Fox Soccer Plus Adds Carling Cup, Coca-Cola Championship and Rugby

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.

109 thoughts on “Fox Soccer Plus Adds Carling Cup, Coca-Cola Championship and Rugby”

  1. A channel called Fox “Soccer” Plus is going to have rugby but not League Un or SPL. That is strange. I know rugby fans will be happy to hear this but it doesn’t really make any sense considering the name of the channel. It is a shame they won’t be showing French League because I am expecting a lot of US players will find that league their home in the coming years.

    1. Well, they did add the “Plus” to the name. Maybe it is short for “Plus Other Anglo-Centric Sports”.

      I agree, Ligue Un will be missed.

    2. I know, fecks sake, I just want someone to deliver at the least same-day coverage of the SPL, don’t advertise it if you only show Rangers and Celtic, even though I’m an RFC fan, I want to see more of those games and not four days after they happened…bleh

    3. ridiulous of them not picking up the french ligue 1!!! there are US players playing in that ligue and like you said, i can see a lot of US players in ligue 1 in the next few years. very upseting!

  2. To me this sounds more and more like they’re adjusting to make it a fitting replacement for Setanta Sports, probably even due to pressure from carriers about comparable programming so they can simply switch over current subscribers automatically without much hassle and complaints. I don’t think Fox Soccer Plus would be showing rugby otherwise, really.

  3. It’s not Fox Soccer, it’s Fox Soccer PLUS. Soccer PLUS other sports. Or something like that. But I agree…I actually like to watch a Ligue Un game now and then.

    Also, there was a tweet from the FIOS guy last night, saying, “I am sad to say I have no new info about FSC HD.” So I assume FIOS will not have FSC-HD before the end of the season.

  4. The fact that FS+ will be a monthly-charge premium channel, plus that they are keeping the rugby coverage certainly raises the question of why Fox didn’t just buy Setanta US lock, stock and barrel, preserving Setanta’s current carriage agreements. Changes to Setanta could have been made gradually, like rebranding, broadening number of carriers, etc. Instead, a large number of current Setanta subscribers will be in limbo waiting for DirecTV and Fox to sign new carriage agreements.

  5. I dont think I want to watch Rugby on a Soccer Channel…Plus means an addition to the first Soccer Channel…More football please and less rugby.

    1. Doesn’t matter what you want. Thousands of people want the rugby coverage and despite what you may think, there’s money in that. They got the assets from Setanta, they would be stupid not to utilize it.

    2. Chris,
      We Rugby fans in the US have been waiting patiently for a very long time for any decent coverage of our sport. Setanta provided that while FOX World Sports or whatever it was called before it became Fox Soccer dumped us. I applaud Fox for picking it back up. So please don’t piss on us.

      1. But they only picked up Guinness, Magners and Heineken. What happened to Six Nations, Three nations, Super 14 and Curie Cup? Setanta dumped us.

        1. Not true. Super 14 has been picked up (they aired 3 matches this weekend) and per a reply from customer service they will have Air New Zealand, Currie Cup and Tri-Nations this summer.

      2. It seems that FS+ is carrying only Magners, Heineken and Guiness games + some super 14. They have dropped 6 nations which does not bode well for any future int’l matches. As far as I am concerned, compared to Setanta rugby, FS+ is useless. Rugby fans have been screwed

        1. lol would you prefer nothing? Setanta is currently out of business. Be glad you have options in this economy that don’t involve Pay Per View and Premium Sports.

  6. “Fox Soccer Plus 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”

    If a new cable channel is launched in the woods…does it make a sound?

    FFS! 10 days to launch!!

        1. Verizon FIOS’ official twitter account said a couple days ago that there will be a seamless transition from Setanta to Fox Soccer+ on March 1st and no matches will be missed. But he has also been saying there is nothing new for HD though…..

          1. The exact quote was “Best I get to say is that you’ll get to still watch all the soccer magic from setanta after the channel sunsets”.

            He didn’t mention Fox Soccer Plus by name, but I suppose we can all infer that. I have not followed his Twitter quotes up until a few days ago when someone made mention of him, so I am not sure if he is usually reliable or not. His comment however about FSC HD was not so encouraging as you mentioned.

