UPDATE 09/04/20: Champions league has made its way to CBS all access much earlier than planned. The streaming service will host all the Europa League and Champions League matches beginning with the group stage until 2024 unless something happens. Overall, the coverage has been solid. The paywall of 59.99 per year will still make fans upset. The only bright side is CBS all access does have a great line up of other content to watch. Head to CBS all access and start your free trial. Cannot miss Soccer.
UPDATE 1/9/20: According to World Soccer Talk, BeIN and La Liga has agreed to a deal that will see La Liga on beIN through 2024. This is a huge disappointment for soccer fans here in the US, which makes it that much harder to watch Real Madrid and Barcelona. On the bright side, ESPN has agreed to a six-year deal that will see the Bundesliga air on ESPN Plus and putting Fox in the grave. Also according to many sources, the Champions League will begin to air across the CBS network and stream service starting September 2021. Big changes are coming!
Many U.S soccer fans have never even seen a live La Liga game broadcasted on their TV. Why is that? Well, a company by the name beIN has had the US TV rights for a while now. I personally never knew this channel existed until I switched to sling and seen it there as an add on. I did decide to try it out for a brief few months a few years back to see if it even worth the additional 5 dollars sling was asking for a month.
Here is what I found: It had decent content worth watching. The first-ever soccer game I watched on beIN was Stoke City vs Liverpool in the semifinals of the Capital One Cup or now known as the Carabao Cup. It was a thrilling game that was decided on penalties. The final consistent between Liverpool and Manchester City which famously saw Adam Lallana attempt to square up to Yaya Toure and Yaya could of simply body-slammed him if he wanted to. Nonetheless, a great final decided by pens. In addition to Carabao Cup coverage, beIN had Serie A Coverage, Ligue 1 Coverage, and of course La Liga Coverage. As time went on, beIN lost half of that content to ESPN. ESPN gained Serie A and Carabao Cup coverage for its ESPN plus network and this is the best news possible for US soccer fans. As beIN lost this content, I saw no reason to keep the channel. La Liga simply was not enough for me to keep the channel.
With international soccer increasing in popularity here in the US, it is only a matter of time before ESPN begins to buy all the leagues not named the English Primer League, as NBC has a death grip on those rights. La Liga has one more season with beIN and their contract is up. La Liga has already made it known they want to grow their US presence with the failed attempt to host one league game on US soil. While we do not know if/when there will be a Spanish Game in the US, La Liga must be hungry to make a deal with ESPN in order to push their content to US TV screens.
For beIN, it seems impossible for them to be able to compete with ESPN for those rights. ESPN has made it known they want more soccer coverage with their additions and almost bid for the champions league rights. If beIN wants a chance to stay relevant, they will almost certainly need a standalone service priced at 4.99 making it easy for consumers to sign up. Even then, this may not be enough. Losing so much content to ESPN has already put them in a hole beyond recovery. For ESPN, it is about time. If they can obtain the La Liga rights after next season, ESPN plus is going to become a must-have in soccer household. A price increase at even 6.99 a month still makes the service an extremely attractive option.
source: La Liga TV rights USA