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beIN SPORTS close to agreeing landmark La Liga TV rights deal

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beIN SPORTS is close to agreeing a landmark TV rights deal to continue its coverage of La Liga to viewers in the United States, a source has revealed to World Soccer Talk.

The current TV rights deal with La Liga expired at the end of the 2014/15 La Liga season, a year in which we saw Barcelona win the title after surpassing Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in the race for the Spanish crown. The end of the Spanish season was thrown into chaos when players went on strike to protest a new TV deal in April. And the TV rights drama in subsequent months has been nothing but a mess.

However, there has been progress.

First, Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica has bought the domestic TV rights for La Liga for $660 million for the 2015-16 season.

Second, while Mediapro and Telefonica battle it out to acquire the international TV rights to La Liga, so they can resell it to TV networks worldwide, a source has revealed to World Soccer Talk that beIN SPORTS is close to finalizing a deal.

According to the source, beIN SPORTS is very close to finalizing contracts that would grant the TV network the rights to La Liga coverage in the United States for the next five years. The source added that the network is very confident of acquiring the rights in the very near future.

That would guarantee that beIN SPORTS will be the home of one of the top leagues in the world through 2020, and would give La Liga the revenue to continue to grow the league and share among the teams in the top flight.

What isn’t known yet, however, is whether Barcelona and el Clasico will be part of the TV rights deal between La Liga and beIN SPORT. Earlier this year, Telefonica acquired the rights to el Clasico separately. Telefonica also acquired the international rights to Barcelona games, as well as Espanyol, Real Sociedad and Celta Vigo.

Once an announcement is made by beIN SPORTS, more details will be revealed.

If and when beIN SPORTS is able to acquire the US TV rights to La Liga, this will be a significant coup in the network’s history. In March 2012, beIN SPORTS won the US TV rights to La Liga for 2012/13 through 2014/15, beating out previous rights holder GolTV.

As of press time, no details have been announced regarding TV rights in Canada.

Meanwhile, the Spanish Football Federation today announced the fixtures for the opening weekend of the 2015/16 La Liga season. Kick-off times haven’t been finalized yet, but the schedule is as follows:

Levante vs. Celta Vigo
Atletico Madrid vs. Las Palmas
Malaga vs. Sevilla
Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona
Granada vs. Eibar
Espanyol vs. Getafe
Real Betis vs. Villarreal
Sporting de Gijon vs. Real Madrid
Deportivo la Coruna vs. Real Sociedad
Rayo Vallecano vs. Valencia

The matches will be played over the weekend of August 21-24.

 

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56 Comments

56 Comments

  1. Tony

    August 9, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Season is two weeks away – why haven’t there been any announcements yet?

    • Christopher Harris

      August 9, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      We anticipate hearing something by next weekend.

  2. Lurker

    July 31, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Incredibly short sighted. La Liga would be best served to wait and see if NBCSN loses the rights.

    Selling to NBCSN (who can cross-promote spanish telecasts on another Comcast property Telemundo) will do far more to develop the brand long term than putting it on beIN.

  3. cky27

    July 31, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Is there any further progress here?

    • David

      July 31, 2015 at 5:08 pm

      We should here something in August. The bidding for La Liga rights starts in August for 2016-2019 seasons. As for this coming season, I haven’t heard anything other than the domestic rights in Spain being finalized.

  4. dstorm

    July 16, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Something doesn’t add up here. For the casual La Liga viewer I can’t imagine how Bein could possibly bid through MediaPro without Barcelona as part of the package. Or is it possible that when you use the word ‘contracts’ in the story above could it be referring to negotiations with both MediaPro and Telefonica?

    A significant amount of the value had to drop out of ‘La Liga’ rights without Barcelona.

    Is there a real possibility of La Liga games and Real Madrid playing on Bein and Barcelona games on ESPN Deportes or Fox Deportes?

    Wonder how this is playing out in other countries – for example could Sky win La Liga rights in England with Barca going to BT?

  5. Z

    July 15, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Personally, I like Ray Hudson a lot. I just wonder if beIN is going to continue to practice their moronic ways of televising meaningless games. Like last season when FC Barcelona can sew up the La Liga title with a win, and instead they air a meaningless Real Madrid game.

    If you’re a Comcast subscriber you can’t get a game in HD and you can’t steam from the beIN website.

    And would it be so hard to be able to watch a game on the beIN Sports app???

    • MVT

      July 17, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      I take Comcast as my Internet provider yet I have no trouble watching BeIN soccer with it, both on my computer as well as through my Roku device. Also, the BeIN English broadcast is HD though their second channel is not.

  6. lemonhead

    July 15, 2015 at 2:40 am

    ugh, I don’t even get BeIn in HD.

  7. Flyvanescence

    July 14, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Great news for me. Best football in the world, and i get a kick out of Ray Hudson. I feel like the only one on here who likes him; but for me, sports is entertainment, and Ray Hudson entertains me.

