Soccer fans wield more power than many of us realize, but only if we exercise that power.
After breaking the story this morning that beIN SPORTS had acquired the rights to the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana in the United States, our Twitter account was met with a tirade of soccer fans complaining that they don’t have access to beIN SPORTS.
While that may be true if you’re AT&T or Comcast Xfinity subscribers, we soccer fans have an opportunity to use our power to influence change.
We face three choices:
1) Grin and bear it, and continue complaining into the vortex of social media.
3) Cancel your AT&T or Comcast Xfinity subscription, and go with a TV provider or streaming service that caters to soccer fans.
It’s easy as that.
If you’re locked in a contract with DIRECTV, find out how much the DIRECTV early cancellation fee is, and you may discover that it’s less than you imagine. If you want to stay with a satellite provider that offers beIN SPORTS, call DISH Network at 855-389-9730 to find out what their best offer is.
Out of all of the broadcasters in the United States, the only two that decided not to renew their distribution agreement with beIN SPORTS were Comcast and AT&T. For Comcast, it’s in their best interests to limit the distribution of beIN SPORTS because beIN’s flagship league (LaLiga) is a direct competitor to Comcast’s number one soccer league, the Premier League (Comcast owns NBC Sports). While it’s understandable why Xfinity refuses to add beIN SPORTS because of Comcast being the rights-holder and controlling much of the cable industry, it’s downright deplorable that DIRECTV has refused to renew its deal with beIN SPORTS.
After all, DIRECTV used to advertise itself as “where the world watches soccer.” But that was a long time ago when DIRECTV was the go-to place for soccer coverage.
Speaking to World Soccer Talk, beIN SPORTS’ deputy managing director for the U.S. and Canada Antonio Briceño said, “[DIRECTV] is a platform that has always claimed to be the home of sports, and also claims that they have more soccer than everyone else. We really hope that this [deal] will help DIRECTV come back to the conversation.
“We are not asking for any outrageous fees. We are not asking for anything different with distribution. We just ask them to provide them with the same deal as they’ve provided in the past. We hope that now that they’ve seen the announcement, they’re going to do what’s best for the customer who is paying them and to do what’s best for the company.”
While Briceño urges DIRECTV customers to call their satellite provider, he said “At the end of the day, we believe that the final power is always in the hands of the consumer, and that’s why we always work hard to ensure that there are other outlets of distribution out there so they don’t feel constrained.
“[Calling the satellite provider] is still the most effective way of showing their support, and telling DIRECTV ‘I’m paying you, why are you not providing me with the content I want to watch?’
“But at the end of the day, the ultimate solution is to switch. At some point, the best way to show your anger and to watch the games, there are plenty of solutions out there now that are completely legal and are synced with our plans. If you call DIRECTV and Comcast, and you don’t get any type of positive answer, then switch to another provider.”
Some of the providers who feature beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS en Español include DISH Network, Sling Latino (at $10/month), fubo Latino (at $24.99/month), Sling World Sports (at $10/month) and others. Both Sling TV and fuboTV also include access to beIN SPORTS Connect so you won’t miss a single game.