Fox Soccer Channel HD Launch Frustrates Soccer Fans

fsc on hd Fox Soccer Channel HD Launch Frustrates Soccer Fans

The anticipation and excitement of Fox Soccer Channel launching in HD has been building for ten months now ever since the January 2010 date was first announced last April. Soccer fans across the United States have been drooling at the prospect of watching their favorite Premier League team and international football in glorious HD on FSC. However, the roll-out by Fox has been underwhelming to say the least especially in the communications department.

In the past two weeks, there has been little to no new communication from Fox Soccer Channel on its website, in press releases, in the media or on its channel about the latest developments regarding the HD situation. The only recent clues have been Fox Soccer Channel adding the HD logo to its programming beginning last Thursday, a short promo on Fox that mentions that FSC is now in HD, and a brief mention before this past weekend’s Premier League games that the matches were “Available in HD.”

However this has left soccer fans throughout the United States perplexed, feeling bitter and wanting more information. As far as EPL Talk can tell, no cable or satellite provider is actually broadcasting Fox Soccer Channel in HD. So when Fox adds a HD logo and proclaims “Available in HD,” the network is sending a confusing message to soccer fans and have left them scouring the Internet for any details on the latest developments. But there’s little to no news on FoxSoccer.com so viewers have been venting their frustration and asking questions on sites such as BigSoccer and this one, EPL Talk.

Yes, Fox Soccer Channel has fulfilled its promise by broadcasting its programming in HD, where available, but it is falling down on its responsibilities to inform viewers what the latest situation is. Instead of boasting “Available in HD” on its network and its website referring soccer fans to the Fox Soccer Channelfinder (which is practically useless after you’ve used it once), the network should be doing more to answer the questions of its viewers. Why not create a specific section on the FoxSoccer.com website that answers HD-related questions? How about creating an interactive map that shows coverage areas where FSC is being shown in HD by a local cable or satellite provider? Why not create a Fox Soccer Channel-related Twitter account solely to answer HD questions? Yes, for soccer fans in the United States, it is that important.

Fox’s decision to boast that its Premier League matches this past weekend were “available in HD” was a poor choice of words. Factually it’s correct, but if no one is able to actually watch the games in HD, the only thing it does it cause soccer fans to become more frustrated and more anxious.

The other thing that the “available in HD” message causes is expectations that are not managed. When soccer fans read “available in HD,” they expect immediacy whether it’s days or weeks before the words become true. But the sad fact is that there may be some viewers in the United States who will be waiting months if not longer to see Fox Soccer Channel in HD. And how annoying will that be? Sure it’s not Fox’s fault, but it’s building false expectations.

While Fox Soccer Channel has been very quiet recently regarding the launch of HD and their talks with satellite and cable providers, the network hasn’t said a word about Setanta’s announcement six days ago that the broadcaster had agreed terms with Fox Soccer Channel. And it has been very quiet about the March 1 launch of Fox Soccer Plus, the network that will feature much of the programming that Setanta Sports currently carries. I completely understand why Fox may not be willing to announce the details right now until all of the decisions have been made, but the reality is that soccer fans are excited (and impatient at the same time) and they’d rather get some information right now than none. The “radio silence” from Fox Soccer Channel is obviously not working for the soccer community right now. In the day of the Internet, companies need to be more open and quicker to respond.

What are your thoughts about the way that Fox Soccer Channel is handling the news about the availability of HD? Are they doing everything they can or are they not doing enough? Share your feedback in the comments section below.

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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128 Responses to Fox Soccer Channel HD Launch Frustrates Soccer Fans

  1. RayO says:

    Until the DirecTV12 satellite is handed over to Direct TV (its in orbit now), I don’t see Fox Soccer HD or any other number of HD channels (like BBC America HD) being available to Direct TV customers. That handoff is supposed to take place late first quarter or early second quarter 2010.

    Who knows what the other providers are up to.

    • dhines says:

      technically they (directv) could do it before then because the NFL package HD channels are no longer broadcasting. that being said, i don’t think they will make any HD changes until the sat is fully tested. imagine if directv uses some of the NFL bandwith for channels, only to find that the new sat doesn’t work, what will they do next fall? the odds of that happening are beyond extremely slim, but i just think it is an unnecessary risk. if i had to guess, directv will start bringing out new HD channels within the next 2 – 3 weeks. then the question becomes, where is FSC is the queue?

      that i have no idea. but, seeing that it would make logical sense to bring in all the pending Fox HD channels at one time (FSE, FSC, FSC+, etc) . . . it seems like we would have to at least wait for FSC+ to be released.

      time will tell.

