SBD/August 17, 2012/Media

Qatar Media's beIN Sport Inks Carriage Deals, Could Be Player For U.S. EPL Rights

Qatar Media’s Miami-based beIN Sport Thursday announced it will be carried on Dish Network. beIN Sport’s coverage will include games from top European leagues such as Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A, France’s Ligue 1. Coverage will also feature South American World Cup Qualifiers and the Copa America '15 tournament. The network on Wednesday also launched its two English- and Spanish-language on DirecTV (THE DAILY).

DISAPPEARING ACT:
The AP’s Ronald Blum notes beIN, which is taking over broadcasting La Liga, England’s League Championship and League Cup from Fox Soccer, will be available in “only about 8 million homes” through DirecTV and Dish Network. SportsCorp President Marc Ganis said, “The ratings are going to be so low that they will be almost unmeasurable.” beIN Sports Managing Dir Yousef Al Obaidly said that the net “will not be rated by Nielsen at the start, but hopes to be at some point.” Blum writes, “Looming ahead is bidding for the U.S. rights" to the EPL. Networks "anticipate a request for proposal next month for the package starting in 2013-14 and running for three seasons." Fox "currently holds the rights and sublicenses some to ESPN and ESPN Deportes.” Al Obaidly said, “We might get into it. We might not. We have to look into scheduling and financials.” Blum noted GolTV last season “averaged just 29,000 viewers for 75 La Liga telecasts among its Hispanic audience,” while ESPN Deportes averaged 115,000 for its La Liga audience. Blum writes, “Without La Liga, GolTV's only European league is the German Bundesliga, which had a rating in the network's Hispanic audience that was too low to measure." There has been "speculation that beIN Sport USA would like to take over GolTV, if the price is right” (AP, 8/17).

CONCERT OF EUROPE
: The N.Y. TIMES' Tse noted the "ESPNFC Press Pass" global soccer show debuted Wednesday and "will be carried throughout the coming European season.” Because the program will be “shown in 107 countries,” it will “focus primarily on major European competitions” with an emphasis on the EPL. ESPN Int’l Coordinating Producer Steve Palese said on the EPL’s share of coverage on the net, “I would say 60 percent. Champions League, La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga will also get substantial coverage, and with the emergence of Paris Saint-Germain in France I think we will be talking about Ligue 1 quite a bit” (NYTIMES.com, 8/15).
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