November 21 – beIN Sports is to add a new free live streaming channel to its US stable with the launch of beIN Sports XTRA which will debut with selected live games from Spain’s La Liga, France’s Ligue 1 and Turkey’s Super Lig.
BeIN already operates with English and Spanish language channels in the US, as well as its streamed pay service beIN Sports Connect that streams overflow matches from its leagues that don’t make it on to the main networks.
XTRA will be initially be available via The Roku Channel, with beIN saying that additional multi-platform launches will follow. The channel’s core function is to showcase the beIN brand and the premium rights it holds in a bid to cut through the channel clutter in the US with what beIN said would be a “consistent LIVE sampling of exclusive season-long access to XTRA soccer matches, XTRA combat sports, XTRA adventure sports, XTRA original studio productions, and a robust library of historically relevant sporting events.”
In essence the channel will provide a showcase for leagues and drive awareness to premium content that could otherwise get “crowded out”.
Antonio Briceño, beIN SPORTS Deputy Managing Director for the US and Canada, said: “In addition to select matches from our popular soccer leagues LaLiga, Ligue 1 and Süper Lig, we’ll also offer viewers access via major platforms and devices that emphasize the growing popularity of women’s sports, including Paris Saint-Germain home matches and the French Women National team.”
The channel will also host a number of digital first original productions including the popular Sports Burst show that was previously available on Facebook.
BeIN is battling to retain its US market presence having lost carriage on AT&T’s DirecTV and Comcast’s Xfinity cable networks. The XTRA streaming service will give be a significant step towards boosting its profile and that of its premium European leagues in the US market.
The danger for beIN is that as it gains in profile other US channels look to pick off its premium leagues. LaLiga has pre-empted that danger with LaLiga by securing US rights in a new deal through to the end of the 2023/24 season.
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