US CONCACAF WC Qualifier vs. Guatemala Will be Pay-Per-View Only
Traffic Sports, the same company that supports the North American Soccer League, is asking you to pay more than just your cable bill to watch the US vs. Guatemala CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier on June 12th. Traffic, who are headquartered in Brazil and have owned TV rights for soccer games in South and Central America for years, owns the rights to all Guatemalan World Cup Qualifiers.
A long-standing industry standard allows each home country to own their own TV rights for World Cup qualifying matches. In this case Guatemala has contracted with Traffic Sports for both the English and Spanish. As U.S. Soccer explained in a recent article, each Federation is under no obligation to sell the rights to a broadcaster in the United States. Since each country is responsible for the sale of the broadcast rights to its home matches, U.S. Soccer has no authority to compel the host Federation to sell the rights to a World Cup Qualifier to any broadcaster in the United States.
Traffic has no obligation to resell the English-language rights for this particular game to a third party, including the United States. Again, from the US Soccer article, U.S. Soccer and its broadcast partners had discussions with Traffic Sports to purchase the rights, but in the end Traffic Sports opted to distribute the match on pay-per-view in the United States. In order to make the match available to fans here in the U.S., Traffic Sports is utilizing the services of Integrated Sports Media to handle the distribution via pay-per-view.
In the complicated world of TV rights, Integrated Sports is the same organization who Traffic and a competitor, Full Play Sports, have used for pay-per-view for other WC qualifying rights to CONMEBOL and CONCACAF countries.
The match can be purchased on both cable and satellite pay-per-view through iN Demand, DIRECTV, DISH Network and Avail-TVN. The match will be available in either English or Spanish for a suggested retail price of $29.95. Kickoff for the match is at 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 12th.
There’s a good chance your local soccer bar will carry the match but they too may charge a price for admission.