Comcast culls beIN SPORTS from Xfinity systems | Major Businesses | Business
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After a period of relative calm between the parties, the carriage dispute between Comcast and beIN SPORTS has erupted with the cable company removing the sports channel and sister signal beIN SPORTS en Español from its Xfinity platforms.
beIN Sports 4 June 2018
As of Midnight 31, Comcast has blocked Xfinity subscribers’ nationwide access to premium sports coverage of top football such as LaLiga — including the highly popular El Clásico between Barcelona and Real Madrid — as well as MotoGP, MotoAmerica and the WTA Conference USA.

The dispute began in March 2018 when beIN SPORTS filed a carriage complaint against the US cable behemoth alleging that it had offered the sports network a “discriminatory and patently unfair renewal”, and that it was prioritising its own content. This beIN regarded as a ‘violation’ of programme carriage rules and the non-discrimination condition attached with US regulator the FCC’s approval of Comcast’s purchase of NBCUniversal.

The network said it took legal action to ensure beIN SPORTS content was made available to the largest possible audience of fans, in line with the position of other major sports networks. Yet all to no avail and hence the blank screens which beIN believes is in retaliation for exercising its right to file with the FCC.

“We are deeply disappointed that despite our best efforts over the last year to resolve the situation, millions of Comcast Xfinity subscribers have lost access to the content they love,” said Antonio Briceño, beIN SPORTS’ deputy managing director for the US and Canada.

“We are happy to extend existing terms while we continue to negotiate, but unfortunately Comcast would rather continue to charge the same while taking away valuable and loved content from customers. The truth is, we face a disheartening trend of media consolidation, where the big get bigger and innovative brands like ours that serve diverse audiences get pushed-out. This is almost always to the detriment of consumers who end up paying the price. We hope it stops now.”

Comcast has yet to respond to beIN’s latest comments. Yet in March it noted that in 2012 it was one of the first distributors to launch both beIN SPORTS channels, “and continued to be a good partner to the network.”