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Expanded 37-territory Florida Cup rights deal for beIN

Vagner Love (L) of Corinthians vies for the ball with Gustavo Gomez of Palmeiras during last month's Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A match (by Miguel Schincariol/Getty Images)

The Qatar-based pay-television broadcaster beIN Media Group has renewed and expanded its rights deal for club football competition the Florida Cup.

The 37-territory agreement covers the 2020 Florida Cup, which takes place at Exploria Stadium in the US city of Orlando from January 15-18.

BeIN will broadcast all four matches across the Middle East and North Africa, selected Asia countries, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand. BeIN broadcast the 2019 tournament in the same markets, with the exception of Australia and New Zealand.

In Asia, the beIN Sports channels are available in Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Singapore.

The 2020 Florida Cup will feature Campeonato Brasileiro Série A duo Corinthians and Palmeiras, along with Colombian Categoría Primera A club Atlético Nacional and Major League Soccer team New York City FC.

Jonathan Whitehead, head of sports at beIN Sports Mena, said: “beIN Sports is the leading international broadcaster of South American football, so we’re pleased to be able to showcase some of the biggest clubs from Brazil and Colombia ahead of the world-renowned 2020 Copa Libertadores.”

Meanwhile, beIN Sports announced that HC2 Broadcasting will carry beIN Sports Xtra, making the free streaming service available in 15 major markets across the United States on HC2’s stations.

The English-language beIN Sports Xtra, which is also available on the Roku Channel, offers 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 also hosts a number of digital-first original productions such as Sports Burst, which was previously available on Facebook.

Antonio Briceno, deputy managing director for North America at beIN, said that the deal would mean beIN’s sports networks are now distributed to 7 million US households.

HC2 executive vice-president Craig Geller said: “HC2 Broadcasting recognised the changing media landscape and has built a best-in-class data and distribution platform for today’s top content providers to extend their reach to homes who have cut the cord or are cord-nevers.”

The announcement goes someway to repairing beIN‘s hampered distribution across the US after being dropped from Comcast’s platform as a result of an dispute between the two parties.