  2. man10utd says:

    They have been complete and utter rubbish. This whole thing has been a mess. I quite realise that the providers have to get on board as well, but FSC should have the ability to get HD picked up by most. I mean really QVC is in HD. All this tells me is that (Comcast) I will never see a match on FSC in HD. Max B. is making more money for ESPN, SNL news looks better than the FSC set. This should tell us something. They may provide the most footie in America, but they’re still a joke. Instead of wasting my time contacting providers who don’t give a toss about FSC I’m going waste my time badgering ESPN to buy the rights back as soon as possible. As neither are likely to happen what have I got to lose.

  3. pete says:

    hey
    i live in chicago and i have DISH NETWORK. after i saw “available in HD” I called Dish’ customer service….they told me “…there is no chance to add FSC HD to their lineup right now…” i think they dont have free space to add any HD channels:( So more than 75% soccer’s fans in the States will have to wait long long time to watch FSCHD…its so SAD!
    looking for a better tomorrow good luck to You soccer fans!!!

    • jon316 says:

      thats just wrong, they have the room, it is actually already up linked to the sat along with BBChd and Ehd along with a few others. For a day the FSC site was saying dish would be getting it 2/10/10 but then it changed to soon, probably because dish did not want them to let the cat out of the bag. But there is room and most likely will be on dish and I hear direct this week.

    • jon316 says:

      plus, never believe what a CSR tells you, they usually know nothing about the companies future plans.

  4. rej4sl says:

    Try living in Comcast Land in the Twin Cities MN – no matter what channel you request – you get the same generic response back – saying we have no idea when we will launch this channel in HD – we anticipated BBC America – still not here – we anticipated Fox Soccer Channel HD – not here – we anticipate Fox Soccer Channel Plus in HD – don’t think this will be here. This area is at the bottom of the totem pole for HD content and new channels. We could not even get the Olympic HD channels for soccer as no bandwidth available and that was in 2008 and still nothing has changed no bandwidth is still given out as an answer.
    I blame both BBC America and Fox for launching these channels without agreements and I blame the Cable and Satellite companies for not showing these channels when available – and giving people the delights of QVC and the Weather Channel in HD !!!

    • Joe hirst says:

      Well, i am pissed….. I have just added Comcast’s “Sport Package to an existing Digital HD plan, here in Chicago SPECIFICALLY to watch soccer in HD. Okay, the Sport Package only has “2″ soccer channels (FSCHD and GOLTV) but i can watch the home shopping and numerous other useless channels in glorious HD on my 2000 dollar HD tv… the 2 soccer channels!!!!, crappy Digital only, and how annoying is that HD logo on FSC when you would get a better picture on an old Tube TV than a Digital one on a HD TV, it’s all fuzzy and gives you a headache after a while. I am going to give Comcast/FSC a couple of weeks to either make it HD, or at the very least get FSC to remove the lying Logo off, or it’s bye bye my Comcast account!.

  5. Jesse says:

    All parties involved seem to be handling the matter quite shockingly. I called DirecTV on Saturday to inquire about FSC HD, Fox Soccer Plus HD and the demise of Setanta USA in regards to how it would affect my billing, and got the load of corporate BS that I had anticipated. Lot’s of talk, no real answers.

    FSC haven’t done themselves any favors as they’ve pimped the launch of HD for some time now. All this buzz, all this talk, and it appears no communication with the cable and satellite providers to be able to deliver a clear date for availability.

    I’m not holding my breath.

  6. Robert George says:

    As I have said previously this launch should of been done in the summer when the EPL season is over thus allowing the channel to be added to various providers. I have Dish Network theres no sign of that or BBC America HD. My local cable company sucks so theres no chance of that showing.

    If FSC can’t even plan and arrange the channel to be shown in HD how the hell are they gonna be able to arrange FSC+.

    And to think people here moan about paying $15 a month for Setanta. For the price of a couple of burgers Setanta was very good value for money.

    RIP Setanta.

    • The Fog says:

      I think now is a better time to launch than in the summer. The interest in the EPL is at its highest now through the end of the season. This gives Fox more leverage. Look how it has us enraged! Fox is using us to put pressure on the carriers so that they can negotiate a higher rate to charge.

      My guess is that Fox is trying to tie FSCHD and Fox Soccer + together in the negotiations. DirecTV will not fold. Look what they did with VERSUS. NHL fans have not been able to convince them to bring it back, yet — although it is rumored to be backup for the playoffs.

      I look for March 1 at the earliest for either channel — after Setanta is gone.

  7. Ryan says:

    I doubt my cable provider (Cablevision) will be adding this station anytime soon since they just added all the sports package stations that have HD feeds and FSC isn’t part of the sports package its part of basic digital cable. The thing that really needs to start happening is SD stations to be taken down or don’t add HD feeds of BS stations like QVC and in my area Cablevision owned News12 station, and MSG Varsity (who wants to watch High School Sports anyway).

