and Product Review

I recently got the opportunity to sit down and spend some time reviewing a few products that are integral to the football viewing public across the globe. and are both online broadband sites that bring the beautiful game to the masses. ESPN360 is available only to customers whose Internet Service Providers have paid ESPN for the service, thus making the service free to certain cable and Internet customers. Outside of the US, the service is available to both subscribing and non subscribing ISP’s and available as a monthly subscription. is currently only available for purchase in the United States. Cost for full access to the site varies due to the time a potential subscriber wishes to view matches on the site. The three tiers available are day passes, monthly passes and full season passes. Visit the website for full information on rates.

One obvious difference between the two sites are the amount of sports on offer. offers a variety of different sports including but not limited to, college basketball, American football, cricket, golf, tennis, horse racing and even yacht racing. For me, the one downfall to is that although there is a wide amount of football available to members of the site, currently doesn’t offer the Barclays Premier League.

Some of the competitions available on are, Carling Cup, Serie A, La Liga, German Bundesliga, Eredivisie, International Friendlies, the Football League and loads more.  While recently watching the Ruhr Derby, which features German clubs Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04, I was impressed in how much prematch and halftime footage is shown. The footage itself really allows the viewer to get a good feel for the atmosphere around the grounds without hearing voice overs from commentators just looking to fill space. The footage also allows viewers to watch players warming up, taking their pre match kick abouts, and the recent International Friendly featuring USA v Netherlands featured the entire pre-show broadcast. offers a wide selection of only football and rugby. There may be a little give and take if you’re a football fan of all the major European leagues as neither site offers them all. For instance, offers the Premier League, Serie A, UEFA Champions League, Coca-Cola Championship, FA Cup and more, but doesn’t offer Spain’s La Liga or the German Bundesliga like does. However, does in fact offer the Argentinian league, CONCACAF Champions League and the Hyundai A-League, which is Australia’s top-flight soccer league.

One of my favorite features that both sites offer is the ability to watch matches on demand. It would be odd that I’d forget to set my DVR, but on the outside chance the match in question was a casualty of my memory, I could easily access either site and search for what I’ve missed.

For Rugby fans, the Heineken Cup, Guinness Premiership and Magners League are all available on (did anyone get the odd but immediate thought of a beer there?). The availability of Rugby at coincides with the recent launch of Fox Soccer Plus and the channels ability to grow their customer base by offering the highly popular sport of Rugby.

I’m new to both of these online football sites since I’ve subscribed to DirecTV for a number of years. I’ve got all the football I can handle with the channels the satellite service offers. However, due to the easy access and user friendly navigation both sites offer, I’ll be sure to use both again in the future.

If you’ve been a fan or long time user of either site currently or in the past, feel free to leave a comment below telling us your thoughts, likes, dislikes and opinions. As always, enjoy your football.

59 thoughts on “ and Product Review”

  1. If ESPN isn’t streaming EPL games on ESPN360, do you know who has the online rights? Or is no one streaming them?

          1. Dave C,

            Yes. will be showing some games live. The majority of the matches that are scheduled for this weekend and next weekend are in fact live.

            Tomorrow morning, Arsenal v Burnley and Aston Villa v Sunderland are both live.

        1. Gaffer, isn’t it 12-14 hours later? e.g. FSC will show West Ham v Bolton tomorrow at 10am EST. Then fourteen hours after kickoff, or a bit over 12 after final whistle, it will be available on (Midnight Sunday, not midnight Monday)?

          1. David, a 10am-Noon ET Saturday EPL game on FSC won’t be available on until midnight on Sunday night, which is 36 hours later.

            The Gaffer

          2. I don’t use so I don’t know when they really make the game available but the site says a Saturday game is available at 12:00am Sunday. That would be 12 hours after. Quote from FAQ page: “On Demand matches are made available by 12 AM ET on date of live match.” Technically, even that is wrong, since the date has changed.

            12:00am Sunday = 1 minute after 11:59pm Saturday = 1 minute before 12:01am Sunday.

          3. When a schedule mentions something at midnight Sunday, that means it should be available at 12:00 a.m. Sunday, not 12:00 a.m. Monday.

  2. ESPN360 is vastly underrated, probably due mostly to the fact that the service differs based on cable provider. I had no idea I had it until a few months ago, but the selection is very impressive, with the only downside being the lack of Premier League. They offer an incredible amount of US college sports and seem to have access to all ESPN live sports broadcasts other than a few.

