beIN SPORTS has acquired the the English- and Spanish-language rights to broadcast CONMEBOL’s Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana tournaments in the United States for the next four years.
The news is a landmark move for the Miami-based broadcaster who takes over the rights previously held by FOX Sports. The annual tournament finished the 2018 season on a high with the most-watched Copa Libertadores final ever on US television after 1.15 million tuned in to watch River Plate defeat Boca Juniors in a game that generated enormous publicity.
The acquisition of the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana rights come at a perfect time for beIN SPORTS. Adding to their rights that include LaLiga and Ligue Un, the addition will strengthen the programming that beIN SPORTS has to offer. Even if beIN SPORTS loses the rights to LaLiga when they expire in the summer of 2020, the network will still have a strong stable of rights that also includes the Turkish Super Lig, motoGP and tennis.
It’s also a statement of intent from beIN SPORTS that the network isn’t going under as some had first feared.
Last but not least, it renews the hope that beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS en Español can be added back to DIRECTV and Comcast in the near future particularly if soccer fans continue contacting the broadcasters to demand that beIN SPORTS be added back to their programming.
DIRECTV used to be the number one provider of soccer programming in the United States until recently, but with DIRECTV deciding not to renew its agreement with beIN SPORTS, the satellite provider has fallen down in the pecking order of must-have providers for soccer fans.
beIN SPORTS continues to urge consumers to go online to demand that AT&T DIRECTV brings back beIN SPORTS to soccer fans throughout the United States.
For the last several months, sources to World Soccer Talk revealed that beIN SPORTS had been working diligently to try to acquire the rights to the CONMEBOL tournaments despite a lot of interest from several other U.S. broadcasters. And that hard work has paid off for beIN SPORTS.
For a long time, the Copa Libertadores tournament has been the jewel of South American club soccer featuring many of the great teams and rivalries from Latin America. For many English-speaking soccer fans, the competition has flown under the radar. But after December’s memorable River-Boca final and now the acquisition of the rights by beIN SPORTS, the Copa Libertadores has a huge opportunity to win over new and old soccer fans throughout the United States for years to come.
One person, in particular, who’ll be ecstatic about the news is beIN SPORTS co-commentator and analyst Ray Hudson who has been a fan of South American soccer for decades. This will give beIN SPORTS an ideal opportunity to fill weeknight primetime programming with the best of Latin American soccer in an English-language voice, as well as Spanish-language commentary on beIN SPORTS en Español.
The 60th year of the Copa Libertadores runs from January 22 to November 23, while the 2019 Copa Sudamericana begins February 5 and ends November 9, 2019.