  8. sucka99 says:

    sooo – if the EPL is now in HD, does that mean the rebroadcasts on FSN (who DO have HD channels in most homes) will be in 16×9 HD?

  9. Ryan says:

    When watching Setanta this weekend, they did have a scroll along the bottom of the screen stating that all programming will be available on Fox Soccer Plus staring March 1, 2010 and to contact local cable provider/satellite provider.

  10. TheLaffer says:

    I thought the games looked great this weekend. Going from one of the worst quality broadcasts in America to upconverted 720p was a HUGE difference.

  11. Sg says:

    FSC is a joke

  12. Attaturk says:

    I don’t know if others noticed this, but the HD picture downgraded to SD on FSC left me with the following impression:

    1. The color was more vibrant and less washed out, BUT
    2. It was also more pixalated, the white markings on the field were very disjointed.

    I’m not sure, on average, whether the picture was better or worse, but it was different.

    • MarkB says:

      I would vote for worse. The still scenes were very clear, but any movement was hard to watch with the markings looking like a strobe light. Also having that annoying advertising box just to the right of the middle of the screen most of the match sucked.

      • yespage says:

        Yeah, it was a mixed bag. Sometimes it looked better. Sometimes it looked jaggy. And the advertisement on the right corner… not all the way in the corner, but towards it, was annoying as it was definitely in the way.

        I agree with the Setanta comment about $15 being a good deal, despite the picture quality sometimes. I think some people with HD tv’s feel they have some sort of birthright for all programming being available in HD. I remember Directv back 7 or 8 years ago having one or two EPL games a weekend for $280 a year! For $180 a year, with Setanta we were getting easily that many live games, plus delays and a bunch of other sporting events, 24/7.

        Fox definitely is playing hardball, pitting cable/sat tv subscribers against cable/sat tv. Personally, I could live without HD football. I want to watch the games. I hope Fox Soccer Plus doesn’t steal away Setanta and leave me with less than I was willing to pay for. I guess the good news is, it is possible for Setanta to become Fox Soccer Plus… in SD. I wonder if it is possible for FS+ in SD being part of the Gold tier on Dish Network… get HD for $10 more to watch it in HD? (Yeah… that’s hoping for too much. :^P)

  13. Robert George says:

    Have found a rumour that Dish may me carrying this channel

    http://www.satelliteguys.us/sports-section/201455-fox-soccer-channel-hd.html

  14. dlink09 says:

    FSC is a joke.. TWC told NFL network to go f*** yourself when they tried to play hardball. we still don’t have NFL network.. as things stand TWC costumers have to wait for a long time.. FSC you are no ESPN. get you’re heads out you’re stinking assess idiots

  15. dlink09 says:

    can someone call fox football fone in today and ask FSC what the hell is going on..

  16. Andrew says:

    Does anybody know when setanta sports is coming to the philadelphia area i have setanta i but i’m getting sick of watching it on the computer thanks

  17. JR says:

    Any people who ever thought the Murdochians would do anything to help viewers instead of extracting every single penny possible from them don’t know their history.

    Fox hates you and laughs at your willingness to pay good $$ for their terrible coverage.

  18. Chris says:

    Alot of people are talking about not having FSC in HD. Well Listen to this…not everybody in the USA has FSC. Try that….I can live without HD for a long time but be lucky you even got FSC. FSC dosent promote thier channel to cable companys…

  19. Andrew says:

    Hey Ryan yeah forgot to say we have comcast and there is no coverage in our area of philadelphia

  20. ovalball says:

    Gaffer, good article. You covered all the bases. Snafu.

  21. Matt says:

    I would really like to have the games in HD on Dish soon, but I am just as interested to know if and when we might get the Fox Soccer Plus channel. I subscribe to Setanta already and really dont want to lose half of the EPL games every weekend.

  22. Chris says:

    @ Ryan, If you were speaking to me, I have FSC…but I had to change my cable company to just get it. And I was extremley lucky and excited to get it on that cable company.

    @dlink09, Actually no not everybody in the USA is covered if they want to watch footy on tv. I think your forgetting people who live in small rural areas. Which dont have companys like Comcast, TWC, roaming the areas for people to get and if your smart cable is the best way to go rather than getting Dish Network and Direct Tv which is highly highly expensive and isnt worth the money compared to cable tv. thats a fact. espically on cable you pretty much get the same thing you get on DishNetwork and Diret Tv.

    • yespage says:

      Seriously, Cable TV being a better deal than Sat? I guess that is why Cable decided to have states add a surcharge sales tax to Sat TV subscribers, so that the overall cost to Sat TV subscribers would be more competitive to Cable.

