beIN SPORT purchases rights for USA World Cup away qualifiers

The new network is aggressively pursuing new rights to acquire, and according to a source, should be much more widely available in the coming weeks.
beIN SPORT announced Wednesday that it has secured exclusive rights to televise away games for the U.S. men’s national team in qualifying rounds for the 2014 World Cup.

The Al Jazeera-owned network was launched earlier this month, and has so far secured rights for Spain's La Liga, Italy's Serie A and France's Ligue 1 among others. Currently, it is only available on DISH and on DirecTV, which combined, are available in 34 million households.

However, that should be changing in the near future, as a source close to the situation told that Comcast will be adding the network "in the coming weeks."

beIN SPORT's first live televised qualifier will be the USA at Jamaica on Sept. 7 in Kingston, Jamaica. It will then broadcast the match at Antigua & Barbuda on Oct. 12. If the USA advances to the final round of CONCACAF qualifying, known as the Hexagonal, the network will carry those away games as well, except for the match at Mexico.

“By securing these exclusive TV rights, beIN SPORT again shows why it’s the place for U.S. fans to be in the best soccer action in the world,” said Yousef Al Obaidly, managing director of beIN SPORT. “Fans can now cheer on the U.S. men’s team as they compete on the world stage, and they can see it only on beIN SPORT.”

In addition to USA rights, beIN SPORT has also acquired exclusive rights to the home and away games of all other teams participating in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, except for Mexico.

The move came amid uncertainty about the broadcast status for away World Cup qualifiers, whose rights are held by the federation hosting the match. A USA match at Guatemala in June was broadcast only on pay-per-view, forcing many fans to shell out the $29.95 required to watch the game.

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