England’s biggest match since the 2006 World Cup quarter-final is today when the Three Lions take on Croatia at Wembley (kickoff is 3pm ET). Becks and Robbo have reportedly been dropped to the bench to be replaced by Wright-Phillips and Carson.
The anticipation for this match is reaching a fever pitch.
Yet in the United States, you’ll be hard pressed to find that many people who will be able to watch the game.
That’s because of the arrangement made between Setanta Sports and Fox Soccer Channel. In their agreement, the match will be available in two ways. Setanta Sports will be showing the match at select pubs and restaurants throughout the United States via closed-circuit TV. To find what pubs are showing the match live, use the Setanta Sports pub finder. Note that the pubs will charge a cover to get in to see the match (usually $10-$20).
The other option is to watch the match – thanks to Fox Soccer Channel – on pay-per-view. The cost will be approximately $25 but is determined by your local cable service.
The challenge is that Setanta Sports has two sets of customers to try to keep happy: the pub owners and the soccer fans. Unless it’s a friendly or a World Cup or Euro 2008 tournament, we here in the States are unable to watch England matches live on TV unless we’re willing to fork out $10-$20 to watch the match at a pub or $25 to watch it at home. For the most part, England is not worth that kind of money.
Isn’t it time though that Setanta and Fox Soccer Channel get rid of this draconian arrangement and show it on their channels? We can watch football on the Internet. We can watch a ton of 24/7 soccer networks. We’re able to even watch it on our mobile phones. But if it’s a competitive match involving England, we have to fork out between $20 and $25 for the privilege to watch it and then go through the hassles of driving to a local pub or watching it on pay-per-view.