FA Cup: An Unusual Weekend for US TV Viewers

When was the last time you remember having a weekend where all of the live soccer action was on Fox Soccer Channel, while Setanta didn’t have any?I love the F.A. Cup just as much as anyone, but it does add a wrinkle to the TV watching experience in America. While this past Saturday and Monday, we experienced 13 live or slightly delayed Premiership matches, this weekend we’ll get to see just two live FA Cup matches (Nottingham Forest v Charlton, Sat., 10am ET, and Cardiff City v Tottenham Hotspur, Sun., 11am ET).The third match, Tamworth v Norwich, which is arguably the most intriguing tie of the weekend — will be shown tape delayed. The match kicks off at 7:30am ET, but won’t be shown until Noon ET on Saturday (the match, fyi, will be broadcast live for viewers in the UK on BBC 1).For the football purists who eat up live soccer on TV, this is a disgrace.Also, the two biggest FA Cup matches of the weekend are only available on Pay-Per-View (or down at your local pub). Those are Liverpool versus Arsenal and Manchester United against Aston Villa.I can presume that this trend will happen in later rounds of the FA Cup too where Fox will decide to make the biggest matches available on PPV only.In contrast, Setanta Sports is showing the semi-finals of the League Cup on Tuesday and Wednesday on their regular network. Both matches will be shown live and not on PPV.I’m curious. How many of you would be willing to pay to watch the two biggest FA Cup matches this weekend (Liverpool v Arsenal and Man United against Aston Villa)? Or will you try to experience the match in other ways (internet radio or other means), or will you just miss out on those two matches altogether and watch the highlights?Setanta’s tactic, this weekend, is to offer replays of several classic matches including Liverpool against AC Milan in the Champions League final, and Barcelona versus Arsenal from last year’s “Big Cup.”So what are soccer fans to do about this weekend? Personally I recommend that we experience the FA Cup “the old-fashioned way” (i.e. enjoying it live as it’s meant to be, which means watching the Forest v Charlton match at 10am ET on Fox, and listening to the audio on Talksport to hear the reports as the goals go in around the grounds, while keeping another eye on the live ticker to see reports of all of the major incidents).Other ties of interest that will be played at the same time as the Forest v Charlton match at 10am ET on Saturday include:Chelsea v MacclesfieldBirmingham v NewcastleDoncaster v Bolton (in Doncaster’s brand-new stadium)Hull v MiddlesbroughLeicester v FulhamReading v BurnleySheffield United v SwanseaTorquay v SouthamptonWatford v StockportWest Ham v BrightonAnd many others.Out of these matches, what upsets do you think will happen? Reply below by clicking the ‘Comments’ link.Feel free to join the EPL Talk fans from around the world in the EPL Talk Chat room this Saturday starting at 10am ET.

10 thoughts on “FA Cup: An Unusual Weekend for US TV Viewers”

  1. I will definitely be listening to Match Live audio commentary (available through various club sites) rather then watching a tape delay or paying PPV…I am highly interested in FA Cup but I think that Fox’s method of handling the coverage puts finances before actually building an audience for the competition.

  2. Well, I’ll be home from vacation and will be at work so I’ll be using internet audio and my DVR will get a workout. In the past the BBC internet radio feeds will be available for some teams. It’s hit or miss and some BBC local stations seem to broadcast the matches and others block out of the UK
    listeners. It is comparable to Charlton in the EPL which has internet audio available for all of their matches on BBC London

  3. I have no interest in the matchups between EPL teams. I don’t even think they are the biggest games. The FA Cup 3rd round is about the small teams playing the big teams. I want to see Tamworth, Sheffield Wednesday play Man City, Doncaster play Bolton, Brighton play West Ham, etc. I can see those other games twice this season at other times.

  4. None of the televised matches on Saturday really intrigue me.

    I am looking forward to watching Cardiff-Tottenham on Sunday though. There is also an orgy of La Liga on GOLTV.

  5. I’m with quid on this one. I want the matchups of the small (or smaller) against the big guys. Give me the Forest-Charlton or Tottenham-Cardiff games over Man U-Villa or Arsenal-Pool.

    I’d love to see some of the other small matches as well, but reality sets in on what they will be available and the the people making those decisions. Oh well. Still a good weekend.

  6. Just got back from watching the Pool Arsenal game at Macdintons, which is “the soccer pub” in Tampa, FL. There were about 30-40 people, mostly Liverpool fans, the atmosphere was great. $10 for pay-per-view is not that bad, I guess. Only the semi-finals and the final will be $20.

  7. Jerzy Dudek looked awful today for Liverpool. How much longer will it be before he’s carted off to a Championship side?

    The Gaffer

  8. the whole liverpool team looked awful. their creativity was non-existent: crossing the ball to crouchie and kuyt for 90 minutes may work against wigan, but not against united and arsenal.
    crouch and kuyt started up top against arsenal at the emirates: the result was about the same as today…
    also: i don’t particularly care for arsenal, but they are on their way of becoming the team to beat: just wait for another season at most. their midfield is second to none in terms of quality creative players(fabregas was suspended today), and once they find a way to grind victories against blackburn and bolton away from home, i can see them winning the title for 2-3 consecutive season. the annoying frenchman knows how to build a team…

  9. Congrats to Swansea for pulling off the shock upset of the 3rd round by defeating Neil Warnock’s Blades. I think I remember from one of the podcasts that Swansea City was your team. Would’ve been nice to have had the option to watch that one. Maybe the spheres and the satellites will align to allow you to be able to see them on telly if they play one of the Premiership clubs in the fourth round!

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