What do you do if you’re the programming director of a soccer channel and you don’t have the TV rights to this year’s Champions League Final featuring the giants of Manchester United against Barcelona? If you work at Fox Soccer Channel, you provide seven hours of live coverage from Sky Sports.
That’s what Fox Soccer Channel has planned for next Wednesday, May 27th, 2009. The broadcast of Sky Sports News on Fox Soccer Channel begins at Noon ET and will run through 7pm ET. During that time, Sky Sports will feature a team of reports on the ground live from Rome and expert analysis from its studio guests.
For most viewers in the United States, many of them may tune in to Fox Soccer Channel to watch the Sky Sports coverage from Noon to 2:30pm ET, switch to ESPN2 for the game from 2:30pm to 5pm, and then switch back for two hours to see Sky’s concluding coverage from 5-7pm ET.
Since Fox Soccer Channel is now being rated by Nielsen, the strategy is pretty smart. The cost to broadcast the Sky Sports coverage is probably minimal to Fox since they’re owned by the same parent company, News Corp. Plus there’s very little overhead to Fox to air the feed.
The coverage from Sky Sports News is the typical sensationalized, over-dramatic and uneducated drivel. But it’s better than reruns of Premier League World or Wigan against Bolton.