beIN SPORT, the new 24/7 soccer network that has acquired US media rights to many of the major European soccer leagues, will officially launch on television today via satellite provider DirecTV.
At 7:30pm ET today, beIN SPORT will debut on channel 620 on DirecTV, which was previously the channel position held by GolTV.
beIN SPORT’s exclusive programming will include coverage of the top soccer leagues and tournaments from Europe and South America, including Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A, France’s Ligue Un, England’s nPower Championship and League Cup, the South American World Cup Qualifiers and Copa America 2015, as well as many other world-class sporting events.
The English-language version of beIN SPORT will be offered in HD and SD as part of the DIRECTV Sports Pack. The network will also provide an entirely differentiated Spanish-language channel, beIN SPORT “En Español”, which will be available on DIRECTV Más in SD.
In addition to its TV network, select beIN SPORT content will be available online for DIRECTV customers. No additional information is available at this time in regards to how this will work, and when it’ll be ready, but what it does mean is that the temporary free online stream that beIN SPORT has been providing will end today.
Currently the only way to ensure that you won’t miss the new season of La Liga and Serie A is by subscribing to beIN SPORT on DirecTV.
As EPL Talk reported last week, we understand that beIN SPORT is close to finalizing a deal with DISH Network. The satellite provider has reportedly been running beIN SPORT on a test channel in preparation for a future launch. However, we have heard no reports of beIN SPORT being added to a major cable provider such as Comcast, Time Warner or COX. If you don’t have DirecTV, be sure to contact your TV provider today to request beIN SPORT.
Up until this point, soccer fans have been relatively patient and understanding regarding the launch of beIN SPORT — particularly I believe because we all have been pacified by having access to the free live streaming beINSPORT.tv service. Beginning today, however, things may start to get more tense as beIN SPORT has put us in a “sink or swim” scenario. If you subscribe to DirecTV, then you’re safe. You’ll be able to watch most of your soccer uninterrupted. But if you’re like everyone else, including me, who doesn’t subscribe to DirecTV, we have only four options: 1) Do nothing, 2) complain, 3) move to DirecTV or 4) urge our TV provider to add beIN SPORT.
I completely understand where beIN SPORT is coming from in regards to switching off the free live stream that was available on their website, but I’m interested in hearing what beIN SPORT’s online strategy is for those soccer fans in the United States who don’t (or are unable to) subscribe to DirecTV. For many of us, the online option is our greatest hope — but it’s the part that we have the least information about from beIN SPORT.
As soon as we hear more information, we’ll be sure to update you on EPL Talk.