Rumor: Ligue Un and the Championship Coming to Fox Soccer Plus


Fox Soccer Plus will feature Ligue Un and the Coca-Cola Championship as two of the rights it’s acquiring from Setanta Sports, according to a rumor from an industry insider.

The rumor is that the Championship and Ligue Un will be shown on Fox Soccer Plus in addition to the Premier League, FA Cup, Serie A and Champions League. A decision has yet to be finalized whether some Scottish Premier League and Russian Premier League matches will be shown on Fox Soccer Plus, although it seems doubtful as of press time.

That means that with Setanta US being acquired by Fox Soccer Channel and becoming Fox Soccer Plus, we will probably see the rights for the following leagues, cups and sports no longer available on US television (other than pay-per-view): Scottish FA Cup, Russian Premier League, CIS Cup, rugby, gaelic football and hurling. If so, the dark days I wrote about for some sports fans will come true on and after March 1.

If the rumor is true, the inclusion of Ligue Un and the Coca-Cola Championship on Fox Soccer Plus will be a smart move. The technically gifted and wide-open league in France is a joy to watch, while the Championship serves up some tasty matches featuring historic English clubs such as Sheffield Wednesday, Newcastle United, Ipswich Town, Queens Park Rangers, Coventry City, Crystal Palace, Derby, Leicester, Nottingham Forest, Preston, Watford, West Bromwich Albion and others. Plus, next season, the Championship will feature Leeds United if they get promoted from League One.

56 thoughts on “Rumor: Ligue Un and the Championship Coming to Fox Soccer Plus”

  1. i saw newcastle on top of their league, does that mean they will soon come back to premiere if they keep it up? that would be nice, a historic club like that has no business there…just like juventus who came back after one year..good for them.

    1. A club that has been run historically bad in in the last decade and has historically delusional supporters deserves to be in the championship if their overpaid, disinterested players and comically inept management can’t manage more than 35 points over the course of a season.

      However, I think that differs significantly to when a historically corrupt team fixes matches and question the very integrity of the sport. They ought to have been dropped to serie C.

  2. Oh my god this would be so amazing. I was sad that we would be losing these two leagues along with Setanta, but now I am happy as hell!

  3. Unlikewise for me. With no rugby, it’ll be hard to pull the trigger on getting this channel. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t get the Russian soccer. It is on early and would be decent program filler. What else would they show that early?

  4. I sincerely doubt we’ll be seeing a whole lot of rugby or Gaelic sports on this channel. And I’m not at all surprised about the Ligue 1, given that there are at least two starters on the US national team signed to French clubs right now. (Get well soon, Charlie!)

  5. As the FSC+ story has played out I have become less and less confident that rugby would be shown anywhere, even though the initial release said the rights had been acquired. I guess I will just have to be content with what RugbyZone offers. One thing is for sure, I will never pay the outrageous prices that Premium Sports is charging for PPV events like the 6 Nations. Those people are delusional.

    I am happy for all you true soccer nuts out there. Only question is, with all that coverage how will you ever get anything else done? Don’t tell me….you don’t give a rat’s ass.

    1. Funny you mention that. I was disappointed when GolTV went away from Dish, but with FSC and Setanta, I actually don’t have enough spare time to watch any more soccer than that!

      I wonder if the reason for nixing rugby, if indeed it has been nixed, is because of available HD feeds for it. I have no idea what is and isn’t available in HD for that sport.

  6. Again…don’t be shocked if Fox ends up sub licensing the rugby coverage. I don’t deal in speculation, but I received an email the other day that makes me feel pretty confident we’ll get to watch our rugby on essentially FREE tv/internet very soon. Perhaps not on March 1st, but soon.

    I’m pretty involved with rugby in this country, so don’t dismiss this completely.

    1. Jason – Tell me more, not a “football” fan but loved all the rugby on Satanta was hoping it would be on something other than rugbyzone – spill the beans…

  7. Gaffer, any news yet on scenarios or Fox’s strategy around pricing/distribution for this channel with any providers? I’m having a hard time believing they would just continue with the failed Setanta financial model of ‘a-la carte’ $15 / month.

    I think many are assuming ‘premium’ equals ‘a-la-carte’ but I’m not yet convinced.

