It appears that despite an offseason of great turmoil, the NASL has been able to keep much of its 2016 broadcast lineup. On Wednesday, the league announced the return of beIN Sports and ESPN3 to their offering of national broadcast options. Additionally, the San Francisco Deltas independently announced that they reached a deal to broadcast all of their home games live on Twitter.
beIN Sports returns to the NASL after coming on last year as a national broadcasting partner for the league. The channel, who already has deals with LaLiga and the English Championship, agreed in 2016 to broadcast a minimum of 34 matches in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. This years offering, which is also available on beIN SPORTS En Español and beIN SPORTS CONNECT, has eighteen games in the Spring Season alone.
beIN Sports will also broadcast six New York Cosmos games live, including the club’s opener in Puerto Rico and their home opener in Brooklyn against Miami FC April 1st.
“We’re thrilled to continue our relationship with such an incredible broadcast partner in 2017,” said NASL Interim Commissioner Rishi Sehgal. “beIN SPORTS has become a central destination for soccer fans, and we’re excited to have NASL included in its world-class programming lineup.”
The league also announced their continuation of their long-standing partnership with ESPN ‘s online streaming service, ESPN3. A partner since 2014, ESPN3 will carry “any NASL game not appearing on another national network or platform.” In addition, Canadian viewers will be able to watch ESPN3 broadcasts live on NASL.com.
“We’re thrilled that ESPN3 will continue to offer our fans a great streaming option that can be accessed on a wide variety of devices,” Sehgal said. “Our relationship with ESPN3 started back in 2014, and they have been a great platform for NASL ever since. Through feedback from our fans, we know how much they love using the network to watch games, whether at home or on the go.”
Perhaps the most intriguing part of Wednesday’s broadcast news was the offering from the league’s newcomer, San Francisco Deltas. The club announced on Wednesday that all home games for the 2017 season would be available on social media platform Twitter in three languages: English, Spanish, and Portuguese. The Deltas, who list Twitter senior executive Josh McFarland as an investor, are the first professional club in North America to have a streaming deal of this kind. Sports fans may remember that the National Football League struck a deal last season to stream ten Thursday Night Football games on Twitter.
At time of writing, the NASL has not provided any information on a possible continuation of last year’s deal with CBS Sports Network.