  8. BlackJack115

    July 14, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    https://www.fubo.tv/apps

    Here’s to 5 more years of not being forced to subscribe to cable to get all the matches that beIN Sports televises, anywhere we want!

    • FormerPlayer31

      August 9, 2015 at 1:14 am

      Do you know that you can get Bein sports on Sling etc or their app for about $10/month. If you have it on your phone, then just chromcast it to your tv or use Roku (both free).

  9. nickp91

    July 14, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    La Liga would’ve been gone to beIN Sports by default Fox will have the Bundesliga from Germany beginning in August NBC already has the Premier League from England

    • Christopher Harris

      July 14, 2015 at 3:47 pm

      NBC only has the Premier League for one more season. Bundesliga is going to be mostly on FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Sports 2. There are other TV networks interested in rights. Univision, for one.

      • yespage

        July 14, 2015 at 3:57 pm

        “NBC only has the Premier League for one more season.”

        Are you hinting something to us there or am I reading too much into it?

        • Christopher Harris

          July 14, 2015 at 3:58 pm

          Reading too much into it!

          The bidding hasn’t ended for 2016-2019 yet.

          • Anthony

            July 14, 2015 at 10:15 pm

            Has the bidding even started? It feels like the Premier League has been talking about negotiating forever.

            • Kobashi

              July 15, 2015 at 1:40 pm

              The Prem didn’t announce their deal w/NBC till late October the last time the rights were up for sale.

          • yespage

            July 16, 2015 at 9:25 am

            That’s hopeful then. Though, I’d prefer ESPN to get them, so I can drop a package and save a few bucks.

      • Firas Shadad

        July 14, 2015 at 4:38 pm

        “Bundesliga is going to be mostly on FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Sports 2.”
        That would be awful news. I understand FOX Sports 2, but Plus? That means paying extra %15 month (for DIRECTV at least). That will not make me happy. I hope Fox Deportes will carry some as well. I saw an advertisement for the Bundesliga on it already.

        • Christopher Harris

          July 14, 2015 at 5:07 pm

          The preliminary Bundesliga TV schedule can be found here: https://worldsoccertalk.com/bundesliga-tv-schedule/

          • yespage

            July 14, 2015 at 5:19 pm

            Ask your TV Provider to offer TBD!

            FS+ just isn’t worth it as a Dish sub, though maybe with recent upgrades, FS+ can become HD, but the price is just too high.

          • Firas Shadad

            July 15, 2015 at 10:21 am

            Thanks for posting this. I have missed it before. Lots of TBD that is making me very uneasy.
            I don’t understand putting some of these games on Plus. Less people have Plus compared to Goltv.

            • yespage

              July 16, 2015 at 9:23 am

              Well, honestly, almost all of them should get on Plus at some point, to give that channel some value, but there needs to be mainstream exposure on FS1. Even FS2 in HD is a niche channel.

      • Obinna

        July 14, 2015 at 5:07 pm

        I get that in the afternoon, there would be stuff like college football, but what in the morning would push Bundes. to FS2? If you look at what NBC does, moving the Premier League to NBC in the afternoon. Why can’t FOX do that?

        • CTBlues

          July 14, 2015 at 8:36 pm

          The Fox affiliates wouldn’t put EPL games on when Fox had the rights last why do you think they would do it now.

          • Yespage

            July 14, 2015 at 10:40 pm

            But at least Fox had a dedicated channel to the sport. Had one, though. Those days are over… no FS+ doesn’t count. Not at $15 a month and no EPL.

      • Creek

        July 15, 2015 at 4:04 pm

        What was the point of FOX getting the Bundesliga if they aren’t going to put it on FS1? What else do the have to show on weekend mornings?

        • Christopher Harris

          July 15, 2015 at 4:52 pm

          They’ll be showing some games on FS2 and probably FS1 — most likely the Bayern Munich games.

          For TV viewing figures, the Bundesliga is almost starting from zero after GolTV’s tiny viewing figures. It’s going to take time to build up the audience and to earn spots on FS1 where the games will have higher TV viewing figures.

          • Creek

            July 15, 2015 at 6:22 pm

            I would argue the primary reason the viewership was zero is because the games were on GolTV. FOX isn’t going to grow the audience if they don’t have games on FS1 every week. FS2 is in half as many homes, and FOX Soccer Plus is stupidly expensive.

            • Christopher Harris

              July 15, 2015 at 10:09 pm

              Agreed but they may start things off slowly first by having a couple games a weekend on FOX Soccer Plus, the Bayern game on FS1 and one of the other games on FS2 while the rest would be on FOX Soccer 2Go.

            • Chris

              July 16, 2015 at 3:08 am

              Agreed! FOX knows certainly how to mess things up… Plus, even fewer people have access to FS2 in HD. I for one have comcast and watching FS2 is painful on a full HDTV. Further, Bundesliga games are some of the earliest played in the morning out of the major European leagues… What could be better on tv super early on a Sat/Sun?

              • yespage

                July 16, 2015 at 9:01 am

                Infomercials. Nothing better than paying for infomercials.