            With everything else I suppose time will tell. I have Setanta now and count myself among both the soccer and rugby faithful so if FIOS is indeed going to add this and keep it as a premium service I would continue to subscribe.

      1. According to the same email I got a couple weeks ago, don’t be shocked if you see the Tri Nations & Super 14. Don’t hold your breath for the Air New Zealand Cup or Currie Cup though.

        Let’s hope FS+ gets the Rugby World Cup next year.

  7. I’m getting the impression that Fox’s marketing strategy is to have us hound the cable and satellite providers until they add the channel. This is just plain dumb. I don’t mind that they are just taking most of Setanta’s programming. I do mind that this will mean an interruption in programming for me unless something changes between now and March 1st.

    On the other hand, I’m glad to see that the Coca-Cola Championship will be on FS+, as that’s where Pompey will be next season, if there is a next season for Pompey. Still not optimistic.

  8. Not that I’d be big on watching the Russian Premier League, the timing for live coverage works pretty well. What else would they be showing at that time? They are dropping the Carling Cup coverage by nearly 50% (assuming Setanta would have shown 25 matches next season as they were to show this year). Championship is even with Setanta, as if Heineken Cup. Mangers League is much more than Setanta… I know people want Ligue Un, but FS+ is showing Serie A. So there is clearly a schedule conflict between the two.

    …are all of these going to be live?

    This is positive news for those who’d like Rugby with their Football. I’m still curious about a 24 hour programming schedule. I don’t want to pay for a premium channel that shows infomercials.

    1. With all of this programming and the likelihood that it’ll cost a premium fee like Setanta Sports, and basically replacing it, I doubt that there’ll be ridiculous amounts of infomercials like on FSC, if at all. They’ll probably show similar programming at night as Setanta is currently.

        1. Do you guys get Sky Sports News in the US? if so, is it 24hr programme like in the UK.
          I find it interesting to watch how other countries view and show sports, I sometimes watch an epl on the internet through fo sports even though i have Sky Sports on the tv showing the same match. (must be the geek in me I suppose)

  9. I would like to know how talks are going to at least get Fox Soccer Channel in HD on TimeWarner are going. Also If this is going to be a premium channel will it be a channel that requires a free or a set of channels that comes in a package like espns packages or would it just be added to the list of channels.

    I am currently a TimeWarner customer with Digital and HD programming.

    1. Eric–I read somewhere that TimeWarner does indeed plan to offer FS+ soon after launch, but remember that even if TimeWarner signs a master agreement to carry the channel you will not necessarily get it. The final decision will be left up to your Syracuse Regional Manager. For me it will be up to the Wilmington, NC RM…..and so forth and so on around the country. Personally, I don’t expect it to ever be offered here. Too little interest.

  10. Doesn’t this announcement simply mean that they have struck deals for the following programming recently and that they still could acquire some of the other programming that people are complaining about?

    As it is, if you have FSC, FSC+, and GOLTV (and ESPN2)…you get the top football leagues from England, Italy, Spain, and Germany. I know it would be great to also have France, Russia, Holland, etc…but there’s only so much they can show per day.

    I have to think they are focused on maintaining the rugby audience for the time being, and that they believe there aren’t that many people who would pay for this channel simply because of the French or Russian Leagues.

  11. FSC+ on FiOS is great news. What is amazing is we get better coverage here in the U.S. than my friends in the U.K. Only my friends in Bangkok have it better (pretty much every game is available live, as they use the overflow channels to broadcast the games).

  12. I think it’s a big mistake for Fox to ignore the SPL, given the large number of Scots expats living in the US.
    Surely it would not have cost much to bring that in from Setanta also ….

    Rugby …. not interested.

  13. It seems that Fox is methodically going about getting all their ducks in a row before announcing who will being carrying the channel, which is good business. They are trying to please a broad spectrum of people but as we all know some will still be unhappy.

