All is not celebratory at beIN Sports, which late Friday revealed that it has inked a long-term content distribution renewal agreement with DISH and Sling TV.
While the renewal ensures that viewers to beIN Sports and its Hispanic sibling beIN Sports en Español will continue to receive soccer matches from Spain’s La Liga — including those of popular soccer club Barcelona F.C. — beIN is still in discussions with Comcast and DirecTV that have been less than pretty.
DirecTV at AT&T sibling U-Verse took beIN’s networks dark on August 29, due to a dispute involving where AT&T wanted the English-language beIN to appear on its lineup. According to beIN, a shift to a higher-priced sports tier was in the works.
Meanwhile, beIN networks in English and Spanish have been blocked from Xfinity customers since August 1. That’s squarely a fight over retransmission fees.
There are no updates on beIN’s battles with Comcast and AT&T, although a media representative for beIN on Sept. 5 offered RBR+TVBR the opportunity to speak with Antonio Briceño, beIN SPORTS’ Deputy Managing Director for the U.S. and Canada.
The opportunity was declined by RBR+TVBR, as the nature of the conversation was to have focused on how media mega-mergers “are affecting companies like beIN SPORTS, Univision and others and in turn the viewer.”
In its pitch, the beIN Sports spokesperson noted, “Antonio has seen firsthand the predatory tactics resulting from these mergers. In the past two weeks beIN SPORTS, an international network with premier sports programming, including LaLiga that regularly draws one of the largest global audiences of the year, entered into contract negotiations with media distribution partners in good faith, operating transparently and with the modus operandi of keeping fees exactly where they were. Instead, these conversations were plagued with aggressive offers of abusive figures that would not come anywhere near covering basic costs to provide the programming loyal viewers have come to expect, with truly consolidated companies in essence playing both player and referee, ruling for their team every time.”
With beIN Sports at its battle stations and slinging fighting words, new agreements with AT&T and Comcast could be far off in the distance.