Adweek, 5 Feb 2013
, Andrew McMains: "In its bid to become a bona fide player in the U.S., the fledgling network beIN Sport has a lot going for it: deep pockets (thanks to the backing of Al Jazeera), the rights to choice soccer leagues like France's Ligue 1, and distribution via Comcast, Dish Network and DirecTV. That said, beIN's initial reach and programming slate pale compared to giants like ESPN and NBC Sports Network. Still, the newbie is betting that smart marketing can help it compete. ... [A] potential obstacle for beIN is soccer saturation. While the growing U.S. Hispanic population has fueled demand for soccer on TV, that demand already is served by sports nets and broadcasters like Telemundo, Univision and Fox Soccer Channel. So, acquiring the rights to other sports such as Nascar or college football will be key to beIN's long-term success, said John Ourand of Sports Business Journal. Despite the headwinds, Ourand is bullish about beIN's chances in America, simply because the Al Jazeera-affiliated net is well-funded. 'That means they can afford to pay rights fees, and that means they can afford to get cable carriage deals that maybe aren't the best,' he said."