August 22, 2012
U.S. GAMES FIND A HOME
beIN SPORT acquires road qualifiers
MIAMI---There's a new player in the game for international soccer television rights. beIN SPORT has announced that it has secured exclusive rights to televise the away games for the U.S. menís national team in the qualifying rounds of the 2014 World Cup.
beIN SPORT's coverage begins with two CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches. The first live televised game will feature U.S. versus Jamaica on Sept. 7 from National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. The U.S. team will then face off against Antigua & Barbuda Oct. 12 from Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua.
The last U.S. road qualifier against Guatemala in June was only available on pay-per-view. ESPN holds the rights to the U.S. home qualifiers, and has in the past, on occasion carried road qualifiers as well.
According to beIN SPORTS's announcement, if the U.S. advances to the next round of qualifying, starting in February 2013, it has acquired the rights to those games, along with the home and road qualifiers of all the other CONCACAF nations except for Mexico.
Owned by Al Jazeera, beIN SPORT launched earlier this month on DirecTv and Dish Network. It has obtained rights to Spainís La Liga, Italyís Serie A, Franceís Ligue Un, South American World Cup Qualifiers and Copa America 2015.
As of the channel's launch on August 15, Dish and DirecTV were the only major carriers to make beIN SPORT available. DirectTV is in 18 million homes and Dish in 14 million. By comparison, ESPN is available in 87 million households, while NBC Sports Network is in 75 million households. Fox Soccer is in 40 million households.