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Aug 31, 2018

MotoAmerica/MotoGP/World Superbike: TV Viewers Lose In beIN SPORTS vs. Comcast And DirecTV Battle

beIN Sports, which covers MotoGP, World Superbike, and MotoAmerica races for the U.S. market, has been dropped by DirecTV and Comcast in a dispute over package tiers and related fees. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

beIN SPORTS USA has recently been dropped from several major television service providers, putting viewers wishing to watch MotoGP, World Superbike and MotoAmerica motorcycle road racing – not to mention fans of the network’s professional soccer coverage – in a difficult position.

Since August 1, the beIN SPORTS network has been dropped from Comcast/Xfinity, Verizon FiOS, and AT&T U-verse/DIRECTV. Although Verizon/FiOS has reinstated the network and its programming, beIN SPORTS and Comcast/Xfinity and AT&T U-verse/DIRECTV remain at odds in a public he said/he said business dispute.

According to Comcast/Xfinity, its contract with beIN SPORTS expired on July 31, 2018. beIN SPORTS asked for a “major increase in fees” paid by Comcast/Xfinity to continue airing the same programming. Comcast/Xfinity claims that paying more to beIN SPORTS to carry its network could result in higher bills for consumers. AT&T U-verse/DIRECTV has not issued any statements regarding the status of beIN SPORTS.

beIN SPORTS has responded to the dispute by dedicating sections of its website to explain the situation with Comcast/Xfinity and AT&T U-verse/DIRECTV from its viewpoint, has launched websites for each situation (www.keepbeinonxfinity.com and www.keepbeinondirectv.com), and has even established hashtags #KeepbeIN and #StopCarrierBarriers.

According to postings on www.beinsports.com, the situations with Comcast/Xfinity and AT&T U-verse/DIRECTV are both similar. The network is trying to be moved into “lower priced” or “more affordable” channel packages so fans of beIN SPORTS programming will pay less to have the network. But a move like this would result in the service provider paying more to beIN SPORTS because the network would be in more households, and TV service providers would be forced to either absorb this increase in overall costs or pass it on to subscribers.

beIN SPORTS is mobilizing its viewers and urging them to directly contact Comcast/Xfinity (877-789-1391) and AT&T U-verse/DIRECTV (877-789-1391) and “demand they bring us back” and reinstate beIN SPORTS.

The network is also suggesting viewers consider changing their TV provider to a service that still offers beIN SPORTS, like Dish Network or Spectrum/Charter Communications, or switch to an over-the-top (OTT) service provider/streaming service like fubo TV or Sling TV. But as many consumers know, switching TV service providers can be a costly, time-consuming and frustrating endeavor.

Roadracingworld.com made several attempts to reach beIN SPORTS for comment, but the network had not responded as of post time.

Asked to comment on the situation, KRAVE Group partner and MotoAmerica Chief Operating Officer Chuck Aksland told Roadracingworld.com, “We’re not privy to a lot of what the negotiations entail. It’s unfortunate that we have this dip in the coverage at the moment. We’re hopeful that once all of the negotiations are completed that MotoAmerica fans will have even better access than ever before and hopefully we’ll be able to reach more viewers in the end. So we just have to be patient and hope beIN gets it worked out.”

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