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Comcast doesn’t care: No live USA v Antigua broadcast for area subscribers

The signs haven’t been good, but now you know.

According to a tweet from @ComcastWill to PSP, Philadelphia area Comcast subscribers will not only be unable to watch Friday’s USMNT away qualifier against Antigua & Barbuda live on the as yet unavailable beIN Sport English language channel, no date is known for when the English language channel will be available to area Comcast subscribers.

Currently, only beIN Sport en Español is available to Comcast customers (channel 583).

While the US game is being shown live on beIN Sport’s English language channel at 6:55pm , beIN Sport en Español will be showing an abbreviated delayed broad cast of Bolivia v Peru at 6:30pm. At  7:50pm, the channel will be broadcasting Argentina v Uraguay live.

What’s beIN going on

When beIN Sport was officially launched on Aug. 23, carriage deals were only in place with Dish Network and DirecTV, who combined only reach approximately 7 percent of US television households.

Philadelphia soccer fans had good reason to be upset. The new soccer channel had not only secured the rights to major leagues such as La Liga and Serie A, they had the rights to every USMNT away game in CONCACAF’s 2014 World Cup qualifying tournament.

Most soccer fans in the Philadelphia area get their international soccer coverage by subscribing to a sports package on Comcast, so when a carriage deal was soon announced on August 24 between the locally based broadcasting giant and beIN Sport, the initial response was positive, particularly given that the USMNT was due to play Jamaica in a qualifier on Sept. 7.

On Aug. 30, Jonathan Tannenwald reported, “I was told that Comcast plans to have the channel up and running by September 6.”

On Aug. 31, the @Comcastcares Twitter account tweeted, “Comcast is working to have @beINSport available to @xfinitytv customers by the World cup qualifying matches.

Philly soccer fans breathed a sigh of relief.

Then, on Sept. 4, Comcast tweeted that beIN Sport “will launch in Spanish SD only. HD and the English version will be available at a later date as well as online streaming.”

Not only would the English language channel not be available to area subscribers, a Twitter exchange between Tannenwald and a Comcast representative later that day confirmed that online streaming would not be available in time for the USMNT World Cup qualifier against Jamaica on Sept. 7.

To the great frustration of US Soccer fans across the Philadelphia region, the USA v Jamaica qualifier was not broadcast live on beIN Sport en Español, which was available to subscribers to Comcast’s Sports Entertainment package. Only the result of the match softened that.

Still, the message was clear: if you wanted to see the USMNT’s away qualifiers live, you needed access to beIN Sport’s English language channel.

More than a month later, Comcast is still working on making beIN Sport’s English language channel available to Comcast customers. According to a message from a Comcast to PSP, area Comcast customers will be unable to watch yet another live broadcast of a US World Cup qualifier.

No joy

On Tuesday, @ComcastWill tweeted in response to a question from PSP, “Local markets are planning to start rolling out beIN Sports in English in the months ahead.”

So, there you have it: Not only will the US World Cup qualifier against Antigua & Barbuda not be available live to Comcast subscribers, no firm date is available for future away qualifiers.

This is especially disappointing news giving the great efforts the Comcast-owned network NBCSports has been putting into its soccer broadcasts, not to mention Comcast’s relationship as the Philadelphia Union’s local broadcasting partner.

If you are a Comcast subscriber and you want to see Friday’s qualifier legally, beIN Sport en Español is showing a delayed broadcast at 3am. If you didn’t know already, to watch the broadcast in English, follow the advice so helpfully provided by @JeepMattDE way back on Sept. 6: “For beIN Sport, on the box, menu, audio setup, set default to English – the new Spanish version of beIN Sport will be in English!”

Hope you’ve got a DVR.

 

17 Comments

  1. Metallic Joe says:

    If you’re in Philly, Channel 583 is the Spanish version of BeIn. It was frustrating to be a Barcelona fan and go from GOLTV’s excellent HD coverage of their games to BeIn’s regular feed in Spanish (seriously, English La Liga commentator Ray Hudson should be on every soccer broadcast!). If they’re trying to push the sport onto US audiences, cutting off the channel to half the games isn’t the way to do it!

