The addition of college football to beIN SPORTS’ programming means that Saturday night NASL games appear to be the first casualty of the newly acquired rights deal.
Despite being originally scheduled to appear on beIN SPORTS, tonight’s game between Minnesota United and Rayo OKC and next Saturday’s match between Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Indy Eleven have both been moved from beIN SPORTS to beIN SPORTS en Español. The Spanish-language beIN SPORTS en Español network is in 7 million fewer homes than the English-language beIN SPORTS network.
According to a beIN SPORTS spokesperson, “Tonight’s NASL game will be available live at 8pm ET on beIN SPORTS en Español with the SAP option as well as live on beIN SPORTS CONNECT in the language of choice. Later, at 11:30pm ET we will once again re-air the game between Minnesota United and Rayo OKC on beIN SPORTS.”
While beIN SPORTS hasn’t published their soccer TV schedules for mid-September through until the end of the NASL Fall Season, they will be broadcasting college football games practically every Saturday night from now through the end of November “on beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS Connect.” Those games clash with Saturday night broadcasts of NASL games that are scheduled through the end of October.
No official announcement has been made regarding the scheduling of the NASL games, but it appears likely that the vast majority of the Saturday night broadcasts will be kicked to the curb and will end up on beIN SPORTS Connect and beIN SPORTS en Español instead.
The difficulty with SAP on beIN SPORTS en Español is that every TV provider has a different set of directions, which can make it a complicated procedure to get it working. beIN SPORTS Connect may be the best solution to watch and listen to an English-language broadcast of the games, but only a select number of TV providers make beIN SPORTS Connect available (fuboTV offers beIN SPORTS Connect without requiring a TV subscription).
Still, in what has been a challenging season for NASL off the field (combined with this week’s news that One World Sports is no longer on DISH network or Sling TV), these developments are disappointing news for soccer fans who have grown accustomed to watching the league on beIN SPORTS.
The network has given the second division league a chance. However, the average viewing audience for NASL games on beIN SPORTS for the 2016 season is only 6.652.