We’ve chronicled Conference USA’s reduced rights fees with the latest story this week being that the conference will have to make due with less money with ESPN, CBS Sports Network, American Sports Network and a 4th television partner airing the league’s games. The 4th TV partner was a mystery, but we now know who that mysterious partner will be.
It seems that 4th partner is none other than beIN Sports. It made the announcement at its upfront presentation to advertisers on Monday.
If you have beIN Sports on your cable or satellite system, you’ll know that it carries a heavy slate of soccer (including La Liga, English Football League, Serie A, NASL, CONCACAF US World Cup qualifiers and Ligue 1), cycling, some tennis and MotoGP. But come September, it looks like beIN Sports will air its first slate of college football games.
In the beIN Sports’ press release for its upfronts noting that it will carry “U.S. College Football and Basketball” for the first time, but wouldn’t name the league.
beIN Sports launched in the U.S. in 2012 and has struggled to gain carriage. It claims to be available in 45 million homes, but that could be a combined number for both of its English and Spanish language feeds.
According to Media Life Magazine, beIN averaged 15,000 total-day viewers in the first quarter of this year, down from 19,000 for the same quarter in 2015.
beIN is a global player in sports media, having rights to some of the major soccer tournaments for its channels in France, Indonesia and Asia, but it has struggled to gain a foothold in the United States. With college football, it hopes to gain some traction with the cable and satellite providers as well as with American sports fans.