BeIN Sport Scores Comcast Distribution Deal


BeIN Sport has added a third affiliate teammate, reaching a deal that will put its English- and Spanish-language sports networks before Comcast Xfinity linear and 'TV Everywhere' subscribers.
As was reported by Multichannel News, Comcast joins DirecTV and Dish Network in carrying beIN Sport, which now has secured berths on the nation's three largest distributors just a week after its Aug. 15 launch.
Comcast will position the English-language version of beIN Sport on its Xfinity TV Sports Entertainment Package,while the Spanish network will be part of its Xfinity TV MultiLatino Package offering. Availability of both channels will vary by market, with rollouts expected to kick off shortly.
In addition to its linear TV networks, select beIN Sport content will be available via Comcast's Xfinity On Demand platform. On the TV Everywhere flank, live matches carried on the Al Jazeera Sports-owned linear networks, along with additional live games,will also be accessible online and on mobile offerings to authenticated Comcast Xfinity TV customers.
"BeIN Sport lets viewers be in the game and feel they can be in the international sports community. This is original and exclusive programming fans are clamoring for on one destination channel," said Yousef Al Obaidly, managing director of beIN Sport, in announcing the agreement. "We have more live games from each league that are exclusive to our network than any other content provider. Once Comcast's Xfinity TV customers experience beIN Sport, we know they will be thrilled with the electrifying stars and unmatched play of international competition."
Financial terms were not disclosed, but representatives for beIN Sport in the past have said the networks have been pursuing standard industry contracts that do not include payments by the programmer. There have been reports that beIN Sport has been offering cash in exchange for carriage.
The programmer has also indicated that it is open to looking at U.S. rights to England's Barclays Premier League, with the tenders for the 2013-14 through 2015-16 campaigns expected to be proffered in September.
BeIN Sport already has the U.S. rights to three of Europe's top circuits, Spain's La Liga, Italy's Serie A and France's La Ligue 1, as well as rights to South American World Cup qualifiers and the 2015 Copa America tournament. Yesterday, it secured live rights to U.S. men's national team World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica on Sept. 7 and Antiqua and Barbuda on Oct. 12, as well as other taped CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers for the upcoming cycle. The deals also cover the hexagonal round, beginning next February, which will ultimately result in three sides from the North and Central American and Caribbean region reaching the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.