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Volume 10 No. 22
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BeIN Sport Looks To Overcome Small Reach, Names TBWA\Chiat\Day To Help Define Brand

Al Jazeera-owned beIN Sport's initial reach and programming slate "pale compared to giants like ESPN and NBC Sports Network," but the "newbie is betting that smart marketing can help it compete," according to Andrew McMains of ADWEEK. beIN has hired TBWA\Chiat\Day, N.Y., “to create ads in the U.S.” The ad agency’s challenge is “formidable: create a brand identity in a crowded field of national sports nets.” Beyond that core branding challenge, beIN also has “a significant disadvantage in reach.” ESPN has distribution to more than 98 million U.S. homes, followed by Golf Channel with 84 million and NBC Sports Network with 78 million. When Fox Sports 1 launches later this year, "it will likely become the new No. 2.” A source estimated that beIN, which is not tracked by Nielsen, reaches “no more than 10 million homes.” Nomura Equity Research analyst Michael Nathanson said that the “reach disparity is beIN’s greatest challenge.” Another “potential obstacle” for beIN is “soccer saturation.” While the growing U.S. Hispanic population has “fueled demand" for the sport on TV, that demand already is served by sports nets and broadcasters like Telemundo, Univision and Fox Soccer Channel” (ADWEEK.com, 2/5).