    In addition to having almost all their shows online now, ESPN has really stepped up internet content delivery in my view. Heres to hoping FSC can reach that level and bring football to the internet level it deserves.

    1. What do you mean by “service differs based on cable provider?” Do you mean that if I have Comcast and you have AT&T we might get different games? Or do you just mean that some ISPs don’t yet offer access?

      I don’t think ESPN has online rights for most or all of their professional coverage, but they do put virtually all of the college sports on there. ESPNU games aren’t put online, but Game Plan / Full Court games are.

  3. I love ESPN360, mainly because it’s the only place I can watch cricket because I do not have DirecTV or DISH. It appears that unless one really needs HD coverage that is a far better deal than FS+.

  4. DaveC, for viewers in the United States, is now the only source of legal online coverage (that is live) of the Premier League.

    The Gaffer

    1. Gaffer,

      Do you know if the annual rate is pro-rated until the end of the season or is the price on their website a true annual rate?


      1. man99utd, I believe it’s pro-rated. But I’ll find out for sure later. I’ll be interviewing a VP from Fox to discuss and to answer everyone’s questions. And I’m planning on releasing the information as a special episode of the EPL Talk Podcast tonight (fingers crossed).

        The Gaffer

      2. On the My Account page, the expiry date says 3/2/2011 for what it’s worth, even though the pass is supposed to be through May.

    1. In Manhattan, if you switch from Time Warner Cable broadband to Verizon broadband/DSL, you will get espn360 (and possibly save money)…

      1. Unless things have changed since I moved in January 09, ESPN360 was available in TWC-Central NY…at least I could watch it with ease in Ithaca.
        But, I recognize things could have changed.

  5. gaffer you missed that will be showing coca cola league games….when you go there you will see the tab and it says it will show upcoming games soon…possibly the start of next season.

    1. Chris,

      I noticed that but for some reason didn’t mention it in the post. I guess “much more” was supposed to have included the Championship as well. I’ll add it. Thanks,

  6. I have both and espn360, and both have been relatively fantastic in being able to watch great soccer matches over the last few months. foxsoccertv’s additions of showing live EPL and champions league matches are a huge plus since the addition of FS+ (and I agree, a much better deal than the $15 a month for it on satellite: $45 for the remainder fo the season as of now). ESPN360 shows most, if not all, of college football and basketball games it has rights to, which includes all of ESPN FullCourt, ESPN Gameplan, as well as regular ESPN and ESPN2 broadcasts (not sure about ESPNU), as well as so much more. And of course it has great Bundesliga and La Liga matches, and US National team games.

    Frankly I don’t see why the EPL games are not on ESPN360, only because, in the scheme of things, EPL ratings are low enough they can’t possibly be losing THAT much money by adding the content online. ESPN360 has NBA games on every week, which on the TV channel get MUCH higher ratings. Maybe next season…

    Also, not a huge fan of the 12-14 hour delays on broadcasts of EPL games. I can live with a few hours (i.e. up online soon after the game is finished) but waiting until the next day is ridiculous.

    Also, anyone interested in UEFA competitions (CL, Europa, Euro tournaments) should consider the $40/yr Replay Annual pass from, where afternoon fixtures are posted by 6pm ET. Since CL matches are on while I’m at work, I can still watch them the second I get home, and not have to pay $10 a match or $100/CL season to see it live.

  7. ESPN360 (to become ESPN in April) does not have EPL streaming rights as noted (FOX retained those). They also cannot stream ABC-televised games live because of local affiliation agreements (online viewers don’t count towards local Nielsen ratings- i.e. the neighborhood construction business ads, etc.). That’s why you can only watch the 2010 World Cup Final online- beginning a certain number of hours after it takes place- and likewise can’t watch simulcasts of “Desperate Housewives” or virtually anything else on ABC.

    ESPNU games mostly aren’t streamed but they will be offered for the upcoming college basketball “Championship Week” and of course the NCAA Women’s Tournament.

  8. The streaming on foxsoccertv gives me a headache, it’s too choppy. The Rayv app is inferior to the silverlight app, setanta-i used.

