There’s been a lot of recent discussion about what’s ahead for beIN Sports in the U.S., particularly following their loss of U.S. rights to competitions like La Liga (which moved to ESPN) and CONCACAF World Cup qualifying (including U.S. and Mexico away matches, which moved to CBS/CBSSN/Paramount+). But they still have some notable rights, including Ligue 1, SüperLig, Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana, Coupe de France, and more, and they still have some distribution. And, as per a release they put out Wednesday, that distribution has now expanded thanks to a deal with YouTube TV:
beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS XTRA have officially launched on YouTube TV as part of the optional Sports Plus add-on package which includes more than 20 networks for $10.99/month. This latest launch serves as a substantial expansion of beIN SPORTS’ distribution across the U.S. and brings a robust library of live sports and original programming to the OTT video streaming service. beIN SPORTS’ English-language flagship and ad-supported channels join the growing list of channels on YouTube TV in the U.S., which reaches over 3￼ million subscribers. The channels offer live sports, news, analysis, and highlights that bring viewers closer to the game and will be available via the Sports Plus add-on package.
This launch provides YouTube TV subscribers access to beIN’s portfolio of world-class programming including live soccer coverage of the biggest soccer leagues and tournaments such as Ligue 1, SüperLig, Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana, Coupe de France, and more, including live coverage of the first and only women’s motor racing championship in the world, W Series, among others, with additional launches forthcoming.
“beIN SPORTS is continuing its fan focus by expanding distribution to YouTube TV, allowing fans to connect with ease from coast to coast,” said Antonio Briceño, Managing Director of beIN SPORTS North America. “As the official broadcaster in the U.S. and Canada of Ligue 1 and Coupe de France, the launch of beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS XTRA on YouTube TV comes at an exciting time as subscribers will now be able to witness history in the making with Leo Messi recently joining Paris Saint-Germain.”
It’s interesting to see that, and that bolsters YouTube TV’s focus on sports. They’ve previously shown that with advertising during big sports events, and with their MLB broadcasts. And this also bolsters their SportsPlus tier, which they launched last September with a focus on NFL RedZone. There’s certainly a fair bit of competition in the virtual MVPD space these days, including around sports, but this is a notable addition for YouTube TV (especially, as Briceño notes, with the added focus on Ligue 1 around Messi’s move there). And it’s also a significant win for beIN, and a recognition that they’re still a U.S. player.