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Fox Soccer Plus Could Create Chaotic End to EPL Season

fox soccer plus Fox Soccer Plus Could Create Chaotic End to EPL Season

There may be a lot of upset soccer fans on March 1, 2010 when Fox Soccer Plus is launched and the network isn’t available on all satellite and cable TV providers.

During the most crucial phase of the Premier League season, the run-in from March through early May when titles are won and lost and the relegation battle takes plenty of twists and turns, it’s imperative that as many Premier League games are on television as possible. With the demise of Setanta Sports at the end of February, all of the Premier League TV rights in the United States (except for the two games per week on ESPN2) will return to Fox. The majority of them will be shown on Fox Soccer Channel but many of the other crucial games will be shown on Fox Soccer Plus.

The problem is that there’s no guarantee that all cable and satellite providers will have Fox Soccer Plus on March 1.

The same frustration that many soccer fans have been experiencing since last month when Fox Soccer Channel has been touting “Fox Soccer Channel Now available in HD” (when it wasn’t, but is now but only on DISH Network) is going to seem like nothing compared to the Fox Soccer Plus chaos.

Everywhere you look, whether it’s on Fox Soccer Channel itself during games or commercials, or on the FoxSoccer.com website or elsewhere, Fox’s promotion boasts “Fox Soccer Plus, Coming March 1″ but the reality is that it’s extremely doubtful that the majority of providers will have it available then. In fact, it’s entirely likely that it could take some cable and satellite providers months before Fox Soccer Plus is available. That’s because Fox will be negotiating deals with each satellite and cable TV provider separately. And while we would love to think that businessmen have the best interests of soccer fans, the reality is that business is business. And negotiations can sometimes drag on and on.

Fox Soccer Channel is walking a dangerous tightrope again by raising the expectations of soccer fans to expect to see Fox Soccer Plus on March 1. At the same time, Fox is not communicating with its viewers to prepare them for the possibility that FSC+ may not be available for quite some time (for many of us). Plus, Fox Soccer Channel – yet again – is doing an extremely poor job at telling us what we need to do as soccer fans to influence the satellite and cable providers so we can add pressure to them to carry the station.

Fox Soccer Plus’s ChannelFinder tool and its one page of information is simply not enough. If Fox wants us to contact our cable and satellite providers, then there are no details about that on its website. Are you we supposed to just sit back and wait for a deal to happen? Wouldn’t Fox want us to apply pressure to the TV providers and use that as leverage during its negotiations? If so, they’re doing a lousy job.

Worst case scenario, many of us in the United States may not be able to watch many of the crucial Premier League games between now and the end of the season that will be on Fox Soccer Plus. And, after February 28, with the demise of Setanta US, Setanta-i not making Premier League games available online anymore, and FoxSoccer.tv still in the dark ages by not making games available until 36 hours after they are played, what are soccer fans supposed to do? Sadly the only option for many of them will be to watch the games illegally online.

The shame regarding Fox Soccer Plus is that Fox is leaving soccer fans in the dark. By not effectively communicating with its core audience, soccer fans yet again have to scour sites like this one and BigSoccer to find the latest news and developments. For example, what will happen when Setanta US goes dark at the end of this month. Will Fox Soccer Plus immediately replace Setanta on that channel on providers such as DirecTV and DISH Network? Right now, the answer is unknown because the negotiations continue. It’s entirely likely that the station will go black.

For soccer fans, every day counts. Every day when Fox Soccer Plus is not available will seem like a lifetime for hardcore fans. When Fox flicks the switch and launches Fox Soccer Plus on March 1, there’s a possibility that no carriers will be showing it. And because there are so many Premier League games on television each weekend, as well as other leagues, Fox Soccer Channel has no way to show all of the games.

Looking at the Premier League schedule, here are some of the crucial games that could be missed by soccer fans who won’t have Fox Soccer Plus:

  • Manchester United v Fulham, Sunday, March 14, 8:30am ET
  • Manchester United v Liverpool, Sunday, March 21, 8:30am ET
  • Burnley v Blackburn, Sunday, March 28, 7am ET
  • And many others.

From Fox’s perspective, they probably don’t want to say much if anything at this time especially when they’re in negotiations with the different carriers. But loyal Fox Soccer Channel subscribers deserve to be treated better and there are so many unanswered questions. What will happen to the online Premier League rights that Setanta US were showing on Setanta-i? What leagues will be shown by Fox Soccer Plus? Which Premier League timeslots will be shown on Fox Soccer Plus? Will Fox Soccer Plus be available as a paid subscription of $14.95 per month? The list goes on and on.

There are only 16 days between now and the launch of Fox Soccer Plus but there are so many unknowns and so little information. Behind the scenes, EPL Talk will try to get as much information to you as soon as we find out the details. But until then, it looks like we need to exercise some patience and trust that Fox will secure the deals with the TV providers as quickly as possible to ensure that Fox Soccer Plus is available for soccer fans nationwide.

