With the exclusive story earlier this week reporting that Fox Soccer Channel is in talks with Setanta Sports to acquire the US company, EPL Talk has found evidence that Fox has trademarked the name Fox Soccer Plus (and also the variation Fox Soccer +) as well as acquired the domain name FoxSoccerPlus.com presumably in preparation for the launch of a new network.
The FoxSoccerPlus.com domain name was registered on December 9, 2009 by the Intellectual Property Department at Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. FoxSoccerPlus.com currently points to no website.
As of press time, Fox Soccer Channel is still in negotiations with Setanta Sports to acquire the company. And there’s no evidence to suggest that Fox would rebrand Setanta Sports as Fox Soccer Plus if and when Fox acquired Setanta. But the evidence suggests that there may be a strong connection between the two and that if Fox acquires Setanta, that you could expect to see a new Fox Soccer Channel added to your satellite or cable provider in the near future.
That’s excellent news and in contradiction to what I posted in an opinion piece yesterday where I wrote that Setanta’s likely demise would be a dark day in soccer for US viewers. I would gladly eat my words on that one if it means that Fox Soccer Plus would keep many of the rights that Setanta owns. However, the name “Fox Soccer Plus” does paint a worrisome picture for fans of other sports that Setanta shows such as rugby and gaelic sports.
In the meantime, Setanta Sports is still scheduled to televise the live broadcast between Arsenal and Bolton Wanderers today at 2:45pm ET. UPDATE: Arsenal v Bolton match has been postponed due to snow, so the game won’t be shown on Setanta today. Looking ahead, though, there are no Premier League games shown on Setanta’s TV listings for this Saturday. Today could possibly be the last Premier League game you can expect to see on Setanta Sports. But right now, we’re taking it on a day by day basis until the negotiations between Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports end, which we expect to happen in the next 36 hours.
Thanks to EPL Talk reader Teddy L for first pointing us in the direction of the trademark filing.