  9. Hi. I have access to ESPN360 through my ISP, Comcast. I am definately a fan of the service, with the great catalog of Live & On-Demand matches. Now that ESPN will have access to more EPL next season, we shall see if ESPN will be allowed to stream the EPL on ESPN360, which actually will be ESPN3 starting in April. I have used on rare occasions before the now upgraded service which began on March 1st, even though I have decided not to pull the trigger on a subscription due to no Ligue 1 or RPL at the current time, both leagues which were available on the now defunct Setanta US and Setanta-i US [even though the later is not truly defunct, since it is now a PPV service for Premium Sports]. Its a shame that ESPN360 is not available on every ISP, because I know a lot of people would enjoy the service. Like I mentioned earlier, I will hold off until the next European Football season to see if improves even more. For those who want that online fix to fill the void left behind by Setanta-i, or new to the online game, give it a try.

  10. The quality of should be improved, but that’s a relatively easy thing for Fox to do. For me its all about the rights. Right now there is no rhyme or reason to the EPL online coverage; some games live, some games tape delayed, some games just not carried. I’m hoping the Gaffer will get some answers as to where all this is heading in his interview.

  11. We do have answers. The Gaffer has stated many times that the games on Fox Soccer Plus will be shown live on and the games shown on the regular Fox Soccer Channel will be shown on delay on I believe the reason for this is because of advertising. Advertisers are paying FSC for the live games.

  12. I just purchased this week. It appears that even matches that are being shown on delay on fs+ will be shown live online. I am speaking specifically of the Fulham v Tottenham match. It will be shown late afternoon/early evening on FS+ I believe and the website lists it live via I hope this is, in fact, the case.

  13. is going to be a long shake-out. I guarantee what we see now will not be there in the fall, simply because ESPN2 will have some of it. The question is what will fill its place.

    It has been suggested that the rugby will disappear after the current rights run out. If that is the case I will not renew.

    I am with TW, so can not get ESPN3. is my only hope of expanded coverage, not only of soccer, but of rugby as well.

    We’re all going to have to sit back and wait…..which we all hate to do. BTW, so far, I like It’s not perfect, but beggars can’t be choosers. First you get the content, then you press for improvement.

  14. I was a little disappointed that doesn’t work on linux which means I can’t watch at work. I thought it would because the test signal works just fine, but when I log in and go to watch it says I am viewing from the wrong country (presumably just the OS as I am in the US).

    Otherwise from what I’ve seen at home I’m happy. Obviously next season is the key. For me, they need to show the games that we can’t access through our TV providers – i.e. the games that are on FSC+. Those are the ones I and many others can’t watch. If that continues then great. If they change it then obviously I will ditch it.

  15. No access to ESPN 360, I’ve got Time Warner here in L.A., very frustrating as it’s one of the view places to peep cricket, haven’t tried, who I think has US rights to show the IPL.
    I agree with some of the other comments here about the sometimes poor quality of streams via Fox.

  16. Just watched my first match on, and the stream was not very good. My laptop is quite a decent one that was just purchased this past summer, and while the “sample” came thru clear as day, the live Pompey v Birmingham match was a horrible feed when viewed at the highest quality. I had to switch to the medium-quality level, and that reminded me of the old Setanta platform before they switched to Setanta-i. I’ve got to say I’m disappointed, and am happy I only purchased the 24-hour pass for I would’ve been upset if I had paid the 15 dollars for a full month or 45 for the package until June. ESPN360 works perfectly on both my laptop and my older desktop, certainly a much higher quality stream.

    1. Theory, I’ve been experiencing similar problems this morning. It’s quite frustrating but hopefully these things can be worked out soon. I plan on writing a follow-up piece to Jesse’s product review over the weekend.

      The Gaffer

      1. Arsenal v Burnley was much better. Anyone trying to watch Juve – Fiorentina? Only getting audio with black screen.

  17. We’re prepping for the Fulham v Tottenham match and it looks like it has been dropped from the schedule–it’s no longer listed under Now Playing or Upcoming FA matches. This is getting frustrating…we signed up for Fox Soccer tv specifically to watch this match. Really hope it pops up in 10 min.

    1. Jennifer: Showing the Fulham v Tottenham match was the main reason I pulled the trigger on purchasing as well. I double checked that it would be on live, because I knew it was being shown on delay on TV. When I was confident that would be showing it live I went ahead and made the purchase. I signed up for the reminder and even got the email an hour ago making sure I remembered the match. If they don’t end up showing it I will be livid. Hopefully things work out for us!!