    • Civrock says:

      That’s a highly inconsistent statement to make when talking about cable TV.

      If you live in a big and very profitable market for cable providers (and have TWC or Comcast, to be more specific), sure, you might get comparable programming like on DiSH/DirecTV.
      If you live anywhere else, you get nowhere close to the programming on the satellite providers, especially if none of the top 2 or maybe 3 cable companies are providing service in your area and you’re stuck with something like Charter.

      This especially applies to niche interests in the US like soccer… if you don’t live in a market with high hispanic population, you’re very lucky to get special programming like Setanta or even GolTV.
      FSC has been the only soccer channel so far that was widely available to almost everyone due to their carrier agreements, regardless of market interests.

      On DiSH and DirecTV you never have to worry about market interests (since all of the national programming is available to everyone) and usually not about bandwidth either as it’s much easier adjust than Cable (add/remove channels or for temporary events like the Olympics or Champions League in case of soccer).

      Satellite > Cable, I’ve been there.

    • sucka99 says:

      maybe cable is cheaper in rural areas but in my metropolitan area satellite is cheaper depending on the options.

    • dhines says:

      not even close. those that think cable competes with dish and directv don’t know the facts. in certain aspects fios and uverse have the capability to compete with sat systems, but that is only if you are satisfied with a very few number of HD feeds coming into your house. in my house i have 6 HDTVs with 2 HD feeds each, that isn’t even possible with fios or uverse.

      don’t even get me started on cable . . . apples and oranges. and that isn’t even bringing up the cost, just content. bring cost into play and it is a clear cut decision.

  23. Brian Chicago says:

    The whole HD launch has been very disappointing for me. I am a comcast subscriber, and doubt they will add the HD channel as they take the approach of putting more HD on demand rather then in channels.

    I have been debating moving to a different provider, and this would play a part in it for sure. Anyone have one of those internet providers? Sezmi I think is one, just barely heard of it, so not too familiar.

  24. Robert George says:

    Sat is better then cable. I had 5 dvrs with Insight last year. I have had sat for 1 year better pic quality, more channels and only one DVR>

  25. John says:

    This whole thing is a fiasco and one big clusterf*ck. You’ve now got FSC basically lying to consumers about HD access. I don’t care if, in theory, they are broadcasting in HD, if NO ONE IN AMERICA can watch it that way, the you ARENT broadcasting in HD. (If a tree falls in the forest/If FSC broadcasts in HD, and no one’s there to see it, does it still exist?)

    • dhines says:

      no lies involved, i think you aren’t understanding the process. FSC is broadcasting in HD, it is directv, dish, etc that are yet to pick up the feed.

  26. Ian M says:

    This is all a bit ‘yesterday’ isn’t it?

    3-D is where its at now…

    In the UK Sky Sports just broadcast its first 3-D match in 9 pre-selected pubs. From March it’ll be 1 match a month.

    See here for the story:

    http://blogs.news.sky.com/techtalk/Post:1c274eb9-9bd3-415d-8cd9-1593860f6eca

    See here for a review with a picture:

    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,12193_5908936,00.html

    About time this got a mention eh gaffer?

    • The Gaffer says:

      Hi Ian, good question. I’ve mentioned it a few times on the Twitter feed and in the comments section here, but yes, it’s about time I wrote a story about it. Coming soon!

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

    • dhines says:

      IMO 3D is junk and won’t ever have a big impact. i have watched a couple of american football games in 3D and it was fun for the first 10 min, then it gave me a headache.

    • ovalball says:

      Funny, actually. We’re bitching about no HD and it is about to be eclipsed by 3D. What’s more, 3D as we know it, so to speak, is about to be eclipsed by “no glasses” 3D. So don’t go out and buy those soon to be antiquated glasses-only $10,000 3D TV sets quite yet. ;-)

      • dhines says:

        well, if what your saying is true . . . they better have a disable option. i have no interest in ever watching anything in 3D. i attended an ESPN showing for the USC/OSU football game and absolutely hated it.

        my prediction . . . this will go the way of the laserdisc

  27. Chris says:

    Well, All Im saying is my price rates never go up and I can get dvr and hd and all the channels i can handle to watch at a better price than Sat. Ive had Dish, prices kept going up and i never watched half the channels i had on there..it was ridclous…now like somebody mentioned before Sat might be cheaper in the big citys but not around the small areas…you really get smacked around lol. Around here with Sat they pretty much run these specials where you can get all this for a year at a certian price then they start jackin the prices up. With cable you get this certian price forever and thats with internet and phone put into the cable bill and its still cheaper than Sat.