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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85 Responses to Fox Soccer Plus Could Create Chaotic End to EPL Season

  1. Richard The Red (Devil) says:

    As stupid as this sounds, this needs to be a grassroots campaign. I have sent the request for Fox Soccer page to all of my friends and had them send it out as well. The more pressure that is exerted on these providers then eventually they are going to have to break. Go to other blogs, forums and newspapers and post the link. In this day and age that is the best way of spreading the word.

  2. Duke says:

    This borders on criminal. This is essentially blackmail on their part. In essence, they’re going to take Setanta’s slate of games and keep them off the air in order to leverage their position with the cable and satellite providers.

    If they cared at all about their fans, they’d show all these games on FSC until they were able to work out licensing deals. Or, at the very least, until the end of the season.

  3. man99utd says:

    Let’s face it not that many people had Setanta because it wasn’t available on all providers. And if the HD fiasco is anything to go by FSC has precious little leveage as it is. They’ve sublet more games EPL games to ESPN for next season. Those games must have come from Setanta via FSC. So how many EPL games will FS+ have anyway. I love football and FSC has fed that love for many years. But this recent display has shown that whilst FOX is a powerhouse network in America, FSC is the ginger stepchild of the network.

  4. BayVol says:

    Unfortunately, that is how most cable deals go down. The one thing that should be done better is this March 1st date. Most, if not all, will not be able to watch because systems will not have it by then.

  5. Jeff says:

    It’s ridiculous. Fox should have made a deal with Setanta that would allow Setanta to keep the rights until the end of the season. That would leave all summer for Fox to work out deals with Cable and Satelite providers for Fox Soccer Plus. I haven’t missed a Manchester United game all season now with this switch in March I may miss many games including a huge game like United/Liverpool.

    Fox needs to get their stuff together and make sure these games are on US TV. Otherwise they will have a bunch of angry customers.

  6. CFTV says:

    When Fox Soccer Plus rolls out will Fox put the the best games at 10am on Saturday Mornings on the new channel or will those games air on FSC that everyone currently has?

    As a United fan I am fully expecting all Red Devil games at 10am Saturday Mornings to air on Fox Soccer Plus outside of weekends when there is games like Arsenal/Chelsea, Arsenal/Liverpool, LIverpool/Chelsea as well as maybe Tottenham and the 3 above clubs as well as special games like the Merseyside Derby at 10am to drive subscriptions for the new channel if it is indeed a pay channel. Lets say at 10am United is playing Blackburn, Liverpool is playing Birmingham, and Arsenal playing Villa while Chelsea is playing Wigan at noon on Saturday and Tottenham and Everton is on Sunday Morning I fully expect the United game to show up on Fox Soccer Plusl.

    Should Fox Soccer put the best games or in the case of United the most popular team in the US at 10am on Saturday to grow the popularity of the sport here or should they put those games on Fox Soccer Plus to build their subscription base?

    How does everyone see that distribution of games between Fox Socceer and Fox Soccer Plus shaking out?

    Oh and I just got an 40 inch HDTV yesterday so put me in the camp that wants to see FSC in HD ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

  7. StephenLucey says:

    Fox Soccer needs to realize that by being obtuse and uncommunicative, they are creating principal competitors in atdhe, justintv, veetle, ustream, etc. Veetle streams are generally high quality, and once these dark corners of the internet are upgraded to HD quality, we as fans will have some serious questions about shelling out $20+ each month for football found free elsewhere.

  8. Ed P. says:

    Its going to be an ugly transition but ultimately you can’t blame FOX. They are in the business of making money. Setanta didn’t meet their financial obligation in January and some would expect FOX to simply say: “That’s OK. Just keep transmitting OUR content because we don’t want to disturb soccer fans in the US”?

    My guess is that a lot of people will complain at the end of this season and 3 seasons to come as FSC divides its content on both networks to maximize PROFITS. No way will they leave all of their EPL content on FSC while shoving Serie A, Ligue 1 and Championship games on FSC+. It would be financial suicide. I expect a mixture of both leagues on the 2 networks so we the fans will be forced to purchase both. And people will complain.

    As far as providers are concerned, FOX has little leverage there. They want to get these networks to as wide of an audience as they can. Providers have limited bandwidth and there are many financial hurdles providers and broadcasters have to negotiate before a signal is brought to our homes.

    To put things into perspective, the current economic conditions are causing havoc and we soccer fans are feeling the consequences of it. But we are about to end up with 5-6 EPL games LIVE each weekend in glorious HD. It’s worth a little suffering I think…

  9. Meeehhh says:

    As bad as it is, you need to realize that Fox is not in this for the fan, they’re in it to make money. In order to do that, their best option is to try and gain carriage while their best programming is on. Trying to get a good deal during the off season is next to impossible.

