beIN Sports Boasts Growing List of Advertisers for Copa America 2015

With the Copa America 2015 tourney less than a month away, beIN Sports has assembled a solid roster of advertisers to support the quadrennial event and expects to add another platform to its growing list of distributors.

Kicking off with host Chile entertaining Ecuador from Santiago on June 11, the tourney will showcase 10 South American (CONMEBOL) nations, including powerhouses Argentina and Brazil, as well as Mexico and Jamaica. The championship match is slated for July 4.

In New York for a road-show event for advertisers, Deputy Managing Director Antonio Briceño says that beIN Sports and beIN Sports en Español, after initially focusing on building their distribution bases in the U.S., have been bolstering their ad sales. Last year, it retained IMS as a sales rep, before taking matters in-house this past January.

According to Briceño, beIN has sponsorship/advertising pacts for Copa America with AT&T, Sprint, and Metro PCS in the telecommunications category; with Volkswagen and Chrysler in the auto arena; and with Miller and Hennessey in beer and spirits. Delta Air Lines, Volkswagen, and AT&T support the networks’ La Liga coverage.

Roy Meyeringh, senior director of business development and strategy, beIN, says the company, which also holds the rights to the 2019 event in Brazil, expects to announce a deal with a game-console distributor before the tournament begins next month.

That would continue the beIN rollout in the U.S., where it now counts some 33 million subscribers — 18 million for the English-language service and 15 million on the Spanish-language — since its launch in August 2012.

beIN has deals with nine of the top 10 U.S. distributors. Charter is the holdout, but Meyeringh says discussions with the MSO continue.

According to Briceño, the networks have picked up subscriptions over the past year with “roll-downs” to digital position from sports tiers, led by Dish Network and Time Warner Cable in key markets. Discussions continue on that front with Verizon FiOS and Comcast.

The networks also benefit from availability on multiple platforms via TV Everywhere deals with key affiliates, except Comcast. Meyeringh says that cable company is also working toward launching the services in HD.

Already part of Sling TV, Dish’s over-the-top service, beIN is working toward an affiliate pact with Verizon for its upcoming wireless mobile service, Meyeringh says. It would include a limited number of channels and content available via smartphones and tablets.

As for its top U.S. property, La Liga, Briceño has been keeping a close eye on developments in Spain. Last week, the National Court suspended the call for an “indefinite” strike by the Spanish Football Federation (RFE) and the players union (AFE), which would have punted the final two rounds of league play this season, as well as the Copa del Rey final between FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao.

Play continued last week, and Barcelona topped Atletico Madrid 1-0 to the dethrone the defending champion and give Lionel Messi’s men a chance to log a triple by also capturing the Copa del Rey vs. Bilbao on May 30 and the Champions League crown a week later vs. Italy’s Juventus.

The RFE and AFE are not satisfied with a new law, supported by La Liga, that would introduce collective bargaining for domestic TV rights. Currently, the clubs negotiate their own deals, with Real Madrid and Barcelona netting most of the TV money.

Asked whether the legal wrangling in Spain would complicate negotiations for La Liga renewals, Briceño says a decision could facilitate talks or could significantly extend discussions.

Either way, with La Liga growing in popularity in the U.S. — Gol TV was the primary U.S. rightsholder before beIN Sports gained the property for the 2013-15 seasons — Briceño expects beIN to secure rights for the next three seasons.”

beIN Sports has a growing presence in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and other areas around the globe.

In other news, Briceño says the beIN Sports’ U.S. networks have again secured World Cup qualifying rights for the South American nations leading up to the 2018 FIFA competition in Russia. He notes that the networks are also working toward a CONCACAF deal that could cover away matches for both the U.S. and Mexican men’s national teams.

beIN Sports — which also holds U.S. rights to Italy’s best soccer circuit, Serie A, and to France’s Ligue 1 — presents rugby, tennis, boxing, and motorcycle-racing action.

Outside the U.S., the programmer has secured rights and production agreements for Davis and Fed Cup tennis competitions.