  28. dhines says:

    i honestly think the only people complaining about this are those that don’t have an understanding of how the process works. first the content provider (fox) has to make the channel available in HD, then the distribution network (directv, dish, etc) has to test the feed, find capacity then add it to the lineup. FSC is just letting the world know that they are ready, and the delay is no longer in their hands. how can FSC give any timeline for things that their organization has no control over?

    what FSC is doing is completely normal and is the process that has taken place for every other channel going HD.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Dhines, what you just wrote is what Fox Soccer Channel should be saying publicly, or at least in interviews (which they don’t seem to be doing or granting). The vast majority of soccer fans are confused when they see FSC boasting their games are “available in HD” but yet Fox is not giving us any other information beyond that.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • dhines says:

        that is true, but i think they made an assumption that people are used to the process . . . etc. i will admit that if i was the one in charge (at FSC), i would have handled it differently. but who knows, maybe the idea is to create a media stir and then have all the pressure applied to the distributors.

        quien sabe.

        • The Gaffer says:

          dhines, I think it’s backfired for Fox. All of the pressure is on them right now to explain what they mean by “available in HD” when not one carrier, as far as we know, is making it available to us in HD. That’ll change over time as carriers add FSC HD, but until then, it’s going to be some frustrating times for soccer viewers.

          Rather than tease viewers, Fox should be more open, doing interviews with the press and getting the word out there because at the end of the day, this is wonderful news (HD) but the way they’re going about the launch is completely the wrong way.

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

  29. Bill says:

    This is how every single HD channel in the country works. They make the switch – they start advertising on their channels. They aren’t misleading the customers – talk to the providers. Reading nearly every comment in this thread has given me a headache. Its been like this for years on end.

    It does suck that it probably won’t get picked up by anyone for a while, let alone cable providers, which [i]does[/i] beg the question – Whats the point in going HD if you have not a single US provider lined up?

    Aside from that, it could be weeks, months, years before people actually reap the benefits, but thats just how it is, and it does suck, but its not FSC’s fault.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Bill, it’s not Fox’s fault, I agree. But they need to communicate the reality to soccer fans rather than raising our hopes by teasing us with “available in HD” when it’s simply not to anyone in the States.

      I don’t know about other soccer fans, but this is the first time I’ve gone through this process where I’m very excited about a SD channel being available in HD. So I’m experiencing what’s happening for the first time, and I believe there are many others who are going through this for the first time too.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • sucka99 says:

        I don’t mind the teasing as long as they provide some constructive way of pressuring our providers. That stupid channel finder or the 800 number is useless.

  30. man10utd says:

    They’ve gone about it backwards. Most HD channels just appear from nowhere with Comcast. One day no, next day yes….no hoopla, no fuss, just there. Obviously negotiations are taking place, but it’s all done and dusted before the adverts appear. The only other “major” cable channel that tried to publically nobble the cable providers was BBC America, and we see how well that has worked out. You either have a product the providers want or you don’t. Let’s face it FSC doesn’t have a desirable product (for providers) yet or this would have been sorted out months ago.

  31. GianCarlo says:

    DISH Network will be adding FSC HD on Wednesday, February 10th. Hopefully Direct TV will announce something soon to compete against DISH.

    • Matt says:

      Where does this info come from exactly?

      • GianCarlo says:

        Foxsoccer.com — I typed in my zip code, 89031, and checked each provider to find out if they will add FSC HD. DISH Network was the only one that had some information.

        • Matt says:

          That has changed since yesterday, because mine says I will get it next week also. Nice.

        • Brian says:

          Really? Now I have Fox Soccer, but when it goes HD will I have to pay extra to get it or will it just be updated?
          BBCHD went HD and I never got it upgraded, still same crappy quality.

          • GianCarlo says:

            You will have to contact DISH Network and ask them. Unfortunately, I have Direct TV, so I will have to remain patient until an announcement is made.

          • Matt says:

            BBC never went HD on dish. It went HD, but Dish didnt pick it up…yet. The recent uplink data had Dish adding BBC America, E! and FSC in HD in the next week or two.

        • man10utd says:

          same for zip 32216,,,,must be nationwide for DISH

          • Civrock says:

            It’s a nationwide channel, obviously not local, and DiSH is a nationwide service. It’s satellite after all, no silly market restrictions like on Cable. ;)

  32. Matt says:

    I was extremely frustrated. I have Comcast which did appear to upscale a regular broadcast in HD. The image on tv was essentially upscaled from 480 resolution from what I could see. So the overall image was cleaner in some instances and camera views, but others had weird blurry pixelation in areas that were very annoying.

  33. brn442 says:

    Well said Gaffer, Fox’s communication on the HD and soccer plus question has been shocking. They haven’t made any pronounced announcements on on the “soccer report” or given any info on the steps needed to see if one’s local provider is on board. Fox is not some fringe start up, given their market clout and Murdoch’s showdown with Google and Cable providers over content a couple months ago, I’m sure they could’ve forced the issue with Cable/Satellite providers on this issue as well if they so desired so everyone’s on the same page come launch time.