    • man99utd says:

      Whilst I understand Ed P and Meeehhh’s sentiment, FSC will make no money at all if they do not find a way to distribute their content to the greatest number of providers hence the need to sublet to Setanta (RIP) and ESPN…If they’re in for the money and they are then it be wise not take their audience for granted.

  10. benny says:

    This is really upsetting. I cant believe that fsc have not come out clear on this new channel. I have been searching for more information on this new channel online but to no avail.

    But I know this for sure, I will be cancelling my FSC deal with my cable company this summer and watch premiership on ESPN, myp2p, veetle, atdhe etc come next season. Atleast it will save me a few bucks.

  11. Rod says:

    I contacted DirecTv (Atlanta) and all they say is that negotiations are taking place (I think we knew that) and they’ll let me know when they’ve got something. FSC live telecasts often have this HD indicator on the screen but the telecast is definitely not in HD. What is that—-does anyone know?

  12. Matt says:

    So FSC has started up an HD channel and are adding a second HD channel, which means there will be two full time HD soccer channels here in the U.S, and people are saying FSC doesnt care about its viewers? Relax, it’s not March 1 yet, and as for adding channels, every new channel has to go through the same amount of red tape to get their channels added to each respective platform. If it comes March 1, and no provider has picked up FS+, I highly doubt Fox is going to give a big fudge you to its viewers by throwing some big EPL games up on a channel that no one gets, and if they do, than I think people have license to call them selfish. But business is business, they are willing to step up and give us two soccer channels in HD, I’m willing to be a little patient in order to let them sort it out.
    And for people who want to watch only EPL, may I suggest there is alot of other soccer out there to watch, and you might be better served checking out some La Liga or Serie A or Bundesliga instead of punishing yourself waiting for Burnley v Blackburn.

    • man99utd says:

      Matt,
      Patience is one thing, but a shambolic roll-out that FSC has been promising for nearly a year is another thing. They knew when they wanted to roll this out so they should have been working the deal out way before now. It’s almost as if they just took for granted providers would pick it up. I’m grateful for their effort to provide more football, just a wee bit frustrated at how they’ve gone about it.

      • sucka99 says:

        Do you think they haven’t been working on a deal? If you look on the Sat forums, FSC is way down the pecking order of channels people want in HD. ESPN U is tops now especially for college basketball season – and that has a lot more viewers than FSC.

    • Yespage says:

      You bring up a good point. FSC is better now. That most providers don’t show it isn’t completely their own fault. The frustration, however, is the sudden loss of Setanta and the complete unknown about FSC+. They are already advertising for a channel that they don’t even know how they’ll show the content they have and perhaps still don’t know the complete list of stuff they will even show.

      So this whole, contact your provider to get this soccer channel that we don’t really know what the extent of programming is going to be or how we are even going to charge for it is really can be a bit chafing.

      For me, I’m at peace with not getting FSC+ as I can watch FSC and ESPN2 which should be something like 4 or 5 games a weekend.

  13. RIP says:

    I agree 100%. This is not the way to launch a channel, especially in the age of the Internet, blogs and Twitter.

  14. Across The Pond says:

    I just received this response from Cox Communications regarding Fox Soccer Plus:

    “Thank you for your e-mail, we are happy to assist you. We apologize for the delayed response. Unfortunately we will not be adding this network to our line up do to cost negotiations with the Network and the demand for the channel.”

    This is very disappointing!!!!!!

  15. Charles says:

    does anyone subscribe to foxsoccer.tv? What is the overall quality like? Is that video now in HD?

    Will it include FS+ games?

    Anyone? Doesn’t look like the service has gotten much traction.

  16. Stearling says:

    Does anyone know whether they will actually show some live SPL or at least the Old Firm live? I’d even settle for same day coverage…

    • Brett says:

      I don’t know how much you can read into this, but during Setanta’s airing of the Celtic match earlier this week they had the scroll about being able to “watch this competition on Fox Soccer Plus beginning March 1.”

      Also, I bet DirecTV will have FS+ come March 1. Don’t really have anything to back this up other than I don’t think they want Dish to beat them to another channel.

  17. jmf says:

    Charles, you can take out a day pass with foxsoccer.tv to test out the quality. I’m a soon to be ex-Setanta-i subscriber and will miss it greatly; foxsoccer.tv has no appeal for me as all its games are delayed until midnight, which essentially means next day. It would be nice if Fox upgraded the online service in lieu of the demise of Setanta USA, which means Fox will hold all the online rights to the EPL (am I right Gaffer?) but it seems that online streaming is not high on their list of priorities list right now.

  18. Kevin says:

    I suggest that if by March 1, an agreement is not reached with the major providers (Dish, DirecTV, Uverse, etc.) that they offer the channel in “free preview mode”, making the games available to watch while negotiations are still being made for a permanent situation. Thus, they would at least be showing the programming to the fans while not taking on subscribers, as opposed to showing no programming at all, thus pissing off fans immensely.

    Probably not going to happen, but my solution nonetheless.

