After a few days of speculation, popular soccer channel GolTV confirmed today that DirecTV will be dropping its English-language feed from its service effective September 13.
Based in Miami, GolTV has the rights to the U.S. Open Cup final; the top leagues in Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia; and Mexico's second division. The network also broadcasts some UEFA youth tournaments and feature content produced by prominent Italian club AC Milan.
GolTV used to have the rights to the Spanish league and Italian cup competition, but lost them when al-Jazeera-owned beINSport - which is also based in Miami - launched earlier this month. beINSport also hired away GolTV's two most prominent English-language announcers, Phil Schoen and Ray Hudson.
I received a statement by e-mail from a spokesperson for GolTV which makes it clear that beINSport's launch impacted DirecTV's decision.
As a result of DirecTV's new relationship with the Emir of the State of Qatar and founder of Al Jazeera, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, DirecTV intends to remove GolTV from its Sports Pack effective September 13.
Despite GolTV's efforts to negotiate a solution for soccer fans, DirecTV is determined to eliminate more than 500 live and original soccer matches aired each year by the network.
For consumers who love soccer and want to see GolTV's 24-hour programming, including Bundesliga, European World Cup qualifiers and top leagues and tournaments from the Americas, we urge you to contact DirectTV to let them know that you want to watch your favorites teams on GolTV.
Subscribers to the Mas Latino package will still be able to watch GolTV on channel 456.
I don't know whether any other cable providers are going to drop GolTV - most notably Comcast. In Philadelphia, Comcast carries the channel in both English and Spanish, and has the English feed in high definition if you get a high enough tier of service.