  14. I’m sure I’m in the minority here but I must have Ligue1 coverage. I find Ligue1 matches to be the most enjoyable to watch as the league is solid from top to bottom for me. I watch a ton of matches from all over the world but other than La Liga and EPL matches, there is no more important league for me to have available than Ligue1. Please FS+ make this happen.

  15. As a rugby fan I’d say this is great news except that if Fox is going to market this “a la Setanta”, then I am SOL. My local TWC affiliate will never pick it up. Monetarily I wouldn’t mind as I am already paying for Setanta-i……which makes me wonder where those rights went.

  16. im glad fox soccer plus is keeping rugby, i love soccer and rugby and now i can keep watching both and in hd awesome. I have directv please keep me posted on fox soccer plus. by the way i hope they will show plenty of the all blacks via tri nations or friendlies.

  17. great news!! now if only SOMEONE would announce they will be carrying the channel. better yet, if fox/directv would quit playing hardball with each other and quit torturing us football fans!! just give us the channel.

  18. When they say it will be a premium service, do they mean that it will cost $15 a month like Setanta? Wouldn’t they just be in the same position as they are now counting down the last days of Setanta US? I hope but I may be wrong that FSC is moved to the Choice xtra and FSC+ is put in the sports pack.

    1. This is a good point. If they are going to continue with the $15/month model, I think at the start FS+ will actually be in worse shape than Setanta was in its final days.

      Setanta had more providers carrying it than FS+ has announced so far, and they also had Setanta-i bringing in some money.

      I haven’t heard anything about an online option for FS+, and I doubt my cable company will pick up FS+, so starting March 1 they will probably be losing the $15/month I paid for Setanta-i.

  19. I believe Fox Soccer Plus will be offered pretty much exactly like Setanta Sports is on DirecTV at the moment. It’ll simply replace it, with similar programming. I was hoping for a different model myself, so did Fox Sports probably, but I don’t think the carriers liked that which is why the negotiations have been so complicated regarding FSC HD and FS Plus (HD). I do however think that it’ll be significantly more popular amongst soccer fans (even rugby fans) than Setanta under the FSC brand and with added HD broadcasting. HD is a big selling point for me personally.

  20. I guess my only question centers around this:

    If they show Serie A (as is claimed) are they going to show more games from that league or will the number of games be the same as what they are currently showing?

    If they are simply going to carry the same number of games then it would mean that Serie A coverage would be spread across two channels, which might well free up space on either channel for coverage of Ligue 1 or whatever else they agree to cover.

  21. Not good news on Fios. I hope its wrong but I had an insider check with a FIOS marketing rep and they said the expected date for FSC HD and Plus is …… June 2011!

    Not good.

  22. I would like Fox to know why didn’t they wait to the end of the season to allow this station to launch and for them to be able to get more carriage agreements in time for the new season.

    Why didn’t they buy Setanta lock stock and barrel? They could of had there transponsders and carriage agreements?

    Are they anywhere near with agreements with any cable or Sat companies?

  23. Gaffer, I’d like to know what the plans are for It looks like Fox Soccer Plus will be a more or less straight swop for Setanta on the cable/satellite platforms, but Setanta-i was a marvellous service and I’m wondering if they (Fox) are going to upgrade their online offerings to attract ex Setanta-i subscribers

    1. My sentiments exactly, particularly since I doubt my local TimeWarner affiliate will ever pick up FS+.

      So, Gaffer, if you could track those online rights I’d be most grateful.

  24. This response from TWC is priceless. My ZIP code was entered and showed up as EastCarolinaSupport, (Wilmington region) which is correct, but notice the response refers to the Charlotte area which is on the other side of the state.

    “Dear Mr. XXXX,

    Thank you for contacting Time Warner Cable Email Support. At the end of this email, you will be given the option of taking a brief survey.

    I understand that you would like to know if Fox Soccer Plus will be available from March 1 on our cable service.

    I apologize for the inconvenience. I will be glad to address your concern.

    Thank you for your email concerning Time Warner Cable’s programming. We appreciate your input and will share your request with our corporate office. Contractual agreements for carriage or removal of specific programmers are negotiated at the corporate level and information about what our Charlotte region customers want on their cable service is taken into consideration during those negotiations. Each individual affiliate makes the ultimate decision as to what programming they will provide to Time Warner for airing. If there is specific programming that you would like to see added, we encourage you to contact the affiliate directly.”

