By Paul Kennedy
Yousef Al Obaidly, managing director of beIN Sport, says Al-Jazeera's new soccer channel is the place for U.S. soccer fans -- though they'll have to scramble to find it if they want to watch the Jamaica-USA World Cup 2014 qualifier live from Kingston on Sept. 7.
A week after its launch, Bein Sport announced Wednesday that it had acquired the rights to the next two U.S. away qualifiers, though the network is only available currently on satellite networks Dish Network and DirecTV.
At least the first away qualifier, against Guatemala in June, was available to all fans if they were willing to shell out money.
Guatemala-USA aired on pay-per-view when Traffic, which has snapped up the rights held up the USA's opponents, sold them to Integrated Sports Media, which charged $29.95 to watch the game on television or via streaming.
Traffic sold the rights to the other U.S. away qualifiers to beIN Sport, as it had done for South American qualifiers.
Bein Sport launched a week ago. Its first live event was the Ecuador-Chile friendly from Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. It had begun with live streaming of France's Ligue 1 and England's Capital One Cup. Spain's La Liga started last weekend, and Italy's Serie A begins this weekend.
“By securing these exclusive TV rights, beIN Sport again shows why it’s the place for U.S. fans to be in the best soccer action in the world,” Obaidly said in a statement. “Fans can now cheer on the U.S. men’s team as they compete on the world stage, and they can see it only on beIN Sport.”
BeIN Sport is carried on DirecTV's sports tier in high and standard definition and beIN Sport en Espanol will be distributed on DirecTV Mas in standard definition. DISH Network is showing beIN Sport on its America's Top 250 and DISHLatino packages.
But BeIN Sport must negotiate with individual cable carriers to be added to their systems in what is typically a slow and complicated process. (There was no announcement about offering a pay-per-view streaming option for Jamaica-USA.)
After BeIN Sport's launch last week, Obaidly told AP's Ron Blum, 'There will be more announcements coming soon. We are in a discussion with all the cable operators. Hopefully, we can reach an agreement so we can keep everyone happy.''
Bein Sport also launched this summer in France after buying up domestic and international soccer media rights.
MORE TV RIGHTS. GolTV, which formerly owned some of the TV rights now held by BeIN Sport, is scrambling for new programming. The bilingual TV network's latest programming addition: Mexico's Ascenso MX. It will carry more than 120 matches from the renamed Second Division.
Email: Send releases to Soccer America
Soccer America Facebook
Soccer America Twitter
Soccer Business Insider RSS feed