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SBD/October 16, 2012/Media
BeIN Sport May Submit Bid For U.S. EPL Rights As Net Looks To Expand Footprint
Published October 16, 2012
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ACCESS IS EVERYTHING: FocalSport consultancy President Mark Noonan, who previously served as MLS Exec VP, said, "The true test for beIN Sport is they've acquired some premium content, if you will, so now can they get the distribution to support that content and business model?” U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati said, "The issue with beIN Sport that some of our fans have is they don't have access to it. That's the only issue. They'll get greater distribution, there's no doubt about that, given the investments they're making and the properties they have." Wahl noted both beIN Sport and the net's Spanish-language channel are “currently available on the top two satellite providers, DirecTV and DISH, while Comcast, the nation's largest cable provider, is carrying only beIN Sport's Spanish-language channel for now.” Al Obaidly said that “more than 13 million U.S. homes (out of an available 54 million) are now receiving the beIN Sport signal.” Al Obaidly: "We're in the process of negotiating and hopefully reaching agreement with another platform, but we're only 47 days old, a very young sports network." Al Obaidly “denied reports that beIN Sport was paying Comcast for carriage.” Meanwhile, he said that beIN Sport has “no plans to offer" online live-stream subscription services "a la Watch ESPN or FoxSoccer2Go" (SI.com, 10/12).