    Also, I surely hope that our inept providers automatically cancel our Setanta subscriptions, as opposed to having to go through red tape trying to get a refund after being charged for a channel that doesn’t even exist anymore! I can honestly see this happening.

    • Duke says:

      Kevin, you make a great deal of sense. Unfortunately, I think that means that neither of those things will happen.

      But I’m hoping right along with you!

  19. good day for a guinness says:

    Has anyone heard if fsc + will be picking up any of the rugby rights from Setanta? I know is it seems doubtful, being touted as soccer channel, but surely they would need more programming for it to work?

    • ovalball says:

      I emailed FSC’s Director of Marketing & Communication on this exact subject. She did not say, “No.” She did not say, “Yes.” So, we live in hope.

      It IS frustrating that Fox keeps telling us to check in at foxsoccerplus.com, only to find there is nothing substantive there. However, why would we think this rollout is going to be any prettier than that for FSC HD? Business forces trump fan “needs” every time. :-(

  20. Ivan says:

    Here’s the response I got this morning after my angry e-mail to Direct TV:
    Dear Mr. XXXX,
    Thanks for writing us back. I understand your concern over the Fox Soccer channel in HD format and the Fox Soccer Plus channel.
    Please note that We don’t have any news about upcoming HD channels today but you can expect more information about new HD channels when our newest satellite is fully operational later this year. You can find the latest news and programming information at http://directv.com/tunein.
    Beginning March 1, much of Setanta’s programming rights, including premium soccer games and rugby events, will be transferred to Fox and made available on the new Fox Soccer Plus channel.
    DIRECTV is working with Fox to come to an agreement to offer Fox Soccer Plus so we can provide a seamless transition of all the same great content you’ve enjoyed on Setanta, including:
    * Soccer matches from the top leagues, including the European Champions League, England’s Premier League and more
    * Rugby matches
    * Cricket matches
    Once we are able to reach a deal with Fox to carry Fox Soccer Plus, Setanta customers will automatically be eligible for the new channel.
    Visit http://www.directv.com/setanta for all the latest information.
    On another note, after reviewing your account, I see that you may be eligible for a special programming or equipment offer. This offer is available for a limited time and only by calling us at 1-800-531-5000. Please call us at your convenience between 8:00 AM and 10:0 PM to see what special offer is best for you.
    Thank you for allowing us to respond to your concern today.
    Sincerely,

  21. Ivan says:

    Here’s what I found re: HD on Direct TV, as they recently launched their new satellite:(from wikipedia)
    DirecTV-12 reached 76° W on February 11, 2010 and began testing 2 days later. After 3 weeks of scheduled testing, it is scheduled to reach its permanent position at 102.8° W by May 5, 2010.
    Broadcasting to Customers
    D12 is expected to increase DirecTV’s national HD channel capacity to over 200 channels. It is expected to become fully operational early in the second quarter of 2010.

    Bottom line: FSC in HD will likely come to Direct TV in April/May. As to Fox Soccer Plus, it will depend on the agreement between Fox and Direct TV…

  22. Brian Chicago says:

    I would hope fsc plus would be made available onlne like setanta-I. I have subscribed to that for a few years now and would think that would be the best way for fsc not to leave their loyal fan base in the dark. Watching delayed games is not acceptable when they could have delayed this changeover until league matches are over. I certainly hope for more information soon from fsc as they play a dangerous game in handling this. I love the epl, and am confident it can grow in popularity with proper marketing, but not putting the loyal followers in the dark does not help it’s spread.

    I am also wondering if this comcast/xfinity change will come with fsc HD as I have read they are expanding their HD lineup to 100. But, I doubt it….

  23. Robert George says:

    Bad time for fox to launch a new channel. Why didn’t they wait to the end of the season to allow them more time to negotiate with the various providers.

    The easiest way would of been for them to take full ownership of Setanta US and then take over there space on Dish, Direct TV and the various cable companies. At least we would of been able to see some of the games and at least on SD for now.

    Gaffer maybe you need to do an interview with someone from FSC Im sure we all have loads a questions we would like to ask them.

    Well to me personally it looks like theres gonna be less games available from the start of this month.

    Dish have charged me from the 10th Feb to the 14th Feb for Setanta.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Robert, I requested an interview with Fox several weeks ago to try to answer the questions all of us have about FSC+ but they’re not ready to talk yet unfortunately. When they do, I’ll be sure to get the word out to everyone via EPL Talk.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • David the Yank says:

        This is simply shocking to me. If you look at *any* sport in America, the broadcasters absolutely have gone out of their way to talk to journalists who work to promote their sport. Look at the close relationship Rudy Martzke (ex-USA Today, first regular sports-on-television writer) had with the key people at the NBA, NFL, NCAA, MLB, and related networks. When soccer is such a fringe sport (i.e., there are not that many of us [yet] to connect with), why would it be so difficult for someone like The Gaffer to have a regular (meaning EVERY week!) discussion with the key broadcasters? Why would they not think about continuing with setanta-i.com (or the exact equivalent on foxsoccer.tv) to make sure we can watch matches LIVE and via random access from the first of March through the end of the season? Charge us whatever they feel is appropriate, but tell us *now* that our soccer for the season end run-up will continue unabated.