  34. Lou Poulain says:

    The reason Fox Soccer is “to blame” is that since they have a niche product that appeals to a tiny (but noisy) constituency, it’s necessary to organize the few-but-noisy to have an impact on the providers. Right now, why should the providers care? But a coordinated barrage from us few-but-noisy folk might motivate them based merely on the nuisance factor. Fox does a shit job of communicating with their constituency. I, for one, feel completely taken for granted. They know we have no other viable options, so they invest no real energy in customer communications. Their website is horrible. It should be the go-to site for soccer fans. Instead, I gravitate to goal.com and espn soccernet for news.

    Sad, I think.
    Lou
    PS: I’m jacked to see the note that 2/10 is the launch date for HD on Dish. I really hope that’s accurate.

  35. eyehate_citeh says:

    why does dish network have the channel before directv when directv is a sponsor of FSC??? directv keeps hiding behind this “bandwidth” issue, yet they have some extra bandwidth from the now extinct versus hd, and they just had EIGHT FREAKING CHANNELS of tennis in HD and they are now offering FOUR FREAKING CHANNELS of winter olympics in HD. i think directv is lying to their customers. i also think if Fox is asking too much for the new channels, directv subscribers may end up with NO FOOTBALL like they screwed over the versus audience.

    i’m not feeling too confident that directv will offer these channels to us, especially since dish network has already reached an agreement with Fox.

    • sucka99 says:

      DirecTV’s twitter account said they were in negotiations. Hopefully the Dish news will light a fire under them

    • dhines says:

      it means that dish was not willing to bargin and get the price down further . . . remember that dish needs to steal all headlines possible before directv starts bringing up all the HD channels from its newest sat. bottom line, it was in the best interest of dish to do it fast, it wasn’t in the best interest of directv to follow that same path.

  36. ovalball says:

    OK—everyone shut up and watch ESPN2HD—right now! Or, if you’re working—never mind. As you were.

  37. DaveMo says:

    …yeah, the FSC webpage with it’s msn prefix always puts me in mind of aol web pages circa 1995. Amateur hour.

    It’s been very frustrating trying to get any info from anyone about FSC in HD or what will happen when Setanta goes dark, vis-a-vis FS+. FSC never answers any questions I send them. DirecTV answers, but without content. Interesting, some of the comments above about new satellites, etc.

    Anyone know if the matches on FS+ will be available online (analagous to setanta-i)? It would be nice to have a workaround while we wait.

    I think the message we need to send is this: I will move to the provider (comcast/cable, verizon fios, satellite – whoever) that is the first to give me the option of getting FSC in HD *and* FS+ in HD. This is the one and only viewing choice that is by itself large enough to get me to change providers. Poor announcement and communication on FSC’s part, yes, but it’s available in HD now and it’s now up to us to send this message to providers.

  38. rej4sl says:

    Yup watching Sunderland v Stoke on ESPN right now – would love more games on FSC HD + and FSC HD we can all dream about getting them – another email to Comcast – ought to have them on speed dial lol

  39. Jorge says:

    bREAKING NEWS! Fox Soccer Channel in HD will be available on DISH NETWORK February 10, 2010!!!! SUWEEEET

  40. Chris says:

    What I dont understand is that the Manchester United vs Arsenal game was in HD but when they replayed it on FSN HD it wasnt in HD. Whats the deal. I thought if it was in HD on FSC it would be on FSN.

  41. Jorge says:

    bREAKING NEWS! Fox Soccer Channel in HD will be available on DISH NETWORK February 10, 2010!!!! awsome

  42. Clair says:

    I have Comcast in Boston & I must say, considering it is *CABLE* (not DirecTV/DISH Network), I get a good load of HD stations. I looked at the cable line-up where I grew up at & I was surprised how few stations were in HD there compared to Boston.

    Keep in mind too, what is on your cable line-up locally depends on local contracts, it is not a national deal. What you have does not mean I have it, even if both of us are Comcast.

    After talking to several customer service reps. on FSC HD & other HD stations I wish to get, they told me Comcast is switching all stations from analog to digital. Once this occurs, more HD stations will be added. FSC is the #1 station I want that is offered in HD, but Comcast does not offer it in Boston. I hope it will be offered in the next roll out.

