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.

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. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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29 Responses to GolTV Goes On The Offensive Against beIN SPORT In Bizarre Announcement

  1. jdoe says:

    It’s very obvious what they are trying to do – prey on the average American’s ignorance of anything outside the US. They’re hoping we see Arab names and start screaming for the hills. It’s very underhanded and dirty. Thankfully the average EPL fan has a lot more sense than to get baited by this…I hope.

  2. NeilO says:

    Bizarre indeed. They must be desperate.

  3. Jack Straw says:

    Agree with jdoe.

  4. AtlantaPompey says:

    Will GolTV remain in the Spanish language package on DirecTV? It’s channel 456 (I think?) and it does not always show the same matches. I get it as well because I have the Sports Pack, but I don’t have the Spanish language package.

    • The Gaffer says:

      GolTV is still available on DirecTV — albeit on the En Espanol package for $14.99/month extra. That package includes ESPN Deportes and FOX Deportes, among others.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  5. MrTuktoyaktuk says:

    That’s disappointing from GOL.They should spend their time working on a new business plan so they can continue to exist.

  6. TJNash says:

    Just the death rattle of a company that is now on life support.

  7. Reid says:

    Wow, that’s some dirty business that Gol TV is trying to play. I’ll call it like I see it, racism.

    There are so many other low points to point out when talking about beIN that do not involve racism. Take the US v Jamaica game. I had several sound issues during that game and the commentating and half time reporting were awful!

    • John says:

      The video quality was very poor, too. It looked like it was being shot on standard-definition video cameras and then converted to a high-def signal. And I agree about the half-time and post-game reporting being awful. In some aspects it looked like it was being produced by people who’d never put on a TV show before.

  8. Yespage says:

    Well, at least they didn’t mention jihad or 9/11.

    It looks like they changed the statement as “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.” is no longer included in the linked statement.

    GolTV has one and pretty much only one option, bid for the EPL (most likely piggy-back with Fox). Otherwise, it is probably only a matter of time before they close the doors.

    • PaulF says:

      GolTV shareholders should have sold their shares when the company was more valuable. Now their value has plummeted. And they dont have the resources to compete.

  9. Luis says:

    i have the spanish pack so i’m good. sorry guys. sucks GolTV has sunk so low.

  10. Matt says:

    I’m surprised GolTV is still around, but as a fan of the Bundesliga they are actually doing a very good job covering the league this season, 3-4 live games a round and an extended highlight show (Bundesliga was largely ignored though when they had La Liga rights). They also have the rights to some UEFA World Cup qualifying matches this week. Only problem is their announcers are VERY bad, they sound like 20 year old interns with all due respect.

    I actually have BeIN but only in Spanish, I don’t know if its a free preview or I just get the channel. I don’t care where the channel comes from, most fooball fans in this country won’t either.

  11. Cord4Gooner says:

    GolTV was utter crap quality.

    Happy with BeIn Sports thus far … They show more La Liga and seria A matches anyways now it seems.
    And the review show 90 in 30 is great … I am set with FSC / BeIn and a little ESPN via Directv.. I get my fill of footy!

  12. elliott says:

    I feel sorry for GolTV, just as I feel sorry for Pandora & Spotify now that Apple is moving in music streaming – these startups have built & cultivated a niche audience, but now the 500 pound gorilla in the room has decided to smash them to pieces.

    I hope GOLTV will move to online streaming of games ala MLS – I’d be willing to pay $5-10 a month for a livestream of Bundesliga games. That seems to be their best option at this point.

    • Dm says:

      Dont fool yourself into thinking pandora or spotify are these little mom and pop operations. They are ruthless companies in their own right. They just had the unfortunate luck to piss off an even bigger bully in the playground.

      As for Gol, at worst the message was racist fearmongering, and at best, just pathetic.

    • Luis says:

      I’d say Spotify is still king in the music streaming business. Point me to what Apple has done to outdo it, I must have missed it.

      • Guy says:

        Elliot didn’t say Apple had done anything yet. He would have been referring to the story in the Wall Street Journal on Sept. 6 which has sparked a lot of discussion. I’m surprised you haven’t heard about it.

        From: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2409378,00.asp

        “Presently, Pandora appears to lead the market with roughly 54 million users, followed by Spotify at approximately 16 million users, and by the upstart Rdio, created by the founders of Skype. But Apple’s iTunes boasts roughly 200 million user accounts, which would immediately put it in the lead in terms of crossover accessibility to a new music service.”

  13. Wayne says:

    Goal is still on Direct TV as of tonight at 627 in english
    BeinTV Spanish broadcasts differently then Bein TV English

    Bein TV feeds on direct TV for WC Qualifiers that i saw were in HD including the US game
    if you were watching on dish the broadcast was in SD,

    You can always pay the same amount on direct TV and get all the Spanish Channels by switching to Direct Espanol. I lost some stations I do not watch anyway including the Big Ten Network

    But I get a ton of football

  14. Andre says:

    managed to find a bar near my office that has BeIN AND a bartender willing to put it on during happy hour last friday but… the Argentina Paraguay game was on BeIN 2 (which i didn’t know existed) and is also not included in the direcTV package. stop blowing it.

  15. Richard says:

    how can GolTV think they have the same value as before,, they lost the most important leagues they had. Bundesliga is great, boca jrs and river plate games, and some brasilian matches is cool, but c’mon, La Liga, Europoa league, Coppa Italia. those were the main reason that channel existed on the sports pack. Directv will drop the entire channel out of the lineups. but they know that GolTV will no longer exist soon. Aside from that it is sad that a channel that always invested in soccer in us is going so down. they were the first to launch a HD soccer channel if im not wrong.

  16. San Franciscan says:

    For someone who is from a GCC country, I didn’t see anything wrong with the statement (except for the relationship part) until I read the replies on this thread. If this is what they are trying to do then all I could say is that was really desperate and sad.

  17. Matt says:

    Gaffer, if that was meant to be a pun, I applaud it. They are truly going on the OFFENSIVE.

  18. David says:

    BeIN’s Spanish channel is currently the only one available on Comcast (at least some of them, including mine- they’ve said the English one will be on by the end of the year)- you can get English commentary on most the games by using the secondary audio however. It’s not bad, though their schedule is wrong- the on-screen guide said the USA/Jamaica game was going to be shown live and it wasn’t.

    This is just a case of sour grapes in losing the La Liga rights, and they’re desperate. I’d lay odds by this time next year GolTV has either folded or been bought out by someone….

  19. Chuck says:

    My beIN on comcast in northern vermont appears to be in HD on channel 345. Am I the only
    one getting beIN spanish in HD?

  20. javi says:

    come on? sounds like everyone leaving comments is getting mind f’ed by direct tv who is on a mission to ruin programing for the common viewer. i dont like bullies. so f direct and their tv. i just want to beable to watch cesc fabregas. #gooner4life

  21. Bernthart Lainauer says:

    GolTV’s wording may have been questionable, however it sucks that we lost Bundesliga. Who cares about the French,the Italian, or the Spanish league? Barcelona is great, Madrid not bad but the rest? The entire LaLiga and Seria A are on life support and it is only a matter of time that the governments will call in outstanding taxes and teams (leagues) will disappear.

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