        And “requested an interview”?? Again, no logic here. Why not an every single Tuesday phone conversation between the Gaffer and the chief programmer? What games were chosen for each channel and why? How did they decide that week what to put on live and what to have on delayed? Why the mystery? Ratings are pretty easy to figure out. What is the exact video format that the English production companies use to record matches and how will FSC-HD & FS+-HD re-broadcast? Can a ‘package’ be created so that pay subscribers to FS+ also get foxsoccer.tv?

        Fox should realize that we who follow blogs like this and actually watch these matches are early proseltyzers for the sport? THat each of us, by inviting friends over to watch the beautiful game on Saturday/Sunday mornings in glorious hi-def can get 2 or 3 or 10 others to start following the sport? I cannot believe they are idiotic enough to shun a relationship with you and hence with us, who care so much about this sport!

  24. Richard says:

    I suspect DirecTV cannot carry FSC in HD or FSP in HD because they don’t have that new satellite operational yet. This is probably hte reason why Time Warner Cable are showing BBC America HD but DirecTV still have the (worse quality than a P2P stream) SD version of the channel. Once they have the satellite operational though I expect both FSC HD and FSP HD to come online. But all they’re saying is 2Q 2010 for that, so we could well miss a lot between March 1st and then – maybe the entire end of the season.

    What’s frustrating is that they probably could just switch out the Setanta channel in SD for FSP in SD – but there’s no word they will do that. If they don’t though, then they’ll have a lot of currently contracted Setanta subscribers to worry about (perhaps they’ll just drop the charge from the bill though).

  25. Curtis says:

    Talked to DirecTV on the phone. They said that Setanta subscribers will automatically be switched over to the FSC+ subscription on March 1st when we stop paying for Setanta. It should be seamless, no need to make a phone call or anything. We should have it Mar 1.

    • Yespage says:

      Umm… is it just me or is that wrong? If the channel was just changing the name, I can see them doing that. However, seeing that the content on FSC+ is going to be different enough from Setanta, how in the world would that be legal to cross over the subscription? There is no way I would stand to pay a $5 fee for unsubscribing to a channel that will no longer exist. Granted, I’m Dish, not Directv, so that may not happen.

      • Curtis says:

        Who said anything about a $5 unsubscribe fee? I said that it will be free and automatic… And DirecTV doesn’t have unsubscribe fees; or, at least, I’ve never had to pay for one when I unsubscribed from a channel. That might be a Dish thing?

        • Yespage says:

          Dish has a $5 fee for dropping a premium or to a lower service. If Dish Network did what you noted Directv is going to do, I would need to unsubscribe from FSC+ (assuming it was a premium channel and not part of the same package as FSC) without ever subscribing to it.

  26. Sam says:

    This sounds like a somewhat naive point of view. The way things have been developing is pretty much standard practice with TV deals. Newly launched channels typically take a bit of wrangling to get on the air widely; that it will take time for FSCHD and FSP to be broadcast is par for the course.

    • sucka99 says:

      Exactly. FSC probably had plans to do FS Plus a long time ago but got forced to change plans when Setanta stopped paying. So it was probably scheduled for launch in August 2010 instead of March 2010. As far as FSC HD, there are lots of other channels that more people watch that have been waiting to go HD like ESPNU and BBC America. You need bandwidth and a carriage deal before you can do anything. Sucks for us, yes, but 5 years ago we only got 2 live EPL games PER WEEKEND ON ALL CHANNELS! We’re lucky, and we’re paying for the failed Setanta business model (as well as Lehman Brothers, Merill Lynch, etc.)

  27. Robert George says:

    I have been on the phone to Dish Network. I spoke to a lovely young lady who loved my accent.

    We had a chat about Setanta. She told me that she had heard rumours that Setanta was going to be ceasing broadcasting at the end of this month and that only a couple of weeks ago someone has asked the same question about Setanta going off the air.

    She told me that she hadn’t heard anything in the offical lines of Setanta going off the air ( I know it has been confirmed) and that they usually get an email update with regards to any changes happening to the channel.

    She also told me that when it comes to the news of new channels including HD that even if they do know they have to keep it confidential.

    So I have been charged for normal for Setanta Sports.

    So does this mean that Setanta is going to become FSC+?

  28. Phil says:

    What would really annoy me is if Dish Network added it on a different satellite than the one that was providing Setanta. I can’t get FSC HD yet because I’d have to get a completely new dish installation to get the satellite they put it on. It would be really disappointing to see that happen here as well.

    • Robert George says:

      Not sure if you know this or not but heres more info about not getting the new channels and help how to get an upgrade.

