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Lost In Las Vegas: Fox Soccer Channel & Setanta

leaving las vegas Lost In Las Vegas: Fox Soccer Channel & Setanta
It’s hard to believe sometimes how invisible the Premier League is in the United States. Right now, I’m at a Starbucks in the Luxor casino in Las Vegas, Nevada where I’ve been since Friday.

Despite Las Vegas having very modern and chic hotels, finding a TV set with Fox Soccer Channel and/or Setanta Sports is like trying to find the holy grail. Without those two channels, the EPL is invisible. The only other way to experience it is via the Internet and trying to find a wifi connection is also a challenge.

I didn’t get a chance to track down places to watch Saturday’s matches between Chelsea and West Ham, Wigan and Man City and Portsmouth versus Everton, but I wanted to find a place to see Aston Villa against Arsenal.

I searched through seven casinos looking for TV sets that were playing FSC or Setanta. Most of the major hotels have horse racing and sports bet areas where there’s a wall of 10-50 giant screen TVs allowing people to watch and bet on games. Here’s what I found in my search for Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta:

Out of the eight casinos I visited, only two of them show Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports. That’s MGM Grand and Luxor. There were no FSC or Setanta at Tropicana, Excalibur, Mandalay Bay, Stratosphere, Sahara or Wynn.

At Luxor, I was able to watch Arsenal impressively beat Villa 2-1 with goals from Flamini and Adebayor. Each seat in the sports area had a personal TV so I was able to watch the Fox broadcast live while I also had the choice of watching the Coca Cola Championship match on Setanta if I wanted.

During half time, I walked up and asked a Luxor employee if I could bet on the soccer matches. She replied no but said I could watch as much of the games as I would like. Nice.

Looking around, most of the people watching the match were Brits on holiday sitting by themselves and seeming not that interested in the match.

On the Sunday, I visited the MGM Grand and sat down to watch Spurs against Birmingham City. The game kicked off at 8am local time and Fox was being displayed on about six of the flat-screen TVs on the wall.

The first half was extremely entertaining and I thought Spurs was unlucky to concede the penalty, but one-nil to Birmingham at the half was an impressive scoreline. A few minutes before the second half was set to return to Fox, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. All of the TV channels set to Fox changed channels to display horse racing. Horse racing?? I guess MGM has to make money after all.

After telling a English bloke next to me that MGM was a bunch of wankers for turning the match off, I stormed away in protest and met up with my wife at the slot machines.

After reading the match report later in the day, it sounds like I missed a fantastic and controversial second half. Just my luck.

One thing that is clearly evident is how massive the NFL is in this country. I knew it before, of course, but by walking past the sports bet areas in the different hotels on the Sunday afternoon, there were tons of people watching the matches (both for betting and sporting reasons).

That’s one thing I dislike. In my home, I can control the TV sets to play FSC and Setanta nearly 24/7. Away from home, I sometimes feel like it’s the 1980′s all over again where finding English football is an adventure. I’ll be in Vegas until Friday on business. It should be an interesting adventure trying to keep on top of the soccer news and coverage!

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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20 Responses to Lost In Las Vegas: Fox Soccer Channel & Setanta

  1. eplnfl says:

    Vegas for business!. Let us know how you do at the tables or the sports book.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Did you expect any different? Over and over again it has been pointed out by various posters here that the EPL is a niche sport which really doesn’t have that much of a fan base in this country. That’s the bottom line. This is even more true during Football season.

  3. Liverpool John says:

    The Premier League is however more popular than the NHL and the most popular soccer league here in the United States by wide margain.

  4. Kartik says:

    Liverpool John, the EPL is not more popular than the NHL nor is it the most popular soccer league in the US. You obviously have not noticed the TV ratings for the Mexican League on univision’s family of networks nor the ratings for select MLS games on ESPN and ABC. For example the viewership for August’s DC United-LA Galaxy game on ESPN 2 was twelve times that of the Manchester United-Chelsea game on FSC last season. Obviously comparing viewership between ESPN and FSC is unfair but you claimed the Premier League is the most popular league here by a wide margain which is not factually backed up by any empirical evidence.

  5. The Scout says:

    Gaffer,

    When I was in Vegas I went to the Crown and Anchor Pub to watch matches. It’s a proper pub with pints of the good stuff to be had and football on the telly.

    Crown and Anchor Pub
    1350 E Tropicana Ave
    Las Vegas, NV 89122
    Phone: (702) 739-8676

  6. MJ says:

    Honestly Liverpool John, where do you come up with this stuff?? Your comments on other posts are just as moronic, to be fair, and you couldn’t be any more anti-American/pro-English. I’m sorry, but that’s not the way it works here.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Surely LJ was only trying to be witty. He’s a Liverpool fan after all.

