Time Warner Cable has inked a carriage deal with the Al Jazeera-owned beIN Sport Network, which carries some U.S. national team World Cup qualifiers. The cable operator, along with Bright House
Networks, will offer English- and Spanish-language feeds.
Comcast, DirecTV and Dish Network also offer the fledgling network away qualifiers for the U.S. and a slew of European and South American soccer rights.
TWC and Bright House will make the network available on-demand and via TV Everywhere services. The network did not announce how many TWC/Bright House homes would offer the network, saying it would “vary by market.”
The network carried its first U.S. game Sept. 7. It could be a substantial bidder for future rights, such as some Major League Soccer games, although NBC Sports recently locked up the English Premier League domestically.
With the NBC deal and Fox and Telemundo acquiring 2018 World Cup rights, soccer programming continues to be more coveted by networks. ESPN3 is a significant soccer player, too.
With the TWC deal, BeIN Sport has agreements with the two satellite providers and two largest cable operators. While soccer is clearly the network’s focus, it bills itself as an “international sports channel.”