“We are thrilled to amplify our global soccer coverage with the addition of the NASL, a league with a growing fan base in North America and some of the country’s most promising professional prospects,” said Yousef Al-Obaidly, Managing Director of beIN SPORTS. “This acquisition marks our commitment to providing viewers with access to the best sports leagues and events, both in the U.S. and abroad.”
Every weekend of the 2016 season will feature one match live, 11 in the Spring Season and 18 in the Fall Season. Five weekday games will also be shown live.
“We’re obviously very excited to announce our new partnership with beIN SPORTS,” NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson said. “Like the NASL, beIN SPORTS has quickly grown in importance and stature across North America. Our savvy pro soccer fans here in North America are watching beIN SPORTS on a regular basis, and now they’ll be able to watch exciting and competitive NASL action every week.”
In previous years, the NASL has approached getting the league exposure through different means. 2014 saw them partner up with PERFORM to create NASL Live in an attempt to make access to live games and archives for a monthly subscription fee of $4.99. The price tag would prove to be too high for viewers of NASL teams as the quality of the feeds was often poor.
Last year, the NASL entered a deal with ESPN 3 where every game in the league was broadcast on the streaming service and available to cable subscribers who get ESPN. The only exceptions to that were Cosmos home games which were broadcast exclusively on One World Sports.
As previously announced, the NASL will maintain a deal with One World Sports, as well. You can read about it here.
This is not counting local broadcast deals struck with NASL clubs, several which have been announced recently.
Shortly after announcing a deal with Capitol Broadcasting Company that put a pair of matches on the local NBC and FOX affiliates, the rest on a third channel, and all games streamed online and on the radio, the Railhawks announced a multi-year regional partnership with Time Warner Cable SportsChannel who will broadcast all 32 Railhawks games.
The Strikers and local CW affiliate SFL-TV recently announced that for the second consecutive year, all matches would be broadcast on the channel as Strikers Fútbol Live and that games would remain broadcast globally on ESPN3, save for select Wednesday night matches on One World Sports, like last year.
Minnesota United announced a new partnership of its own, probably also aided by their entry into MLS next season. MY29 WFTC will broadcast all 32 matches, including preseason with certain games also receiving a 30-minute pre-game show.
This is great for the league because from Day 1, beIN has done things very professionally and has covered the game very seriously. Serious content about American soccer without announcers who are on the MLS payroll and support that one model only will be very refreshing.
The other thing thing that this will do is add to exposure as they are now on a channel that is covered by all major TV providers. Imagine next weekend when the Clasico is on, and the bartenders keep on beIN and all of a sudden you see the South Florida Derby on TV at the bar on a Saturday night. More eyes will see the NASL now and that is a good thing.