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GolTV Goes On The Offensive Against beIN SPORT In Bizarre Announcement

goltv logo1 GolTV Goes On The Offensive Against beIN SPORT In Bizarre Announcement

Twelve days after DirecTV e-mailed many of its customers to announce that GolTV was being dropped from its Sports Pack, GolTV has responded by posting a quite bizarre message on its website.

“As a result of DirecTV’s new relationship with the Emir of the State of Qatar and founder of Al Jazeera, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, DirecTV intends to remove GolTV from its Sports Pack effective September 13,” read the official statement from GolTV.

The GolTV statement is bizarre because one, it never mentions beIN SPORT by name – the new international soccer network that is the reason why GolTV is being pushed off DirecTV’s Sports Pack. Two, instead of referencing beIN SPORT, GolTV references parent company Al Jazeera twice in the announcement, as well as directly referencing the name of the founder of Al Jazeera. And three, GolTV talks about a “new relationship” between DirecTV and the Al Jazeera founder. “Relationship” is a strange word to use. A business agreement, yes, but a “new relationship”? Either GolTV is being careless with the words they’re using or they’re trying to imply something.

“Despite GolTV’s efforts to negotiate a solution for soccer fans, DirecTV is determined to eliminate more than 500 live and exclusive soccer matches aired by the network each year,” continued GolTV’s statement.

While it’s true that GolTV has a quantity of games available to viewers, the quality is surely lacking. In the past nine months, GolTV lost the English and Spanish rights to La Liga, it’s flagship league. Out of all of the leagues that GolTV has remaining, the Bundesliga is arguably the only prized asset the network has for European soccer fans.

GolTV’s statement continued, “The broadcast rights for the United States of the League and non GolTV and were bought by the Sheikh of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalid Al Thani, owner of Al Jazeera. We do not know about their plans for the United States.”

“We do not know about their plans for the United States” is another strange thing to say in public. What business is it of GolTV to say something like that? Of course they know what beIN SPORT’s plans are. beIN SPORT, in the last several weeks, has launched on DirecTV and DISH Network, as well as announcing a deal with Comcast, to bring La Liga (and its other leagues) to soccer fans nationwide. What other “plans for the United States” does GolTV want beIN SPORT to disclose, other than their Internet streaming strategy, which I know beIN SPORT is working hard on getting ready for launch?

All in all, these are some bizarre communications from GolTV. Reading between the lines, it sounds like the soccer network is on the defensive, at war against beIN SPORT and desperately clinging on to all it has left.

Despite EPL Talk making numerous requests to GolTV for comment during the past several months, GolTV has failed to respond.

The impact of GolTV getting dropped from DirecTV Sports Pack will have a detrimental impact on the number of GolTV subscribers. It’s estimated that GolTV will lose 4 million subscribers as a result of no longer being available on the Sports Pack tier.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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