In less than one short year, beIN Sport went from an idea for a national sports network to a full-blown force in the marketplace. Broadcasting in both English and Spanish, it has landed the rights to some of the world's top soccer, including France's Ligue 1, Spain's La Liga, Italy's Serie A, South American World Cup qualifying and CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.
The network scored big distribution deals that has it being seen on DirecTV and Dish Network, along with cable giants Comcast and Time Warner launching both the English and Spanish channels.
That is a great deal of soccer, and calling most of the games will be the duo of Phil Schoen and former D.C. United coach Ray Hudson. Schoen has become one of the best soccer broadcasters in the business with his smooth, confident style that also offers a wry sense of humor. Hudson offers insight and analysis in a very entertaining way. Together, Schoen and Hudson have established themselves as one of the best broadcast teams in soccer and by far the busiest.
Look for beIN Sport to expand its sports portfolio beyond soccer. beIN Sport Europe has the NBA and the UEFA Champions League games. This network loves soccer but has great expectations for the U.S.
Hudson recently spoke about the rapid growth of beIN Sport and his very busy schedule.
Tell us about the network and your involvement.
Hudson » "I am very impressed with beIN Sport's commitment to becoming one of the best sports operations not only in the United States but in the world. Both Phil and I came to the network ready to call soccer, and they have given us all the tools we need in our Miami broadcast center to make sure the viewers get what we hope is a first-class network telecast."
How do you feel about covering so many leagues?
Hudson » "The good news is we get to do games with such super teams as Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, plus Paris Saint-Germain, Olympique Marseille and Lyon, so we know we are going to do a quality game almost every time we set down in the booth. As to the number of games we do live, that can be as few as four on a weekend to as many as 11 over the course of a week, but we have a great staff that makes sure we have all the updated information to make our jobs fun."
Examiner columnist Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. Follow him on Twitter @wordmandc.