    WTF. That’s what I just did, but they obviously don’t know their ass from third base…..or, rather, east from west.

    *sigh* Why bother.

  25. If they were smart they would copy what Setanta-i did for the broadband. Because it is perfect. You can watch the games live, record them to watch them later, on demand, games are available pretty quickly after they are over, and picture quality is actually better than their tv picture quality.

  26. Ok so I just got off a chat with Comcast and they told me that Fox Soccer Plus will definitely be added to my sports entertainment package on March 1st but that they were not sure when either FSC or FSC+ would be added in HD.

    I hope this is true. I can deal with no HD for a while just as long as I have FSC+

      1. Really!?! I’m just out outside of Philly too – so I assume we’re on the same general service.

        Do you mean we’ll get it added as part of our current sports package?

        That would be the best news ever.

        1. That’s what he told me. He said it will be part of the sports entertainment package. I asked him to confirm at least 3 times.

  27. Does anyone know whether FS+ will be available on ATT Uverse in southeast Michigan? I notified ATT by email that I wanted to receive FS+ but I have heard nothing. I currently have Setanta at $15.00 per month and hope that FS+ will be available on March 1. I’m not optimistic.

  28. According to a search for “FSC +” on Twitter, DirecTV and Fox have reached an agreement. Transition of Setanta to FSC+ will be ‘seamless’ on 3/1. Both FSC and FSC+ will be available in HD on 4/1.

      1. Yeah, just like the DirecTV email I got last week and posted was just a “rumor” that was just “confirmed” by this blog post on DirecTV subscribers…you will have Fox Soccer Plus on March 1st. I dare anyone to say I’m wrong…again…

  29. I received a letter from Comcast yesterday, it reads:

    Dear Setanta Sports Subscriber,

    We regret to inform you that Setanta Sports has informed us that February will be its last month of operations. Setanta Sports will shut down permanently at midnight on February 28.

    Accordingly, after February 28, 2010, the monthly Setanta Sports subscription fee of $14.99 will automatically be removed from your bill.
    Although we will no longer be able to offer you Setanta Sports, Comcast has a wide variety of sports programming available for your enjoyment.

    Soo….. what they’re saying, is instead of hosing me for $15 a month, they are going to hose me and not let me watch anything on this channel? I will bug them via online chat until I get some sore of an answer!

    1. How in the world is $15 a month for Setanta “hosing”, especially in the light that everyone charged that much?

      Back maybe 6 or 7 years ago, Directv had an EPL package that maybe showed two games a weekend… for $270. Setanta costs $180 a year. That is cheap for the amount of international sports they offered. It wasn’t cheap, but it was certainly reasonable.

      1. Well maybe hosing wasn’t the right word. But the HBO Movie Package was like an extra $18. I usually only watch Setanta on Tuesday & Saturday/Sunday. I like what I’m watching no doubt, just wish it was less. But not so much less as to not have it.

  30. We need to ensure they providers like COMCAST actually add this new channel to their lineup or we won’t even have a chance to view any of the games.

  31. I have Direct TV
    I do not have FSC
    there is a fox sports package for 12.99 which includes goal tv and FSC
    My question is, is that package going to roll in FSC+ for an additional fee or am I going to have to pay 12.99 and 14.99?
    FSC commentators from what I have seen are crap. I don’t watch MLS and don’t want to.

  32. UPSET!!!! where am i going to get my Ligue 1 matches starting March 1st!

    Setanta was such a great channel covering a broad range of leagues and events! I hate FOX!!!!!!

    1. I’d agree if Fox came out of the blue and swallowed Setanta whole, but it sounds as if Setanta wasn’t paying their bills to Fox for EPL.

      Sure Fox has mangled this by announcing a channel with little other details, but you can’t blame Fox for wanting to be paid for content they had rights to, nor for having only 24 hours available in a day to show football and rugby. Hopefully they can keep the French league.

