … Time Warner Cable, this news is disheartening. Like the previous commenter, I hope beIN Sport is working on cable distribution as well.

    1. The problem with TWC will be exactly like the one we had getting FS HD……TWC does not roll these things out nationwide, but gives their regional managers the power to make local business decisions. So, if TWC comes to some overall agreement with beIN Sport that doesn’t mean any of us will be seeing it anytime soon. It will get picked up hit or miss as regional managers make those decisions.

      As it stands I don’t see enough pressure there unless beIN Sport actually lands the rights to the Premier League.

  8. Just to confirm, DirecTV is testing BeIn Sports right now. My buddy has access to test channels and it’s there. It’s one of the 5 HD channels coming soon to DirecTV.

  9. I was skeptical with the first reports of Al-Jazeera Sports getting involved, but as they procured further competitions, it was clear they were going to take some initiative to make this happen.

    To me it seemed only a matter of when, not if, for beInSport1 to supplant GolTV, or at least gain an equal billing. Have one Clasico go by without a solid distribution channel within the US, and the PR would be terrible, ESPECIALLY for DirecTV and Dish (though DirecTV more because they seem to get mileage out of catering to the American soccer fan).

    All indications would be entry in the Sports Pack as a full-time HD channel replacing the English feed of GolTV. I’m still hoping that GolTV ends up having an English feed available on DirecTV. But it does appear the bottom line could be that GolTV remains only in the foreign language format in SD, which would be quite a step down.

  10. Almost impossible to tell where it would go for Dish Network. FSC is currently available on numerous packages, and on the sports package (though that is typically redundant).

  11. Here’s hoping they make beIN Sport available on the Multi Sport pack on DISH. I’ve yet to upgrade to that, as the Top 120+ already contains Fox Soccer, and they also no longer even carry GolTV.

  12. I’m e-mailing Comcast every day. It’s really disgusting that Serie won’t be available to most American viewers for the foreseeable future.

  13. So does beIN Sport spell doom for GolTV?

    Also, last year Fox Soccer held the rights to Ligue 1 and Serie A – is that done now? Neither of these leagues will be shown on Fox? If so that pretty much leaves them with the EPL rights, the contract from which is up in May 2013.

    To me this looks like bad news for Fox Soccer – doubt they’ll be able to outbid Al Jazeera on the next EPL contract period.


    1. And the 2 major European competitions. The Champions League and the Premier League bring in serious ratings, and having teams like Newcastle and Liverpool actively completing in the Europa League will surely help the viewers.

      GolTV is in serious trouble. Hopefully the Bundesliga comes through for them.

      1. GOLTV sometimes draws less than 10000 viewers for Bundesliga matches, which are strictly filler.

        I would be surprised if GOLTV will be able to stay in the English-language sports pack. Losing 4-5 million subscribers will hurt.

    2. The way its looking, might as well just cancel my cable and watch netflix.
      EPL is not enuf for Fox soccer, thank God I didnt get Fox Soccer Plus,
      whats that channel gonna show now? Championship? Rugby all day?
      God help us

          1. Why don’t you ask them.

            Maybe I’m just on some mystery mailing list that only me and 3 other rugby fans get from Fox.

  14. I know for the last couple of years on directv you could watch 9 of the 10 la liga games played each weekend 3 on gol tv 3 on ESPN deportes and 3 on ch 477 and with bein sports taking over who knows how many games they will show or if directv will still have games on 477 and 478 i don’t know about you guys but I love watching the other 18 teams in la liga play eachother just as much as watching madrid and barca..

  15. GolTV is moving to Channel 627 on DirecTV, so its still going to be part of the Sports Pack, which is good news for now.

  16. the growing pains of football on television in the U.S. market…

    The best case scenario would be that we get programming directly from England ITF with the American ads in between. My mute button and “previous” channel button are used every time the studio people for Fox or ESPN come on the screen. Setanta was nice because the studio analysts were good.. especially the fat guy.

    So, I take it that Bundesliga and South American and Mexican matches are all that GolTV has now?

    Looks to me that there’s going to be a lot more failing going on before things get better. I would look upon Bein Sport as a good opportunity to see some new faces and some better analysis, better presentation. Too bad I don’t watch La Liga. what else? Ligue 1?

    Will DirecTV no longer have the CL matches ITF? Surely some company wants to make money on those.

    Being in America where cable TV is bundled and overpriced, I can’t help but think that none of this will bode well, but, on the other hand, it is possible to subscribe to web service to watch matches via the internet. I just haven’t put the service onto my TV via the HDMI cable yet while having at least a 10 Mbps connection (which is impossible where I am now).

  17. Officially on Facebook and Twitter

    beINSport launches on @DIRECTV! Thanks to YOUR support we’ve scored our 1st goal. Channel goes live 8/15 at 7.30pm EST

  18. Has anyone heard that Directv is dropping Goltv at the end of the month? This seems odd after switching channel numbers.

    1. I contacted GolTV last week to ask them that question, and I’m still waiting to hear back from them. No news is not good news in this regard.

      The Gaffer

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