    Gaffer, if you think that’s bad try living in central Tokyo for the Japorea World Cup and not be able to find a bar showing the afternoon matches (no terrestrial tv coverage).

    TT

  8. Anonymous says:

    Such is the life of an American footie fan…resorting to illegal p2p streams just to catch most games. FSC is in the expanded package on almost all cable providers, so paying the extra cash isn’t always feasible. It’s a shame, getting up at the crack of dawn to turn on the computer and watch a splotchy game, but I have to say I still love it still.

    YNWA

  9. Charlie says:

    When I visited Vegas a couple of months ago, I found a little Irish place called McMullan’s Irish Pub that showed the Champions League matches going on that week. They have both FSC and Setanta. It’s at 4650 W. Tropicana, across the street from The Orleans hotel/casino.

    Fado’s has a new location in Henderson and they’re definently footie-friendly, but they’re also about 30 minutes or so away from The Strip.

  10. City Lou says:

    Sadly outside the growing soccer community in this nation nobody seems to care about the PL. That is unfortunate and from perspective a little sickening. The rest of the world has embraced English Football, but the US has to be different. MLS also isn’t really growing anymore which too in unfortunate. Now I see where MLS wants to add more foreign players to its squads, which is a terrible mistake. MLS may not be popular, but the reason why the US doesn’t miss international tournaments like England does is because the US has an extremely deep player pool since their is a 13 team league made up I would guess 90% of American players. MLS is expanding to 18 and allowing 40% of the players to be foreign. Not a good move.

  11. Nate says:

    I live in Vegas, and the most frustrating thing is that the HOA where my home is located does not allow satellite dishes … thus no chance of Setanta or Gol tv. However, as ‘the scout’ mentioned, Crown & Anchor is the best place for football in this town. It’s open 24/7 and they are always showing whatever matches are on live.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Your search for Fox and Setanta sounds like my search to watch GolTV. I’m one of the unlucky people that live in a Time Warner area.

  13. eplnfl says:

    I should note in this back and forth that not all NFL games are seen all over the country. The NFL Network has limited coverage areas and not carried by all cable companies. There is also the Big Ten Network which can not get picked up by local cable carriers.

    So, even mainstream sports in the us have limited coverage at times. given that the EPL is the only foreign league to have any much coverage in the US what we is really very good.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Sweet!!! ill be in vegas during the double-header(chelsea v Arsenal, liverpool v manutd) and luxor will do just fine with its personal tvs! how big were the tvs by the way??? Thanks man!

  15. The Gaffer says:

    Thirteen inch telly. Not perfect but it does the trick.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  16. Anonymous says:

    When I was out in Vegas in September, Cesar’s had both Setanta and FSC (West Ham v Arsenal & Chelsea v Fulham) on the big screens, but both screens switched over as soon as College football started. All concierges I talked to told me the best place to go was the Crown and Anchor Pub.

  17. Mancity says:

    i was vegas for the world cup in 2006 and it was a nightmare to find the england games.then last year we stayed at caesers palace and to my surprise when I woke up(after a big night!!!), the wife was watching city v bolton on FSC, very surprised,but i enjoyed the 2nd half. the other places that have FSC are crown and anchor,mgm (after nagging and tipping the barman),the luxor and planet hollywood sports bar.enjoy

  18. Futbol says:

    Glad I looked into this website, I can now watch Sunday’s game ManU vs Liverpool. To all you football fans thanks for pointing out the sports bars, luckily I’m staying at the MGM and can go to the bar and watch the beatiful game. To all those that are jelous and ignorant about our game….shame on you. Go watch your baseball…….such a boring game…..it was even blown out of the Olympics…..because the rest of the world is not interested…..I wonder why…..to all the others that like the NFL…..you should watch Rugby….a real manly sport……to all other sports fans…..enjoy your game…
    Yes FUTBOL is the best, and you guys paid Beckham all that money to play in the U.S.A………he’s taking you for a ride like you deserve……ha ha ha ha…..
    FUTBOL FOREVER…..

  19. Robert says:

    GOing to Vegas this weekend. The best and most important derby in the world right now is happening. Barcelona vs Real Madrid. Does Crown and Anchor play GolTv?

  20. olivert says:

    GolTV should be available at most casino sportsbooks because GolTV is available as part of the DirecTV sports pack.

    Setanta is the one that is a bit more difficult to find. Hofbrauhaus (on Paradise across the street from the Hard Rock) and McMillians Pub (across the street from the Orleans) are two places I know of that carries Setanta.

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