  29. Jonathan Prior says:

    I think those of us who are going to be hit hardest are cable subscribers. Not only is FSC not available in HD on most cable carriers but FSC+ will be carried by even fewer cable carriers. Cox Communications, my cable provider in CT, does not have any intention of carrying FSC+ and no plans for FSC in HD either. Not being able to get the new FSC+ channel is really worrying especially since I subscribe to Setanta-i. Why doesn’t Fox use Fox Sports Espanyol to show the FSC+ games? At least Fox Sports Espanyol is available on cable even if it means paying more (about $10 a month) for the Latino package. The Latino package also gives you ESPN Deportes which shows games from Spain, Germany and Holland. I wish someone from FSC would have a presence here to answer our questions and concerns.

  30. Keith Ward says:

    THIS IS THE LATEST RESPONSE I HAVE RECIEVED FROM DIECTV RE: FOX SOCCER HD CHANNEL & FOX SOCCER PLUS [Reference #: 100212-004895] Discussion Thread…. THIS SUCKS !!..Los Angeles is a big market and there are a lot of soccer fans that were looking forward to this,plus all the sports bars/pubs with Directv will miss out also.

    Dear Mr. Ward,
    Thanks for writing us back. I understand your concern about the Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer Plus in HD. For your reference, please be informed that we haven’t reached any deals yet with Fox. As previously said, once we are able to reach a deal with Fox to carry Fox Soccer Plus, Setanta customers will automatically be eligible for the new channel. With regards to getting these channels in HD, while we don’t have plans to add Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer Plus in HD at this time, we’re working to bring you even more HD channels in the near future. Stay tuned to directv.com/hd to keep up with the latest HD news. However, rest assured that I’ve forwarded your email to DIRECTV’s Management Team, who review every suggestion, for trends from our most important customers to determine what changes should be considered. Moving forward, our contract with Comcast expired on August 31, 2009, and we were unable to reach agreement on a renewal. Comcast was demanding renewal terms that did not reflect market value for the channel, and they forced us to drop Versus unless we agreed to their unreasonable terms. Sincerely, Virginia M. 100162748DIRECTV Customer Service

  31. Arnold says:

    I have been in touch with someone in Senior Management at FOX Sports and they are going to look into it on Tuesday. If I get a response I will let you know here.

  32. Keith Ward says:

    “I have been in touch with someone in Senior Management at FOX Sports and they are going to look into it on Tuesday. If I get a response I will let you know here”.

    THANKS ARNOLD..maybe the FOX SPORTS MANAGEMENT TEAM could play the DIRECTV MANAGEMENT TEAM in a soccer match,and the winner gets the best contract deal LMAO !!

    Heres the best deal for the soccer fans across the united states..FOX SOCCER CHANNEL & FOX SOCCER PLUS in a premium package $25/month?
    PLUS IN HD (3D?..COOL !!) and those super slow motion replays !!

    • Bas says:

      I think bundling the channels is the way to go. I called DirecTV (Los Angeles) the other day to get more info and the customer service rep was completely ignorant of anything going on…oh well. I even asked about FSC in HD and if FSC+ would be automatically switched from Setanta or if subscribing to one would get you both, still she knew nothing. Who are you talking to at FOX Sports?

  33. RJ says:

    Why anyone thinks that the greediest and most incompetent network in the country is acting in any fashion other than the way it is acting is beyond me.

    They have a track record, and they ain’t changing their ways for anyone.

  34. arsenal14 says:

    um to Matt…Burnley Blackburn are huge Rivals and their first meeting this year was a great game with a amazing atmosphere and watching it was in no way a punishment..Maybe watching the 2 team, no Atmosphere La Liga and the Seria freaking Bore minus Jose (because Jose is not boring, he’s great) ..should be considered a punishment..thank you

  35. Consumer rape says:

    I have dish and have it in HD as well. Yay!! but my concern lies in how to get fsc+ with dish. I hope its in the same package fsc is in. There really is no winner in this is there?? Direct tv is probably not going to show fsc in hd let alone fsc+ hd and comcast is still in talks over it. Dish doesn’t have goltv(I support Real Madrid) and it hurts to not be able to see them play every weekend.

    Fak You satellite/cable providers!!!!!!!

  36. Sacto Blues says:

    I have put in a request to get FSC + with Comcast. I got only a form e-mail back saying thanks for the interest and how hard they look into providing sports channels …blah …blah … Does anyone know where the discussions are with FSC + and Comcast ?

  37. Arseblog Reader says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8oGGm13qWo

    Gaffer, can you please look at this video? Maybe you can post it on your site. Its a beautiful, true depiction of a football match.

  38. Kyle says:

    Couldn’t care less. That is why I have LFC TV subscription through there web site games are shown at 7pm EST plus they do thier own pre match and post match that and it is about $12 a month. Also they re show classic matches. I guess it has to do with the fact I am a Liverpool fan and not a fan of Premier League. I could care less how Chel$ki or Man USA do.

