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Free US streaming channel launched by beIN Sports

Pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports has launched a free streaming service in the United States, which will offer live sports, news, analysis and highlights to amplify the Qatar-based international broadcaster’s brand awareness and help bring in new subscribers.

The English-language beIN Sports Xtra will offer select soccer matches from LaLiga, Ligue 1, Süper Lig, Paris Saint-Germain Féminine and the French women’s national team, as well as to-be-announced combat sports, adventure sports and original studio productions. It will also host a number of digital-first original productions such as Sports Burst, which was previously available on Facebook.

BeIN Sports Xtra will initially be available on the Roku Channel, with future platforms to be announced in the coming weeks. BeIN Sports has a separate OTT service in the US, beIN Sports Connect, which is free with a linear TV subscription.

The broadcaster said: “BeIN Sports Xtra will build on the network’s existing premium flagship English and Spanish feed offering in an effort to help drive awareness and tune in to content that would otherwise be crowded out of the live premiere window given the extensive rights offering in the US.”

BeIN Sports is seeking to boost its presence in the region after it was dropped by Comcast Xfinity, the largest pay TV provider in the US, which has approximately 21 million subscribers, in a row over carriage fees. It has repeatedly turned to the Federal Communications Commission for an attempted resolution but has been unable to make its case.

Its ongoing distribution problems in the US have led to a significant decline in its reach. Despite this, LaLiga recently signed an extension to its existing contract in the US and Canada with beIN Sports through to the end of the 2023-24 season.

Read this: BeIN’s embattled US operation pays premium to secure marquee LaLiga rights