    1. No news yet on those questions, but as soon as I find out, I’ll add a new post on EPL Talk. Right now, everything is up in the air as far as how FSC+ will operate. But we’ll find out soon, I’m sure.

      The Gaffer

  8. Plus don’t forget, BBC America will broadcast the 6 Nations this season, starting with this weekend’s England vs Wales match.

  9. You guys are aware that BBC America is playing Six Nations Rugby, right?

    I’m really excited to see Championship games on FSC+. Ever since I first read this announcement, that has been my one hope.

    1. “You guys are aware that BBC America is playing Six Nations Rugby, right?”

      Yup. One match per week, probably whoever England is playing. No complaints from me. better than nothing.

      1. Maybe BBC America will pick up the rugby rights that we assume Fox Soccer isn’t interested in? Seems pretty far fetched but possible.

  10. I didn’t know that about BBC America doing the six nations. That is great.

    I’m anxious to know if we will pay extra for Fox Soccer+.

  11. I would love to see DirecTv package the soccer channels (FSC, FSC+, FSE, & GolTv) into one package. I get all of the FSN channels, which are a waste of time. I don’t want to watch obscure college basketball and softball. I would pay $12 a month for just those four channels that I currently pay for all of the Fox Network channels.

    Gaffer, if you have any pull with FSC or the providers, could you suggest this?

    1. If that were to happen, GolTV and FSC would go out of business. they need the subscriber revenue of people who watch soccer – as well as people who don’t. Everyone ordering that Sports pack is paying the 50 cents that keeps that channel alive. If you were to limit it to a soccer-only package, you’d have the same problem Setanta had.

    1. It looks like Premium Sports have those rights, which is bad news Click on The Gaffer’s link above. Right now they are only showing that they have that in pubs. Their “Watch Online” site shows 6 Nations rugby and GAA sports.

      Incidentally, Setanta-i’s site is now showing Premium Sports logos, which fits in with their March 1 take-over.

    1. What?????? You must have missed the cracking match of the century which saw Marseille and Lyon put up 5 goals each! I love Ligue1 football and actually find it to be the most top to bottom exciting league to watch along with the Bundesliga.

  12. Please note that the Gaffer mentioned the Wednesday first. Very smart.

    The Russian league is a Apr-Nov league. I’m surprised that they may not take those rights too.

    1. And notice I didn’t mention Swansea City. I was tempted, but they’re really not an institution in the Championship and have spent most of their years in League One and League Two. I had to hold myself back from not mentioning them in that list! 😉

      The Gaffer

  13. I am excited about the Ligue Un. I wonder how much influence it has that US nationals play in France. I think it is a great league to watch for US fans.

    The Russian League seems like a perfect fit if FS+ doesn’t show infomercials. If they show those CRAPPY infomercials we should all just kiss it good bye. My thought was it would be perfect if they showed more Sky Sport News in the morning hours instead of infomercials and then had the Russian League on Sat mornings.

  14. no SPL would be a huge bummer. that being said, maybe when it does come back we would end up with better coverage than what setanta was providing. from what i understand, the reason for poor SPL coverage was due to the cost. maybe losing coverage in the USofA will make them come to a more reasonable fee?

  15. a couple things..

    1. FSW/FSC kicked off the rugby once, that was bad enough. Now they are going to kick it off fs+, they better not want $15 for that!

    2. Why isn’t ESPN360 picking up any of the stuff Fox is dropping? I was under the impression they would pick up at least pick up the super 14 and tri-nations since Premium Sports hasn’t made any move at it (their website says to go to setanta to watch those)

    1. RugbyZone has the internet rights to Super 14 and Tri-Nations, so they won’t be showing up on ESPN360.

      Trying to keep track of both TV and internet rights, which are often sold separately, is maddening. Today’s EPL match was on Setanta (TV), but not Setanta-i. Arrggh!

      1. The Hull-Chelsea match was on both Setanta USA and Setanta-i this afternoon as I was watching the first half on computer and the second half on TV when I got home. Don’t know why it wasn’t available for you ovalball.

        There are 3 live Super 14 matches scheduled on Setanta USA next weekend so they will be showing some of them before they go off the air on 2/28. Where those matches wind up on on TV or broadband after that is anyone’s guess.

