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AT&T Platforms Drop beIN Sports

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August has been rough for beIN Sports. The networks were dropped by Verizon and Comcast systems earlier this month. Now they are gone from AT&T platforms as well. Both DirecTV and U-Verse have eliminated beIN from their offerings.

beIN was built on international soccer coverage. That content has become more valuable as OTT streaming services like ESPN+ and B/R Live look to fill programming holes. beIN has been unable to compete in bidding wars. It, most notably, recently lost US TV rights to Italy’s Serie A to ESPN+.

The network attempted to diversify its offerings in recent years. College football and basketball games from Conference USA were added to the lineup. A deal with SB Nation Radio to televise a simulcast of The Sean Salisbury show was reached in 2017. None of it made the intended impact with American audiences.

The combination of those factors means beIN has become expendable in the eyes of a number of TV providers. While the network has launched a public campaign asking its viewers to contact AT&T and demand beIN and beIN en Español return to DirecTV and U-Verse, it is a plea Awful Announcing’s Matt Yoder believes will fall on deaf ears.

This is going to be a very tough, uphill battle for beIN. They’re losing more rights than they are gaining at the moment and unless they are able to make a big play for a major rights package like the Premier League or Champions League (which aren’t going anywhere anytime soon) then their argument to get wide distribution is likely going to fall on deaf ears.

The fact that AT&T has already pulled the channel without the usual public back and forth that we typically see in these carriage disputes trying to force a deal is a discouraging sign. AT&T clearly feels like they have all the leverage here. And with beIN already removed from Comcast, it’s not like they’re on an island with this decision.

Spain’s top soccer league La Liga is still carried by beIN in the United States. While it considered one of the world’s top leagues, La Liga alone isn’t enough to convince TV providers to keep the network on its lineup. It also stands to reason that when the league’s US TV rights are up they will be the subject of a bidding war that history says beIN cannot win.

Sports TV News

Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set

“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”

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TNT/Larry Brown Sports

Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.

The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.

Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.

“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”

Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.

Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.

Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.

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Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock

“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”

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Rich Eisen Show

Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.

According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.

Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.

The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.

The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.

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Sports TV News

Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast

“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’

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First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.

No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.

Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.

McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.

“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.” 

In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.

There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.

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