beIN Sports Off Comcast in Dispute Over Fees

Comcast has dropped programming from beIN sports after their carriage agreement expired.

In an on-screen message, Comcast said it no longer has the rights to carry the channel. It urges viewers to search or say “soccer” into their voice remotes. “You’ll find a collection of games, highlights and more.”

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Comcast also goes on to explain the relationship between cable operators and programmers.

“Have you heard about a disagreement between beIn Sports and Comcast? Every month Comcast has to pay networks to bring their programming to you. That’s right, we pay the network. Not the other way around,” Comcast said in a tutorial carried on the channel beIN occupied.

“Now beIN sports is asking for a major increase in fees for the channel you already have, which could have a big impact on your bill. beIN Sports won’t allow Comcast to carry its channels until this is resolved,” the message said.

“We are deeply disappointed that despite our best efforts over the last year to resolve the situation, millions of Comcast Xfinity subscribers have lost access to the content they love. We are happy to extend existing terms while we continue to negotiate, but unfortunately Comcast would rather continue to charge the same while taking away valuable and loved content from customers,” said Antonio Briceño, beIN Sports’ deputy managing director for the U.S. and Canada. “The truth is, we face a disheartening trend of media consolidation, where the big get bigger and innovative brands like ours that serve diverse audiences get pushed-out. This is almost always to the detriment of consumers who end up paying the price. We hope it stops now.”

beIN Sports four months ago filed a carriage complaint against Comcast claiming it was violating program carriage rules and the non-discrimination condition attached with the FCC’s approval of its purchase of NBCUniversal.

“At beIN SportsUSA, providing passionate sports fans with coverage of premier sporting events and content is what we strive for. We remain hopeful that Comcast will listen to its customers and reach an agreement to reinstate beIN Sports at the same levels of distribution as its own sports networks with whom beIN successfully competes with,” said Briceño.

Jon Lafayette

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.