  43. watching arsenal vs man u on fsn, it looks a little better, but not 16:9, i have directv

  44. Dave 2 says:

    Gaffer – I sent you an e-mail with FSC HD screen grabs from Sunday action

  45. dfunkt says:

    thanks very much for this article and excellent discussion. i must admit i have been exceedingly frustrated by this whole process. last week i saw the “available in HD” promo during a match, called FIOS to ask if they carry FSC in HD and was told it was part of the “extreme HD” package, which i then ordered. yesterday i hooked up my new HD box and, lo and behold!, it is the same non-HD FSC that i had before. i want to cancel my HD package subscription, but if it is actually coming in march i want to wait…ugh. whatever. :-|

  46. dabes2 says:

    Maybe the FSC aproach has something to do with their UEFA Champions League contract. IIRC, when they bid on the rights they promised that FSC would be broadcasting in HD in time for the knockout stage games. Seeing how that starts Feb 16th, maybe FSC has been trying to document that they delivered on their promise.

  47. FSCmatako! says:

    This is very very sad news for me. FSC does the absolute worst job at broadcasting football. For me Setanta has been a god-send and the occational appearance of English or Spanish football on ESPN2 is simply devine. FSC please dont fool the public with stupid catch phrases. I’m sure its just to charge more than the $15 I pay p/m for Setanta. The only true HD football I have seen in the US is on ESPN and it is always glorious. FSC is a farce. I like the way they say the guys who are ‘actually’ at the game are ‘standing-by’ for them. What? LOL!!!! Please leave football to those who understand the sport and are not rushing to put on useless adverts. Sad sad news for me.

    • Matt says:

      I’m sorry, FSC doesn’t understand the sport??? Who else is ponying up millions and millions of dollars for soccer rights over here???? They upgraded to HD equipment and are now waiting for companies to pick up and share their HD feed with the rest of us. GolTV isn’t going HD anytime soon I don’t think, and Setanta folded, so maybe FSC deserve more than getting ripped for people outside their realm of control not adding their HD channel right off the bat.

      Also, who the hell cares what commercials are on FSC?? I can’t believe how much bitching goes on about everything other than the actuall soccer that is shown. Whether it’s in SD or HD or preceded by a proactiv commercial, I could care less as long as all these matches are available.

    • Mungiki says:

      FSCmatako – I like your name – insulting FSC without anyone knowing what is going on . Awesome!

  48. Kamlesh Patni says:

    Whats disappointing is when Football Fone in was broadcast on Monday Nick had the nerve to say that it was on HD. What a f**kin idiot

  49. Jonathan Prior says:

    Yes, it would be terrific to see soccer in HD. Personally I’m glad that at least I’m able to see the sport in the US even if it is in SD. The more worrying concern is that with the demise of Setanta USA and Setanta-i we won’t be able to see as many games anymore, unless Fox Soccer Plus becomes as readily available as Setanta was. I subscribed to Setanta-i and so now I won’t be able to see as many games as before. My cable company in CT, Cox, has no plans to offer Fox Soccer Plus in the near future. Now that is worth getting upset over rather than whether the broadcast is in HD. For me more games available in SD is better than fewer in HD. Does anyone know if Fox plans on offering Soccer Plus via broadband?

    • ovalball says:

      Agree with your whole post. As for FSC+ going broadband the answer would be, certainly not before the midnight after the match. That is their current policy on FoxSoccer.TV and they’re certainly not going to change it. They are not going to risk losing TV ratings to broadband plain and simple. What we “need” doesn’t interest them.

  50. sucka99 says:

    [Twitter / Grant Wahl: Source: Fox Soccer Channel ...]

    http://twitter.com/GrantWahl/status/8814106254

    “Source: Fox Soccer Channel to be broadcast in HD starting this Wed on DirecTV/DISH. Cable systems? Not yet.”

  51. Fred Bridge says:

    What a fool I was.On the strength of Nick Webster saying FSC was available in HD,I gave away my 50 inch projection TV and went out and bought a 65 inch with stand for 3,000 dollars.Now I,m not even getting as good a picture as I was on my old one. I only hope ESPN is carrying all the World Cup games.

  52. chucker69 says:

    I was frustated as well with the HD logo being shown and yet not receiving HD quality..but I now have been getting TRUE HD quality from Dish Network for about two weeks now. Even though I am a Blues fan..GO CHELSEA!!!!, it was nice to see John Terry get the F@#& OFF look from Wayne Bridge in HD:)

  53. worldcup3dfan says:

    i found a cool site that streams fox soccer channel and goltv with a real crisp picture, http://www.veetle.com it’s better than justintv or ustream…why pay for it, when you can see this kind of quality for free?

  54. Simon says:

    I have spent so much time trying to work out why I was not watching soccer in HD on my HD TV with a DirectV HD subscription. And now I find out that it is all a lie. Great!

  55. Carol Judd says:

    I’ve got the DIRECTV channel 621 but have lost the Super14 rugby games. So much for Fax telling me they have most of the Setanta programming. What happens next year with the World Cup Rugby in New Zealand????

