It almost came down to the wire, but the World Superbike Championship finally has a U.S. broadcasting partner. With the first round of the 2013 season set to start this weekend from Australia’s Phillip Island circuit, WSBK has reached a deal with the beIN Sport Network. Speed had aired the series for several years but their broadcasting schedule was not renewed for 2013.

The season opening round will be broadcast live at 8:00 pm EST on Saturday, Feb. 23 (which would be Feb. 24 in Australia where the race is taking place) on beIN Sport. The race will also be streamed live on beIN Sport’s website, though it’s likely only accessible to those who subscribe to the television channel.

WSBK will be beIN Sport’s only racing property. The channel, which is owned jointly by Time Warner Cable and Qatar-based Al Jazeera, specializes in European sports with a focus on soccer and tennis.

Only the first round has been added to beIN Sport’s television broadcast schedule. It remains to be seen whether the entire season will be aired live, on tape delay or streamed online.

[Source: beIN Sport]