Fox Soccer Channel will be broadcasting in HD very soon. There are a few positives and a few negatives, yes negatives, to this development. Here are a few positives and negatives as I see it:
Positive #1: Fox Soccer will be broadcasting in HD beginning in January. This is great news since everyone with an HD TV has been waiting a long time to watch the EPL in HD on something other than ESPN2.
Negative #1: While FSC will be broadcasting in HD, only Santa Claus knows which cable/satellite providers will actually be picking it up. Heck, Time Warner Cable customers might not even be able to watch The Simpsons if their management doesn’t get it together sometime soon. It’s probably too much to hope that all FSC channels will suddenly switch to HD on January 1st. In addition, an “HD” channel does not mean that all content will be broadcast in HD. I am assuming that the EPL matches will be in HD but what about Serie A, Champions League, Premier League Review, and Sky Sports News?
Positive #2: We will finally have something on the Tennis Channel. My fellow DirecTV subscribers have been wondering why on earth we have the Tennis Channel in HD but we have to watch grainy scenes of Premier League football all weekend. Seriously DirecTV, if you have the Tennis Channel in HD then you definitely need Fox Soccer Channel in HD. DirecTV subscribers also know about the dream Champions League and Europa League HD coverage on the special HD channels in the 400’s (at no extra cost). I find myself watching obscure matches like Cluj v Fenerbache just because it’s in HD. DirecTV, I’m trying to find a reason why you wouldn’t pick up FSC HD in January but…
Negative #2: Sadly, having the Tennis Channel in HD doesn’t mean anything. DirecTV, Time Warner, Comcast, and others decide which channels to offer in HD (or at all) based on what is best for them financially. They do have the consumer in mind but, in the end, they are a business and they are trying to make money. Simple as that. If they don’t see FSC HD making money for them, then we are not going to see it on our HD TV’s. Case in point: Versus HD was on DirecTV and I loved watching their content, especially the Tour de France. Alas, it was not meant to be because DirecTV decided that Comcast (owner of Versus) was charging them too much to broadcast Versus HD. So, no more Versus for me and it looks like I won’t see it anytime in the near future. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens with Fox Soccer Channel in HD. Sounds like Time Warner Cable customers need to pay attention.
Positive #3: We can’t wait to see high-profile matches in HD. Sorry ESPN2, but the fixture list just hasn’t been kind to you so far this season. You have had a few big matches but I am growing tired of Tommy Smyth acting pumped up about a Burnley goal. He has to be tired of it as well. Having FSC in HD would seriously up the ante in terms of what we watch. We could actually record one match in HD and watch another live in HD. What a concept! Regardless, I currently record/watch the ESPN2 match simply because it’s in HD.
Negative #3: My DVR is getting full. This is a problem already, regardless of your HD channel line-up. Between ESPN2, FSC, Setanta, and GolTV, I simply cannot watch/record everything I want since everything comes on at the same time on three or more channels. This season, FSC has remedied this a bit by offering matches at 5:00 PM and/or 8:00 PM. This is great on the surface, but I want to know how my fantasy team is doing at noon so I usually don’t watch those matches since I already know who won them. However, if these later matches were broadcast in HD, I would certainly record them and watch them simply because they are in HD. This is not so much a negative as it is a natural consequence of a more diverse HD offering.
Hopefully, FSC will actually be shown in living rooms across America in January. Personally, I am sick of that Sylvania HD TV commercial being shown on my HD flat screen… in SD. Just think, if we are “watching the beautiful game in HD,” now it will just annoy us, not piss us off, every time we see it. Also, all those Proactiv commercials will we better as well… well, maybe not. Either way, we need to call, email, write, and annoy our cable and satellite providers. They have likely already decided what to initially do with FSC HD but perhaps a wave of consumer feedback will give them something to think about. It’s something to hope for at least! What are your thoughts?