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SBD Global/August 20, 2012/Media

Many U.S. Fans Will Be Without European Soccer After BeIN Sport's Takeover

Qatar Media’s Miami-based beIN Sport 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 channels on DirecTV (THE DAILY).

DISAPPEARING ACT: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's league matches "will disappear from the television sets of many American soccer fans," according to Ronald Blum of the AP. U.S. TV rights to La Liga have switched from GolTV to the new beIN Sport USA network, "launched this week by the Al-Jazeera Sport Media Network and available in only about 8 million homes" to subscribers of DirecTV and DISH Network. High spending beIN Sport also has acquired the rights to Serie A, Ligue 1, England's League Championship and League Cup from News Corp.'s Fox Soccer. Chicago-based Sports Corp. Ltd's Marc Ganis said, "The ratings are going to be so low that they will be almost unmeasurable. Considering the push that European soccer is making in the United States, taking additional money and losing exposure becomes fools' gold. They need to have a long-term strategy, not short-term." With European Leagues starting, "at least some clubs are worried their leagues made a mistake by taking dollars over distribution" (AP, 8/17).
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