      1. I just went to the chat and was informed that a “technical” issue has occured and the match won’t be shown. Seems fishy to me. I’m guessing they are protecting the advertisers on FSC for the later showing. Terribly disappointing start to my experience.

        1. Thanks for the update–hadn’t noticed the chat feature yet. We (hubby and me) agree with you–seems fishy. Originally the match was listed as live on FSC, then it got pulled, then added to and now pulled and added to delayed FSC coverage. We’ve tried logging out/logging in, different laptops etc to ensure it wasn’t a glitch on our end but it’s clearly gone. We’ve been able to view other matches without issue (we had a lot of trouble with Setanta-i).

          We moved to the US from London 3 years ago and have been beyond happy with the live coverage available here, but these last minute schedule changes are very, very frustrating. Back to Gentleman Jim and dodgy online links!

          1. Jennifer: It seems pretty clear what they are doing. The chat person challenged me that I even got the reminder email because he/she “knew the match wouldn’t be shown for a few hours now.” That kind of sent me through the roof. I feel bad that I am battering the chat person (while trying not to make it personal). I was skeptical once I saw that this match would be shown on delay on FSC, I even asked for confirmation earlier in this discussion thread. It is amazing to me that they hide behind technical issues, when they know full well that anyone that wants to see the match will find the sketchy online links in a heartbeat. I actually felt good about myself signing up for the “legit” provider and they have forced me back to the dark side!!

        2. I’m not sure how reliable/accurate this is but my husband read that there is a copyright issue with this match & the Reading/Villa match tomorrow. I’m not sure what that could be as one would think the rights were already sorted. Reading/Villa is still listed so will have to check later and see if it disappears (anyone planning to watch via may want to line-up a back-up source).

  18. ESPN 360 is free service and has a load of material from a variety of sports.

    Fox online product costs $$$$.

    So unless you have to have those extra games the clear choice in today’s economy is ESPN. btw, it has always worked very well on my laptop which I feed onto my tv screen.

  19. Looking at the schedule, they have listed four 10 AM matches this coming Saturday as being live. If that is the case, then would, at least as far as EPL content is concerned, a sure winner. Time will tell if that pans out, but being offered 4 live games at one time is quite exciting. Though my mind is telling me it is too good to be true.

  20. just watched man u vs. wolves and the audio was about 10 second behind the video. that should not happen, hopefully they correct this problem.

  21. Fox Soccer TV is a terrible service that I am forced to live with. I am praying for the day ESPN 360 gets the rights to the Prem a far superior product that always delivers.

  22. Interestingly, espn3 is moving OFF of silverlight, and turning their back-end over to MLB (baseball) using Flash…

  23. Haven’t found a concrete source yet but someone on a football forum I frequent mentioned something about ESPN360 adding the RPL to ESPN360. I googled it and found a link to some CyberEagles forum. Mentions something about ESPN picking up 2 RPL games per week on ESPN360 which will be renamed ESPN3 at the start of the baseball season.

    Wikipedia reflects the news but of course I’ll wait for something more definite. PLEASE let Ligue 1 get some love from ESPN360 though IF this is true.

  24. what a shambles. Bought 1 day pass for man united – dippers game..45 minutes ago…..yet to be activated. PATHETIC!! fox soccer do one ya mugs!

  25. Disgraceful service from Service didn’t start until 20 minutes into the United Liverpool game. Then had 15 minutes of jerky picture, now watching at about 2 frames per second.

    This is the biggest match of the season and the service is terrible. In fact, scratch that, it’s not a service. I want my money back. Diabolical!

  26. I’m not surprised. I logged on 10 min before kick-off, of course there is no way to know when the match starts unless I refresh my browser. When I did I got an error message, I had to log back in which took 5 mins, finally got a picture 3 mins in but no audio until 25 mins in. A 3 month head start and 3 weeks in and this is happening: ITVN/Setanta -i/ now back to the dark ages.

  27. Managed to get in at 12 min. in time to see Rooney’s PK. No sound for quite a while. After that pretty good until the very end when it absolutely locked up. High resolution was unavailable.

    Disappointed, but not surprised. You knew this match was going to tax the system. Perhaps something good will come of it.

  28. hi all,
    can anyone comment on the picture quality of I’m watching with a 15Mbps connection, IE8, win7, on a 17″ monitor, but the test video is blurry. Its just about watchable, no chance of put up oin a HDTV,

    thinking of canceling directv for the

    any comments?

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