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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Al Jazeera, European Soccer, and U.S. Media rights.


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14 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   espnjason

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 10:07 AM

One of the unique features that has kept me interested in DirecTV after all these years was the International Soccer coverage. As one that was never really into soccer outside of the World Cup prior to 2006, because of the plethora of Soccer matches broadcasted by channels such as GolTV, Fox Soccer and expanded coverage on ESPN all on top of what is usually shown on Univision and Telemundo from time to time I actually came to embrace Soccer as a sport overall and strongly consider the European matches to be excellent daytime television for those stateside.

While I believe that Soccer has made noticeable progress in the U.S., Is it really warranted for Al-Jazeera to outbid Fox and ESPN et. al. for U.S. media rights to La Liga (Spain), Serie A (Italy), and Ligue 1 (France), with signs pointing to Al-Jazeera outbidding for EPL rights just because they could?

Honestly, I am not at the point where I could say that I love soccer enough to whole heartedly accept Al-Jazeera as the sole broadcaster. I am perfectly fine with them being on the internet and Roku, but they have a hell of a lot of work cut out for them if they want nationwide television distribution.

I started this thread because I didn't want to detract the HD Channel anticipation thread on the DirecTV side of DBSTalk. I had to let this out of my head somehow, I welcome all points of view on this issue.

Subscribed to DirecTV for NFL Sunday Ticket, remained a subscriber for international football.


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#2 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:07 AM

While I believe that Soccer has made noticeable progress in the U.S., Is it really warranted for Al-Jazeera to outbid Fox and ESPN et. al. for U.S. media rights to La Liga (Spain), Serie A (Italy), and Ligue 1 (France), with signs pointing to Al-Jazeera outbidding for EPL rights just because they could?


Some superb questions! I didn't know this was going on.

As to "warranted", do you mean, should it be allowed? And if disallowed, by whom? And where does the fall out stop? i.e., retaliation by other bodies to block or control distribution across borders.

Motive: First thing that hit me was that this is a bid to get airtime to promote their own agenda. But that's just a guess, hopefully a bad one.
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#3 OFFLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:45 AM

It's unfortunate that our country has such a fear of anything Arabic, especially Al Jazeera.
If you stop responding to them or put them on ignore, then eventually they'll go away.

#4 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 12:34 PM

It's unfortunate that our country has such a fear of anything Arabic, especially Al Jazeera.


Xenophobia is never pretty.

Do you have any views on the generic "problem", leaving out the specific foreign owner of US distribution rights?
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#5 OFFLINE   paco1986

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 01:43 PM

It's unfortunate that our country has such a fear of anything Arabic, especially Al Jazeera.


Don't worry about the name Al Jazeera. In all likelihood, their new sports network in the US will use another name.

#6 OFFLINE   ProgPic

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 01:49 PM

Xenophobia is never pretty.

Do you have any views on the generic "problem", leaving out the specific foreign owner of US distribution rights?



The obvious 'problem' is that we currently don't receive the channel. Assuming we gain the channel sometime this summer, which my guess is that we would if Directv has any interest in remaining the 'sports leader', one channel is nowhere big enough to cover all the the leagues they are buying. All 3 of the leagues they've grabbed so far play their matches at roughly the same time on the weekends. That's 30 matches to cover in about a 10-15 hour window of opportunity. My guess is that they are planning on adding some additional channels or purchasing the existing soccer channels to make the purchase of broadcasting rights make any sense.

#7 OFFLINE   paco1986

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 01:58 PM

While I believe that Soccer has made noticeable progress in the U.S., Is it really warranted for Al-Jazeera to outbid Fox and ESPN et. al. for U.S. media rights to La Liga (Spain), Serie A (Italy), and Ligue 1 (France), with signs pointing to Al-Jazeera outbidding for EPL rights just because they could?


One possible scenario is for FOX and ESPN to team together to bid for EPL rights. The good thing is that EPL now seems to not simply care about the money, but also about distribution (i.e., the number of subscribers the TV right holders have or will have). Unlike La Liga who only cares about the money, without paying any attention to how many people will actually see their product.:(

#8 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:13 PM

The obvious 'problem' is that we currently don't receive the channel.


The problem I was trying to get response to has nothing to do with providers nor Al Jazeera, not that your points don't have validity on their own.
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#9 OFFLINE   russinpa

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:17 PM

Xenophobia is never pretty.

Do you have any views on the generic "problem", leaving out the specific foreign owner of US distribution rights?



Taking politics out of the equation, the biggest problem is carriage. Its difficult for a new network to get its product on the large players. We've seen the NFL struggle with distribution of the NFL Network. It took them years to get on some systems. We have seen in the last year that ESPN cant get the Longhorn Network on no more than a few systems.

Although, with the money AJ has (backed by the Qatari royal family and tons of oil money) they may just buy their way on systems similar to what Newscorp did when they launched Fox News Channel.

Edited by russinpa, 27 March 2012 - 02:32 PM.


#10 OFFLINE   russinpa

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:20 PM

Don't worry about the name Al Jazeera. In all likelihood, their new sports network in the US will use another name.


According to some posters on www.bigsoccer.com the name they will use is

"bein sports"

Website removed---not authentic

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Edited by russinpa, 27 March 2012 - 09:07 PM.


#11 OFFLINE   yosoyellobo

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 05:36 PM

I have no problem with Al Jazeera outbidding everybody for the right to carry all the soccer games they want in this country. On the other hand if they are not carry in HD it will be a deal breaker. I don't mind watching Read Madrid and Barcelona on Espndeportes every other week but would not subscribe to a SD soccer package.

#12 OFFLINE   paco1986

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:21 PM

I have no problem with Al Jazeera outbidding everybody for the right to carry all the soccer games they want in this country. On the other hand if they are not carry in HD it will be a deal breaker. I don't mind watching Read Madrid and Barcelona on Espndeportes every other week but would not subscribe to a SD soccer package.


Al Jazeera loves their soccer in HD. So this should not be an issue. The possible problem, however, is that only a select few will see La Liga next year.:(

#13 OFFLINE   espnjason

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 09:33 PM

As to "warranted", do you mean, should it be allowed? And if disallowed, by whom? And where does the fall out stop? i.e., retaliation by other bodies to block or control distribution across borders.

Motive: First thing that hit me was that this is a bid to get airtime to promote their own agenda. But that's just a guess, hopefully a bad one.


For reasons known and unknown, Al Jazeera already has enough trouble gaining appropriate distribution. I am a bit concerned that they will follow other network patterns and attempt to package their would-be Soccer channels with the Al Jazeera network.

I don't think many MSOs would bite to be honest, but I am viewing this as a likely setback for U.S. fans of European Soccer.

Subscribed to DirecTV for NFL Sunday Ticket, remained a subscriber for international football.


#14 OFFLINE   DaveC27

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:08 AM

I guess the easiest way for them to ensure carriage is to just buy up a channel with an existing carriage agreement and re-brand it. I wonder how much "Shorts HD" would cost :)

As someone who often gets to see Al-Jazeera sports in the Middle East their programme quality is excellent and their presenters pretty knowledgeable

#15 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 02:40 PM

I guess the easiest way for them to ensure carriage is to just buy up a channel with an existing carriage agreement and re-brand it. I wonder how much "Shorts HD" would cost :)

As someone who often gets to see Al-Jazeera sports in the Middle East their programme quality is excellent and their presenters pretty knowledgeable


So, I bet that those fortunate enough to get it will have a first class broadcast.

And, I am just curious, Dave, were you raised in GB?? (use of presenter, and spelling of programme)
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