  39. Civrock says:

    For all the DirecTV customers on here, Sixto over at DBSTalk.com started a poll for the Top 10 Most Wanted HD channels for the D12 HD additions. It will be read by DirecTV, including SatelliteRacer (employee with confirmed knowledge of channel additions), and should be a good source of information and feedback for them.

    Go and put your votes down for Fox Soccer Channel HD and Fox Soccer HD! :)

    Link: http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=172832

  40. Richard says:

    Gaffer – could you maybe help publicise the dbstalk vote please (Civrock’s post)?

  41. Gaz says:

    Wow – getting’ a little heated in here. :)

    Before we talk about all the content we will be missing, think a second.

    I’m thinking that we’ll still see the “big” games on FSC. Common sense would say that FSC is most subscribed to (thus most watched and up for the most advertisement dosh) channel and will get the most popular games.

    FSC+ will be just that – a plus to regular FSC content. And I think it will play the games that aren’t considered as “big”. Your Stoke against Hull or Pompy against Wigan.

    Yes, we’ll miss games – and that sucks. However, I think it’s not as bad as some are making out. FSC would be stupid to own all these rights and chose to play Pompy against Wigan instead of Manchester United against Liverpool.

    Or they could just prove that common sense doesn’t exist in their cooperate structure and lose out on the ratings boosters by keeping the “big” games on a channel that no one watches.

    Unrelated, I hate it when people justify people getting illegal steams just because the game isn’t available on television in a given area. Could you justify stealing a ticket to a match because there weren’t any available to buy?

    • Kevin says:

      You must remember the whole premise behind pay per view TV, that the best content is offered at a premium, because that is what makes money. If Fox’s best intentions were to bring the best games to the masses at a minimal cost to the masses, then they would never have given Setanta first choice games.

      • Gaz says:

        FSC+ isn’t going to be pay per view. It’s an additional channel that you subscribe to. You don’t pay “per view” – you pay for the entire channel.

        I do understand your point, though. In the future we may see some bigger games go to FSC+ in order to upset us off so that we encourage providers to offer it (and then pay them even more subscription fees). I don’t think this will happen until next season, though. Right now – they can make more money by getting higher ratings and more advertising money on the channel that people actually have and watch.

        Like I said, I don’t know if this is what will happen but if they are in the business of making money this seems to make the most sense.

        • Gaz says:

          Or maybe this is all just wishful thinking on my part. :)

        • sucka99 says:

          Makes sense. Back before Setanta, they would show one or two first choice games and put the rest on pay-per-view. So I’m guessing the same here. I’m guessing any Man United game that would have been on Setanta will be on FSP. It’ll be interesting to see what they do for Big-4 clashes though.

  42. RS says:

    Obviously their Twitter account isn’t anything official yet but they have been hinting on here over the past week that Verizon FIOS will have FSC+ and no soccer will be missed. Here is another one:

    “@MattRyanDBL Best I get to say is that you’ll get to still watch all the soccer magic from setanta after the channel sunsets”

    http://twitter.com/FiOStv

  43. ElDuderino says:

    I want to switch to Dish TV but I can’t b/c I have a HD Tivo, which can’t receive Dish signals. This sucks.

  44. skpd says:

    I second Civrock’s suggestion. go here and vote for FSC HD and FSC+ HD:

    http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=172832&page=6

  45. Keith Ward says:

    I third Civrock’s suggestion. go here and vote for FSC HD and FSC+ HD:

    http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=172832&page=6

    I’m to lazy to “sign up”..can Civrock just keep voting multiple times? (j/k) :-)

  46. skpd says:

    nope, one vote/post per person. don’t be lazy now, it’s for a very good cause :)

  47. skpd says:

    btw, after 80 votes FSC HD was on 12th place and after #180 posts it is on 1the 1th place.

    GO AND VOTE!

  48. GianCarlo says:

    I voted, and I hope everybody else does the same. It only takes five minutes at the most to register and vote.

  49. skpd says:

    11th, that is

  50. J McP says:

    Make That 12, Great idea but remember it says a maximum of 10 votes so I only voted for 3, why help the other channels, ALL HANDS TO THE PUMPS LADS!!

  51. Arnold says:

    According to Lou D’Ermilio – More information concerning the channel is expected to be officially announced this week.

  52. Keith Ward says:

    Hey skpd..i voted :-) ..now if we can get another 10,000 votes from the soccer fans on this board,we might actually make a difference !!..or not !! :-(
    I,ve made it easy for you..taqkes about 3 minutes to register,then just copy/paste the channels below (nice selection..thanks !!)