  10. Obinna

    July 14, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Great. La Liga ruined for FIVE MORE YEARS! BeIN Sports has La Liga, Serie A, and Ligue 1 all on one English channel and one Spanish channel (I can’t even get the Spanish channel! (Verizon Fios)). Compare that to NBC. One hour before the game. 30 minutes between games. One hour after a game. Up to a 90 minute highlight show. LIVE! And unlike FOX, they stay focused on the EPL. BeIN Sports to only have one league and do what they did with Copa Amèrica with that league year round.

  11. Tony

    July 14, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Soccer coverage works best when fans know which networks will have games on every weekend morning / afternoon. Bein is the best option for La Liga as ESPN, Fox, even NBC can’t guarantee consistent, week-in, week-out coverage along with the proper studio studio shows, replays, etc.

    Know what’s up with the Premier League rights?

    • Christopher Harris

      July 14, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      Hi Tony, I’m working on a story about Premier League TV rights. Stay tuned to World Soccer Talk in the next couple of days for the latest developments.

      • cnl. onions

        July 14, 2015 at 3:30 pm

        Will we be happy with this news? 😉

  12. yespage

    July 14, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    How is this a coup? They already had the rights. A coup would be beinSports taking the EPL rights.

    • Christopher Harris

      July 14, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      It would be a coup because there are several other TV networks who are interested in acquiring the rights. For beIN SPORTS to hold on to them would be quite an achievement especially given the TV viewing figures and interest in el Clasico alone.

      • yespage

        July 14, 2015 at 3:58 pm

        beinSport has to have la Liga. La Liga is its major league.

  13. Daniel

    July 14, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Its not a real package unless you can see all the matches.al jazeera (parent company) has all the money to make their 2 channels just like nbc with the premier league for football.they should be able to make every deal to show every match in the US,in english and spanish,for la liga,serie a and ligue un.live or delay and streaming or on demand.

  14. Jessica

    July 14, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Finally a league working on a media rights deal longer than 3 years!!!! I just hope the league and beIN Sports continues to grow. One thing beIN needs to improve on is the way they show highlights on their website and app. Too many ads and they need to show more than just goals. This is also good news for cord cutters like me!!!!!!

    • Harry Cee

      July 14, 2015 at 1:59 pm

      Jessica, how are you getting beIN right now without cable?

      • Jessica

        July 14, 2015 at 2:58 pm

        I have a roku box and subscribe to Sling TV and you can get beIN that way. You could also get fubo tv which is cheaper. I use an antenna mostly and watch the Premier League on regular NBC!!!!!

        • Harry Cee

          July 15, 2015 at 6:46 am

          That’s an interesting set up for cord cutting. I am also considering checking out FuboTV myself.

  15. cnl. onions

    July 14, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    La Liga ruined for 5 more years then, huh? Phil Schoen: “Neymar DRIIIIVES it into the 6”
    Hudson: some nonsense metaphor that should technically cancel the goal if we’re being reasonable human beings

    That’s if beIn hasn’t chosen to only show Atleti vs Eibar on the English channel for some reason during a title race. Or if they haven’t decided to buy the rights to some random volleyball tournament that airs on a weekend.

  16. CTBlues

    July 14, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    That’s a shame.

  17. revv

    July 14, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Great, I like how they have give a large selection of games on the English and Spanish network, now with a long deal hopefully they can invest in some new announcers and better streaming options.

    • Harry Cee

      July 14, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      I just said that….LOL

      • revv

        July 14, 2015 at 12:55 pm

        Great minds think alike! But yeah I don’t mind Bein sports besides those two issues, I don’t think any other network would air the number of matches that they do.

  18. Harry Cee

    July 14, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Great…so can we

    1. Get someone else beside Ray Hudson to commentate the games and…

    2. Can someone please teach beIN about streaming games via mobile devices?? It would be really nice!

    ‘k, thanks.

    • John

      July 14, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      I agree about Hudson, there was a time where it was nice but it’s so obvious he always is rooting for the big clubs to win the games he commentates. Also, just because Messi or Ronaldo scores a nice goal on the mighty Eibar or Getafe, doesn’t make it magisterial everytime.

      • Harry Cee

        July 14, 2015 at 12:49 pm

        ^^Right!! There were more than enough times I watched games last season on mute. I would hate to see him and Gus Johnson combine for a game….HAHAHAHAH

        • revv

          July 14, 2015 at 1:04 pm

          You don’t like hearing Magic! Genius! Off like a prom dress, dark invader over and over again every match?

          • Harry Cee

            July 14, 2015 at 1:58 pm

            Uughhhh!!!! NOOOOooooo

    • Chris

      July 16, 2015 at 2:59 am

      Personally I believe beIN does a fantastic job in streaming service with multiple options such as slingtv, fubo.tv, their own webpage with 24 hour streaming over multiple platforms… honestly it’s probably one of the easiest streaming services to access other than ESPN/watchESPN. Sure, their mobile streaming is lacking, but which soccer broadcasters mobile streaming isn’t?

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