AT&T Drops beIN Sports From Channel Lineups

AT&T’s DirecTV and DirecTV Now services have dropped beIN Sports from their channel lineups in a dispute over pricing and packaging.

The blackout follows a similar move made by Comcast at the beginning of August. Verizon's Fios also dropped beIN channels this month.

“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. 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,” said Antonio Briceño, beIN Sports’ deputy managing director for the U.S. and Canada.

“AT&T-DirecTV and DirecTV Now, conversely, seek to keep beIN in higher more expensive tiers and have shown no intention of providing fans continued access to our world-class sports content, headlined by the 2018/2019 La Liga season that millions of fans look forward to every week, and is widely considered to be the top soccer league in the world. beIN Sports remains committed to serving its loyal fans and will continue its industry fight to achieve carriage in lower priced tiers,” said Briceño. ”beIN Sports continues to create and deliver some of the most compelling and exciting sports content in the industry, and we strive for that content to reach as large an audience as possible, without making our fans pay more for it.”

The programmer has set up a website for viewers who want to continue the network at

AT&T cited the high cost of sports content and said its subscribers will still be able to see top-level soccer and other matches despite the dispute.

"It's unfortunate that we could not agree to terms to extend beIN Sports and beIN Sports en Español. As the cost of televised sports continues to soar, we strive to deliver the content our customers want at a value they can also support," AT&T said. "There are now fewer leagues, popular matches and premier events on beIN channels than before. We continue to offer the world’s top soccer action including English Premier League, Serie A, Liga MX, Bundesliga, MLS and still other competition on approximately 20 different ESPN, NBC Sports, Fox Sports and Univision channels, as well as independent programmers like GolTV, TyC and Eleven Sports." 

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.