        1. “The Hull-Chelsea match was on both Setanta USA and Setanta-i this afternoon as I was watching the first half on computer and the second half on TV when I got home. Don’t know why it wasn’t available for you ovalball.”

          Geez! I kept checking in to Setanta-i all day and never saw it listed. Guess I should have checked just after the start time. Grrrrr.

  16. Im surprised the SPL isnt rumored to be included here.. Sky and ESPN have both of these in Britain AND there broadcast alot of them in HD.. not that Setanta was the SPL broadcaster of choice here either.. we basically got scraps.. 3-4day delays.. with the odd Edinburgh derby live… I know supporters clubs have been a factor in this in the past.. but I really hoped the SPL would get some better live or SDD coverage here.


  17. Gaffer, Any word on whether they will carry the League 1 and 2 playoffs this spring. I really enjoyed watching them the past couple of years. Also more SCFC and less Newcastle matches would suit me just fine.

    1. Hi Mark, I second your opinion that we need to see more SCFC than Newcastle United. It seems like the Swans have hardly been on at all this season. The derby match against Cardiff seemed like yonks ago. As for the playoffs, there’s a very strong possibility that FSC+ will show the Championship ones. Not so sure about the League One and League Two playoffs though.

      The Gaffer

      1. Well, I hope they will show the lower league playoffs. Some of those matches were great entertainment. One of my favorites was Millwall v Leeds last year, where I never saw so many cops in one place in my life and the supporters of both sides spent the entire match singing ” No one likes us, We don’t care”. But my all time favorite was Blackpool v Yeovil a few years back. It was when they were renovating the stadium and one end was completely open. The wind was blowing about 30-40 mph, and somebody got the brilliant idea to release a huge number of orange and white balloons, which promptly blew back onto the pitch while the match was going on causing total chaos. I was laughing so hard I don’t remember much about the match except that Blackpool won because they went up that year.

  18. Glad to see Ligue Un and the Championship will be shown on FSC. Hopefully they will bring the Russian league as well, but if not I will still be happy. As long as I don’t miss any of the big English Premiership and Champions League games I’m not that concerned about the rest.

  19. i will be so glad when newcastle gets promoted back to the EPL . . . i am tired of seeing the ‘championship’ broadcasts = ‘whoever newcastle plays’


    1. No news, Mark, just speculation. Since Fox has said absolutely nothing about its rugby acquisitions, either TV or internet, I assume they’re going to try to sell them on figuring they’ll make a profit from someone.

      Premium Sports seems to have inserted itself into the rugby picture, but their PPV pricing is absolutely horrible. I don’t know where they think they are going to get their viewership. It’s O’Rourke and the Setanta model in rerun, but “We won’t be fooled again!”

      This would seem to be the perfect opportunity for Rugbyzone to step in and grab the lion’s share of the market, except they have already scaled back this year and I don’t think they’re up to it.

      Which basically leaves us out in the cold. A niche-niche market with no takers. Hope I’m wrong. :-(

      Think I’ll start hounding BBC America—“In the midnight hour–more, more, more!!!!” :-)

  20. Hooray for the Championship! This is terrific competition, with great scraps scrambling to enter the riches of the Premier League! Love the play-offs, come May. And I would love to see Leeds United back in the second tier; it’s good for the division.

  21. Gaffer, what I’d like to add to my FSC + wish-list is Rugby League. As you know, Sky Sports is the main broadcaster for this sport in the U.K. Rugby League could help fill out the Summer schedule at FSC +, as apart from the occasional MLS match, there is little else to offer.

  22. I’m watching Premiership Rugby (why?!) on Setanta right now and the crawl about matches from this competition being show on FS+ from March 1st ran across the bottom of the screen. Either FS+ will be showing rugby or Setanta are running that crawl for everything.

      1. Gaffer,

        Distribute this please…just got off the phone with DirecTV they will be replacing Setanta with Fox Soccer + same channel number, cost and programming. Therefore RUGBY told it will start March 1 dont know if it HD but I know Fox is saying it will be. Seems Fox Soccer +, according to customer service has bought all Setanta rights to broadcasts…lets hope this actually happens

  23. just read on the Fox Soccer Plus site they will be showing rugby…yah…doesn’t mention super 14 but at this point im not going to complain…

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