Conference USA needs to find another home for football and basketball. Not because the AAC just got a new TV deal, but because one of the networks that currently carries their inventory is on the verge of disappearing from American television sets.
Earlier this week, beIN Sports had its latest complaint against Comcast/Xfinity dismissed by the Federal Communications Commission.
The complaint stems from Comcast deciding not to carry beIN Sports. That’s it. beIN Sports still has a pending case against Comcast but considering how the FCC has already dismissed two of their cases, it’s safe to say Comcast won’t be carrying the network.
Comcast joins DIRECTV, AT&T, and Verizon as the major TV providers who won’t carry the network. If you’re a streaming fan such as myself, Sling TV and Fubo TV are the two streaming services that carry the network.
As you could imagine, it’s been very difficult for fans of C-USA football to watch their favorite teams play if their game ends up being carried by beIN.
So what does all of this mean for Conference USA?
C-USA’s contract with beIN Sports runs for at least another season as it is set to expire at the end of the 2018-2019 season.
With a deal in place with ESPN and CBS Sports already in motion to carry a good amount of football and basketball games on ESPN3, ESPN+ and the CBS Sports Network (as well as Stadium on Facebook and Twitter), it’s a good chance that one of these carriers will pick up the 10 games that beIN Sports televised last season.
That is if C-USA decides to move on from beIN Sports next year.
With the TV schedule yet to be announced for the 2019 season, I’ll be interested in seeing how the conference divvies out their games to the hard to find network should they decide to go forth with an extension. Fans on Twitter have been very vocal about their displeasure with the current TV deal. Putting their best possible matchups on beIN would be disappointing if the conference determines that beIN Sports is the best option to maximize exposure.
For all the flack that the network gets, I’ve never had complaints with the broadcast itself. On the rare occasions I’ve been able to to tune in to beIN, I’ve always come away pleased with how knowledgeable the commentators are about the conference.
For at least one more year, fans of C-USA may have to go through the process of searching rigorously for a network that’s quickly fading to black on American TV sets.