    Channel Points
    1.Fox Soccer Channel HD 1220
    2.Fox Soccer Plus HD 890
    3.Versus HD 2130
    4.Travel Channel HD 4620
    5.BBCA HD 3600
    6.HBO Premiums 2720
    7.Versus HD 2130
    8.IFC HD 1630
    9.Sundance HD 300
    10.Universal Sports HD 110

    • Civrock says:

      Or rather…

      1. Fox Soccer Channel HD
      2. Fox Soccer Plus HD

      Everything else is completely unnecessary, including silly smileys, colors, etc. You can add more channels you’d like to see on DirecTV to the list if you’re a customer but that’s it.

  53. Up the Chels!! In Chicago. says:

    E-mailed Comcast today hoping to get the slightest bit of information and of course I got less than that, They responded with the company line garbage you’d expect. Well, at the very least hopefully they’ll submit my request for FSC HD and FS+. What an annoying process this mess has become.

  54. Ty says:

    I’ve been a subscriber to Setanta for two years and Directv better get their act together and have this deal done by March 1st. On Feb 16th the MU/Milan game was in HD but the Madrid/Lyon game wasn’t. On the 17th neither Gunners/Porto or Fiorentina/Bayern was in HD because they were on Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta. When Fox Soccer Plus comes we shouldn’t have this problem and EVERY game of the Champions League should be in HD. Don’t get me wrong, I had my doubts about Fox when they took over but the coverage has been great if you have Directv because of the option to watch multiple games during the first round. But the games they move to Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta suck because they’re not in HD. And I was seeing the same thing that millions of other people were seeing. At the top of my LCD it says “Fox Soccer in HD” but it wasn’t. How does Directv say they’re better than Dish when Dish already has the deal done for their futbol fans? Also, when Directv makes the deal and the channel is ppv, lets hope its the same cost that Setanta currently his. I felt $14.99 is a fair price.

    • sucka99 says:

      NOTHING on Channel 619 on DirecTV will be in HD until DirecTV support the channel. The HD logo on screen only advertises that the program is AVAILABLE in HD where possible. Has no bearing on what DirecTV is showing.

      and if/when Fox Soccer Plus is turned on at DirecTV before the new Satellite is in place, it will probably be in SD as well. It’ll probably just replace Setanta on 621. There will probably be no more new HD channels until that new sat is in place.

  55. Ken says:

    I’m sorry but this article seems to be written by the worst sort of fan-boy who cannot see anything other than the object of his obsession.

    First off, all Premiership games have never been shown. The tenth, and sometimes the eighth and ninth games are often not shown. It has always been typical for fans of teams between 11th and 15th places to rarely see their teams – no relegation drama or European places at stake. The idea that anyone other than the fans of Burnley and Wigan (about two dozen people in the USA) would care about that match is laughable.

    So, this – as usual – is all about Manchester United (shock).

    Second, Setanta has never been on hundreds or even dozens of providers. We are talking about DirecTV and Dish Network (and Fox is obviously talking to both), and Comcast and Time Warner (and Fox is obviously talking to both). Is Setanta on Charter or Cox ? I wouldn’t know. After that, the remaining systems are pretty small (I may have forgotten one of the larger ones).

    Third, and most importantly, if Setanta viewership represented some huge group that demanded major attention, then Setanta would not be going out of business.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Ken, I take no offense at you calling me a “fan boy.” Yes, I’m a fan of the Premier League and watching it on television. Nothing wrong with that. But I don’t believe it skews my reporting or analysis.

      As for Setanta, they’re on more platforms that you think. Other than DirecTV and Dish Network, they’re on Cox (in some regions), U-Verse, Fios, Comcast (in some regions), RCN, NexTV, World TV, ConnecTV, GekTV and other TV providers.

      You’re correct when you say that not all Premier League matches are shown. But on a typical weekend, 8 out of the 10 are shown. Sometimes 9.

      I disagree with you when you say that it’s rare for some fans to see their team play often. With 8 out of 10 games shown each weekend, all the teams are shown regularly (some more than others).

      Lastly, this is not about Manchester United. It’s just that the Sunday matches are the ones which are usually the highest profile. And it’s the early Sunday morning matches that are likely to be shown on FSC+. And two of those games just happen to feature Manchester United.

      One more thing. The TV ratings for games featuring Burnley and Wigan have been pretty decent this season. Saying there are only two dozen fans for each team is a bit condescending and not true.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  56. FCBAYERN02062 says:

    Just talked to Verizon Fios customer service rep – they have no idea that Setanta is going dark on March 1, and “no one” has ever heard of Fox Soccer Plus. I aksed what will happen on March 1 when channel 1009 ceases to carry programming, and the rep said “I have no idea.” She did add that in the past when Fios has dropped channels, subscribers receive a message in their message box in the interactive media guide.
    I got the same responses yesterday when I called to bug Verizon about FS+. I really get the impression that channel 1009 will simply go dark on March 1, and it’s anybody’s guess as to when Fios subscribers will have Fox Soccer + available to them.
    The very nice lady I spoke did tell me that “we recently added “GLOBO”, a Brazilian channel for 19.99 a month.” She added, “I bet they show soccer on there.” I thought that was pretty funny….

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