    • BeIn’s english channel blows away anything that GOL ever did. The resolution is really top notch. Would not be surprised if BeIN makes a run at the EPL when Fox’s contract is up with them.

      I hate Comcast that’s why I have DirecTV. It stinks not seeing ComcastSN, but you learn to live without it.

      • Agree! Am surrprised that not more folks made the switch to DirecTV. If you are a true soccer fan you should be with DirecTV and not Comcast. The DirecTV soccer coverage during the last 10 years has been awesome. Just last year they had all the Europa Cup games on live in HD. Will enjoy the USA game live this Friday at 6.55, followed by the live Jamaica game 🙂

    • You like him? Don’t get me wrong he is amusing but after a while I just get sick of him

  2. Says were getting it live on the website.. not sure about in our aread. http://www.beinsport.tv/grid.html

    ET 06:55 PM – 09:15 PM
    CONCACAF WCQ 2014
    Antigua vs. USA

  3. NEVERMIND.. thats the ENGLISH version. BS!

  4. What’s really sad is right now, in the greater Philly area, Comcast is sitting on so much channel capacity right now they could add 30 channels, let alone beINSport USA.n

    They played their Press Release like a charm – making it initially appear that they’d be the white knight riding in to save the soccer fans’ dreams. Then, as we all know, it was the Spanish version.

    Now, I know I have friends with FIOS that don’t have any channel yet (and no – I don’t know of any negotiations for Verizon customers that are wondering)- but the statements that were made over a month ago also alluded to the fact that the English channel (and streaming) would be on line for the October matches. Now, all they can say is “coming months” with the typical vagueness given by TV companies now a days. I’d love if someone asked me at my job when I’d have something done, and I looked at them and said “in the coming months”…I’d either get punched, or fired.

    Anyway – if you want to see the match live Friday, head to your local place that has DirecTV. Here in North Wilmington, Ulysses Gastropub is the perfect spot. They just added DTV for Sunday Ticket, so if you head there – just ask one of the bartenders to throw on beINSport USA HD – the picture looks amazing.

  5. The funny part is Comcast is big reason that a lot of Philly Soccer fans don’t move to DirecTV since you can’t get Comcast Sports Net Philly on Satellite. So if you move over you don’t get Union games. Hopefully that changes some day soon. I know the DC area gets CSN on Satellite.

    • Not getting the Union games is an issue, however, you can get them streamed online (if you look hard enough) or you can go to a bar and watch them there. So not an issue for me (who has had DirecTV for ages). Everything has pros and cons ….

      • You can still see the Union on DirecTV with the MLS package. An added bonus is you never have to listen to Rigby’s inane commentary as you get the other team’s feed.

      • Sadly, this doesn’t work for any of the other pro sports as they black out the Sixers, Flyers & Phils.

  6. I’m glad I found this site. I couldn’t get any info on the broadcast of the game elsewhere. For the US-Jamaica qualifier in Sept., I believe I also got my updates on Comcast and BeIn from Philly-area posters. I’m in Chicago and it seems like Comcast treats us the same way as you all. No sign of the English feed of BeIn coming to us anytime soon.

    I’ll be DVRing the 2am (central time) rebroadcast in Spanish as well. Comcast’s programming guide doesn’t even have that listed. It says a South American qualifier will be on in that slot. I trust BeIn’s listings obviously, so thanks for the link to them, Ed.

  7. Thanks a lot to Cabletown! It seems that the laws of monopoly have taken over, and Comcast will give us what they think that we should get, when they think that we should get it. I also agree with the poster above- Ray Hudson’s MAGISTERIAL presentation is simply a blast to hear.

  8. Anyone know what bars in Philly carry the channel on DirecTv?

    • probably Tir Na Nog & Fado. Befriend American Outlaws’ Philadelphia Section on Facebook and they’ll probably post where to meet on Friday

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