  56. Andres I Moreno says:

    I currently subscribe to HD programing via Direct TV, I waited with great anticipation the rollout of Fox Soccer Channel in HD only to be told that if I want to see the EPL matches in HD I have to subscribe to Fox Soccer Plus even though Fox Soccer channel says “in HD” this is not true, what a rip-off, the only way to see EPL in HD is to tune to ESPN or ESPN 2 to watch these games in HD, shame on you Fox Soccer Channel.

  57. Simon says:

    Watching the game this afternoon on FSC between Hull City & Arsenal, captions kept coming up saying “Now available in HD”. I’m paying for HD but I’m not getting it on that channel. Who do I sue for misrepresentation?

    • The Gaffer says:

      It is very misleading, and I noticed that too yesterday. It’s one thing to say “Now available in HD on select providers.” It’s another thing to say “Now available in HD.” The latter is misleading, confusing and a poor decision when you consider that out of the people watching the game, only a very slim minority (only DISH customers) can see the game in HD.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

    • sucka99 says:

      What about it is misleading? It IS available in HD – just because YOU can’t get it in HD doesn’t mean it’s not available. When MTV was running commercials saying “I want my MTV” back in the 90′s – MTV was available but not on all cable systems.

      Bad communication? yes. A botched rollout? maybe. But not misleading.

  58. Simon says:

    sucka99 – that’s like telling an American to his face that he can have Cuban cigars … because they are available. The fact that they are not available in the U.S. is definitely misleading because it does not give the consumer all the necessary information. FSC put a notice on MY television saying that HD is available. If it is NOT available in MY area then either they should remove the notice or quantify it in some way, such as ” some areas may not yet be able to receive this broadcast in HD.” Yes, it IS misleading and, I agree, bad communication.

    • jay Redknapp says:

      It IS available. You just have to get Dish Network if you want to see it right now. There’s nothing misleading about that. The fact is you don’t have Dish Network. FSCHD is available, you just choose to not have Dish Network. That’s it. Simple really.

  59. EPL Junkie says:

    Switch to Dish net and you won’t have this problem. It’s very simple lads.

  60. CTBlues says:

    I made a Facebook group for people that have Cablevision. I would ask all those that have Cablevision or live in the Tristate area to join up.

    http://www.facebook.com/reqs.php#!/group.php?gid=366201919210&ref=nf

  61. don dunn says:

    I have Verizon Fios and it offers both regular and HD Fox Soccer channels but reality- at least for me- is that there is very little if any quality difference in the picture between the 2 channels . So my sense is that the HD moniker is a bit of a sham.

  62. Norcal34 says:

    Pretty sad that DISH has FSC HD well before Directv. Not very competitive of Directv. WHo’s betting they will make subscribers pay for it if it every shows up if they add it to their paid HD package.

  63. Aim1954 says:

    Direct TV has told me that Fox Soccer Channel will not be available in HD any time soon, It’s not part of their HD programing, maybe towards the end of the year, when they upgrade their satellites, then they might add FSC in HD, no guarantees. Way to go Direct TV.

  64. Simon says:

    I have cancelled my Fox Soccer Channel subscription with DirecTV as I get better quality viewing via the internet. The screen size may be smaller but my bank balance is now bigger and growing monthly.

  65. abid says:

    it is really good to watch in HD version. the cost of my tv channels subscription has went down and now i can watch a better quality on the internet which actually saves time and money as it can be logged on any time anywhere :)

  66. Jim says:

    Thank God that ESPN is showing a weekly game and occasionally I can get a replay of EPL on FSN local. I do not watch non-HD Fox Soccer Channel because the picture quality SUCKS. I have requested Comcast add FSC HD, but no response. Maybe ESPN will show more games and FSC will wither away like they deserve.

  67. Martin says:

    The HD coverage is awesome. Problem now is that whenever there is a game on SD it looks almost unwatchable. Also look like Gary O’Reilly has disappeared from the pundits team, it’s all good now :)

    • Ted says:

      What provider do you have? I am tired of watching SD FSC when it says “FSC HD” on the screen. I have comcast and am in the Detroit area.

  68. don dunn says:

    I have Time Warner in Charlotte and when you call them to ask about the upgrade to HD you get the following ” programming has told us nothing about a change”. Well try to get to programming.
    What the heck TW has you where they want you and has no incentive to upgrade.

  69. Simon says:

    Watching soccer on TV is no longer a problem for me. I cancelled my subscriptions to DirecTV and now watch all the football I want on my computer.

    If the TV companies refuse to give me, the consumer, what I want, then I choose to go elsewhere.

    It’s their loss.

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