beIN Sport Adds USMNT Road Qualifiers To Their Broadcast Properties

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

In the middle of May, we told you about the arrival of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera on the American soccer scene. Since gobbling up property after property (including La Liga, Ligue 1, Serie A, the Championship, and South American World Cup qualifiers) and name broadcasters Phil Schoen and Ray Hudson, the network has launched a dedicated soccer network, beIN Sport, to show all the soccer. All that soccer now also includes the USMNT, as it was announced today that beIN has secured the rights to nearly all of the USMNT away games in World Cup qualifying for 2014.

Concerns about beIN Sports’ availability remain, though there is some progress. After some initial delays, the network is now available on the nation’s two major satellite providers, DirecTV and Dish Network. Cable and FIOS TV companies will hopefully follow; if you’re not a Dish Network or DirecTV subscriber, you can let your provider know you want beIN by visiting the network’s website. If the pleasing baritone of Schoen and the poetry of Hudson calling games involving Messi and Ronaldo wasn’t enough, now the same pair will be calling CONCACAF qualifiers featuring Clint Dempsey and company.

While the sale of all USMNT road qualifier rights (save that of a potential trip to Mexico next year) to beIN, a network in only 7% of American homes, is hardly a win for the average soccer fan, it does represent an improvement over the old situation. In the past, road qualifiers were often available only via pay-per-view or closed-circuit television, thanks to the control of the rights lying with the home association.

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