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beIN Sports ‘Enhances’ Its Content Strategy

In 2012, beIN Sports exploded onto the global stage as a major player in the soccer world.

In the U.S., a Spanish-language channel and English-language channel were simultaneously launched, giving viewers even more access to top-flight fútbol from the world’s top clubs.

beIN Sports is now set to take a broader approach to attracting viewers to its English-language American feed. In contrast, the Miami-based media company is reaffirming its soccer focus on beIN Sports en Español while expanding a signature studio show to five nights a week.

At an upfront event held May 16 in New York, beIN Media Group Deputy CEO Yousef Al Obaidly said that the English-language beIN Sports network would add coverage of Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) events, making the network its official TV channel for all tournaments played from 2017 to 2021.

Also, beIN Sports has launched coverage of North American Soccer League (NASL) games on its English-language feed as part of a previously announced long-term broadcast agreement. The NASL is widely considered to be the equivalent of a second-division U.S. men’s professional soccer league, below Major League Soccer (MLS). NASL teams include Miami FC, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Puerto Rico FC and the New York Cosmos, among other clubs in the U.S. and Canada.

beIN Sports has also locked up the exclusive broadcast rights to the MotoAmerica professional motorcycle racing series. Coverage will be paired with pre-existing motorcycle racing shows WorldSBK and MotoGP.

Also being added to the slate on beIN Sports’s English-language channel is mixed martial arts programming.

beIN Sports also said at the upfront that it would begin airing college football and college basketball games on its English-language channel. After the upfront, the network announced that it had reached a multiyear TV pact with the college conference Conference USA.

“This year, we are expanding our multiplatform offerings and rethinking our English programming strategy to more fervently reflect our commitment to North American sports fans,” Al Obaidly said.

Unlike the English-language service, the Spanish U.S. service of beIN Sports will stick with its soccer-centric focus. The channel has proven widely popular with fans of Spain’s first-division soccer league, La Liga; Italy’s top soccer division, Serie A; and France’s first-tier soccer league, Ligue 1. In markets such as Miami, which boasts a large population of Latinos from across the Americas and from Spain, the channel can be seen on TVs in restaurants, bars and lounges throughout the city.

Added to the mix are CONMEBOL and CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers, featuring the men’s national soccer clubs in competition for entry and positioning for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, set for June 14-July 18, 2018 in Russia.

In fact, the lone “enhancement” to beIN Sports’s Spanish-language lineup is an expansion of its soccer-focused studio show, The Locker Room, from two nights five nights per week.