Fox Soccer Plus officially announced today that in addition to the Premier League, Serie A, FA Cup and Champions League, the network will televise Carling Cup games, the Coca-Cola Championship and marquee rugby matches.
The new TV network is scheduled to launch March 1, 2010. As of yet, no satellite or cable TV providers have announced that they will carry the channel beginning March 1.
In addition to the above named leagues and competitions, Fox Soccer Plus will also feature England international matches, and rugby games featuring the Guinness Premiership, Magners League and Heineken Cup.
“With these programming acquisitions, Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer Plus become the definitive destinations for the world’s most popular sports,” said David Nathanson, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Fox Soccer Channel. “Fox Soccer Plus presents us with a unique opportunity to expand on Fox Soccer Channel’s core mission, providing U.S. viewers with the best sports competitions worldwide and adds rugby to our impressive lineup of soccer offerings.”
According to Fox Soccer Plus, the channel will feature 130 Premier League games per season, 15 Carling Cup ties (beginning with the 2010-2011 tournament), 60 Coca-Cola Championship games, 3 England international games, 24 FA Cup games, 108 Serie A matches and 70 Champions League games. The rugby offerings will include 35 Guiness Premiership games, 40 Heineken Cup matches and 80 Magners League games per season.
The press release from Fox mentions that Fox Soccer Plus will be available as a premium service.
While today’s news is fantastic for rugby fans, supporters of lower league football and fans of the Carling Cup, it’s worrying news for fans of the other leagues that are currently carried by Setanta and will presumably not be shown on Fox Soccer Plus. Those leagues are Lique Un, the Russian Premier League and Scottish Premier League. We’ll have to wait and see if those leagues will be picked up by ESPN, GolTV or Premium Sports.
While today’s news from Fox goes a long way to filling in the blanks, there are still many unanswered questions. I’ll be contacting Fox today to request more details, so if you have any specific questions, please post them below.