Home NASL & USL More NASL & USL Making sense of it all: What the new NASL TV deals mean for Canadian viewers

Making sense of it all: What the new NASL TV deals mean for Canadian viewers

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NASL announced a new international TV deal with beIN Sports and an American webcasting deal with ESPN3 on Wednesday. On top of that, the New York Cosmos has its own TV deal with One World Sports.

Of course, the announcements that the league makes are aimed at American audiences — and they often leave Canadian fans feeling confused. After all, Canadians can’t access ESPN3; and the fears set in that 2016 could be like 2015, when a lot of NASL games that were slated to appear on TSN GO never made it to our computers.

Well, The 11 is here to make sense of the deals.

NASL will have three national broadcasters in the U.S.; that’s ESPN3, OneWorld Sports and beIN Sports.

Here’s what the league says: “On a national level, E3 games will only be on E3, OWS games will only be on OWS, and beIN games will only be on beIN. None of those affect local broadcasts, so no blackouts. All E3 games will be available on NASL.com to Canadian viewers only. OWS will be open to all in North America via their website, and beIN will be open to all in North America as well.” PPadThe11caFBOneWorld Sports has the Cosmos games; beIN will have select weekend and midweek matches. OneWorld will make its stream available for Canadian viewers when the Eddies and the Fury visit New York. The beIN packages, both on cable and on web, are available in Canada. So, if you’re a subscriber, you’ll be able to access those games.

Yes, beIN costs money. On Shaw, it’s $14.99 a month: About the same as two beers. It costs money to put games on TV. If you don’t think it’s OK to pay for your content, then you won’t mind me coming to your house and crashing there whenever I want and eating whatever you’ve got in the refrigerator. (Of course there’s a bias there; I’m in the soccer-broadcasting business. Consider that my disclaimer.) Sorry, but I want to pre-empt the “but I have to pay for it” whining now.

The majority of games will be broadcast on ESPN3 in the United States. Canadian viewers will be able to access those on NASL.com.

Feel better? We all will after we see how the first week of games go. After all, most of us remember not being able to find the games at the start of last season.

UPDATE: On Thursday, NASL announced 12 fall-league games will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network, two of them involving FC Edmonton. That channel is available on three carriers: Cogeco, Rogers and Bell. For FCE fans in Alberta — Cogeco and Rogers do not offer cable TV services in this province, so Bell is the only option. Bell informed me today that CBS Sports Network is available in Edmonton on channel 417.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE (4/2/2016):  We’ve been getting a lot of questions about this: Are NASL streams still available to fans outside of Canada/United States? Unfortunately, as confirmed by NASL, “there is no international streaming available at this time.”

The league says it is working on making games available internationally in 2016.

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3 Comments

  1. jamonty42

    April 2, 2016 at 2:48 am

    Today there is no longer a NASL logo on the ESPN player and there is no info to international viewers on the NASL site (http://www.nasl.com/news/2016/04/01/where-to-watch–nasl-opening-weekend). Contract issues over international broadcast rights? Looks like us outside N.America are SOL… at least for tonight.

    Reply

  2. Clay

    April 1, 2016 at 1:47 am

    Cool… Bein Sports Canada and Bein Sports CONNECT Canada could soon be our Canadian one stop shop for ALL the NASL games. With the possibility of this happening, I think we all should be emailing them (Bein Sports Canada) to support this endeavour. However, let’s make it clear that we want ALL the games not just Ottawa and Edmonton.

    Clay

    Reply

  3. jamonty42

    March 31, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    As a long distance NASL supporter, the ESPN player was a welcome addition last year. It was good quality, a consistent stream and a bonus was that it worked on multiple devices (including my smart TV). Only the Cosmos home games were blocked via ESPN, but now in 2016 even more broadcasts are being piece-mealed out to other outlets. ESPN won’t always be available, and it is unclear how and international stream will be made available via BeIn or OWS. At least I can count on the opener versus Rayo OKC being on ESPN and am tempted to splurge the 275SEK (~45CDN$) and buy the season package. Any news from Edmo about a TV deal? City? Sportsnet?

    Reply

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