  33. Anybody on here have Optimum/Cablevison?

    I’m asking because it seems most people have Comcast or TWC which is the norm since Comcast is the largest cable provider, but any news on the Optimum/Cablevison Front?

  34. Just got my DirecTV bill, and it shows them billing me for Setanta Sports $14.99 for 2/15 – 3/14/10. I called, and the rep (after several minutes looking) said that the programming will transition on 3/1/10 to Fox Soccer Plus on Channel 670. He didn’t know about HD or not.

    Not that I’m complaining (because it makes sense), but I was just wondering – does the fact that FS+ is taking over the Setanta subscriber base and even continuing at $14.99 – without any input from me – mean that FS+ bought that aspect of Set? It tends to make sense of the crawl they’ve been showing [“as of March 1st, matches from this competition will be shown on Fox Soccer Plus”], but if it was all planned, why no announcement?

    1. Channel 670? That’s interesting since Setanta’s on 621. I wonder why they would put FSC+ in the middle of FSN channels instead of with the other soccer channels.

  35. Here’s a thing.. I’m in NY area with Fios, I have setanta subscription so I’m really hoping for FSC+, mainly for the Rugby, which is my first sport passion (Leicester Tigers), followed by EPL… come on the Wolves !!.

    So I thought I’d take a gander at the Fios program menu to see what happens when setanta dies on Feb 28th… AND… I see a FSC or FSC+ schedule from 12 midnight on wards (channel 1009) eg sky sport news UEFA cup etc !!!!.

    So I’m wondering if someone has buggered up at Verizon and accidently let the cat out of the bag ????

  36. Good to know they are keeping Rugby :) I find it a little odd though they aren’t planning on keeping French League. They have had both at the same time before and that’s when they only ran one international sports channel (FSW), and that’s when they had aussie rules and darts rights too. I don’t buy there not being enough time in the day for both.

  37. sorry to hear about setanta.its their own doing .they never advertised their channel………hope fox picks up”mutv” & being irish “GAA’

  38. The “Plus” doesn’t seem very much. Where can we get Rugby such as Super 14, Currie Cup, Air New Zealand Cup, Pacific Nations Cup, Six Nations, 7’s, Internationals or better still NRL?

  39. of course as a DirecxtV user and an Englishman living in the US I used to have Sentanta on all the time, be it soccer, rugby, even Aussie Rules, Gaelic Football and Rugby League when it was on. Of course I received no information re the change and when I called DirecTV about what programs were going and what were being kept they had not idea. I see some people re complaining about rugby on a soccer program. But sport is sport, I prefer the rugby but I also enjoy the soccer as well. I’ll miss the Rugby from Aus, NZ and SAfrica, and hope they will be back soon. However if the station becomes just another soccer dumping ground full of repeats I will not pay the money for it. Let is keep as it is for the followers of sport be it round or oblong ball.

  40. I agree with Greybrit (that describes me) about the lack of rugby on Fox Soccer (little) plus. I strongly suggest they they stop showing the Hakka, All Blacks and Wallabies on their promos as it’s extremely misleading.

    1. Why should they stop those promos? They have stated they plan on showing the Tri-Nations this summer.

      They originally announced Magners League, Guinness Premiership and Heineken Cup as part of their programming, they recently added Super 14 and in addition to Tri-Nations plan on having Air New Zealand Cup and Currie Cup this summer. That is most of the major rugby programming Setanta had minus the 6 Nations replays.

      What would make it complete for me would be if they arranged to get the rights from ESPN UK or Setanta Ireland for one of their english language packages for the French Top 14 :-)

    2. I just got a resonse from Fox Sports customer center re programming content …as follows
      The following is a list of Rugby leagues that we plan to cover:

      Air New Zealand Cup, Currie Cup, Super 14, Tri-Nations, Guinness Premiership, Heineken Cup (analogous to the UEFA Champions League of rugby union), & Magners League (formerly Celtic League).

      Looks like things missing are 6 nations and full internationals. Who knows about world cup

      1. Yeah, Premium Sports is holding onto Six Nations so that they can charge $20/person in bars and pubs. I’m just hoping FS+ will have the rights to the 2011 World Cup and not Premium Sports.

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