Q. I have DIRECTV and I can’t find the beIn Sports channel anymore. Where did it go? I love its soccer coverage. Can you help me? — Jose, El Segundo, California.
Jose, as you know, beIN Sports airs a large lineup of international soccer matches as well as motor sports and other miscellaneous sports. But I’m sorry to inform you that DIRECTV, DIRECTV Now and U-verse this week dropped the channel, saying it’s too expensive to carry.
BeIN Sports denies it’s asking for excessive fees to carry it, but Comcast also dropped it this month, citing similar reasons.
The channel says DIRECTV and U-verse want to include beIN Sports in a more expensive package, which would reduce its viewership and, consequently, lower the carriage fees for DIRECTV and U-verse.
“Despite beIN Sports USA’s offer to extend its contract with AT&T, DIRECTV (and) DIRECTV Now,, they chose to abruptly cease negotiations and drop the beIN SPORTS channels from their lineup,” the channel said in a press statement. “beIN Sports remains committed 24-7 to re-establishing access to our service in an effort to move our channels to lower priced packages that ultimately save viewers money.”
The dispute is the latest between niche sports channels and pay TV providers over carriage money. The providers say the escalating cost of obtaining broadcast rights is causing the channels to dramatically raise their prices.
DIRECTV, for instance, has refused to carry both the Pac 12 Network and SportsNet LA (the TV home of the Los Angeles Dodgers), saying they are asking for too much money.
BeIN Sports has started a web site for viewers interested in learning more about the dispute. You can see it here.
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann
Photo credit: Free photo provided by Pexels.com.