Drops the Ball with Man United v Liverpool Coverage

Anyone watching the Manchester United against Liverpool match live on Sunday would have been terribly disappointed with the poor quality of the service.

You would think that for the biggest game of the Premier League season that Fox would be prepared. But they were not, far from it. Indeed, this would have been a perfect day for to show how good the experience can be, to convince soccer fans who may have bought a day-pass that they should sign up to become a regular subscriber. Sadly, the experience was amateurish and disgraceful.

Here are just some of the issues that users, myself included, experienced:

  1. Many soccer fans were unable to log on to Some users experienced the pages timing out especially during the first 30 minutes. In that same time span, others received the following error message: “General error. We’re sorry, but a general error has occured [sic]. To report a problem, please contact our support. Please click on your browser’s BACK button to return to where you were.”
  2. There was no audio commentary until the 25th minute. subscribers around the country all experienced the same issue of hearing no audio commentary for the first 25 minutes of the Manchester United against Liverpool game. It was like watching a silent movie. Around the 22nd-23rd minute mark, the game was paused for everyone as it buffered and when the buffering stopped, the audio commentary could be heard for the rest of the match.
  3. Even on medium quality, buffering happened during key moments of the game. In the 95th minute of the game, during the most crucial moments of the match before the final whistle blew, the game between Man United and Liverpool buffered. And for me, it never stopped buffering (you can see it in the screenshot above). As a result, I was never able to see the end of the game and had to visit a website after the final whistle to find out what the final result was. Also, even at the medium quality, there were a few times when the game buffered which was never the experience I had when I was using in the past.
  4. technical support was too slow to respond. During the game, I tried’s live chat feature to see if they could answer my question about the lack of audio commentary. I was on hold with them for 28 minutes waiting for a live chat operator to become available, but they never did, so I gave up. See my screenshot below for the chat correspondence.

Also, how hard is it to begin the broadcasts a few minutes early? The Manchester United against Liverpool game was scheduled to kick off at 9:30am ET. At 9:32am, the ‘Watch’ button finally appeared and I saw the kick-off but missed all of the team line-ups and pre-match buildup from the commentators. And that’s just for starters. Here’s my list of what’s missing on

With the abysmal experience that soccer fans experienced on Sunday morning with the Manchester United against Liverpool game on, I think that the team needs to focus on quality right now rather than quantity. Sure, the relaunch of is only three weeks old, but it’s imperative that the broadband service significantly improve its quality and customer service very quickly otherwise the remaining games of the Premier League and Champions League season will be ruined for soccer fans.

It’s even more important that fixes the live Premier League broadcasts because there are many soccer fans out there who don’t have access to Fox Soccer Plus. So their choices are to watch the game on, see if a local pub is showing the game or watch the game online via an illegal stream. has the potential to become a powerful medium to watch games online. But we’re a long way from that right now because on today’s disaster.

What was your experience watching the Man United against Liverpool game on Share your feedback in the comments section below.

75 thoughts on “ Drops the Ball with Man United v Liverpool Coverage”

  1. I will second that. Took 25 min to get the match to pull up. Then buffering was horrible all the way through and even the last few minutes. I think they need to take a leaf out of setanta-i’s book as never had issues and the quality was better……..hopefully they decide to fix their streaming servers or they will have a lot of complaining customers

  2. No point in repeating the obvious. You said it all. It was disappointing, to say the least. However, I am having no problems with the current Fulham v Man City match. I really think the Man Utd v Liverpool match was a one off that for better or worse could have been expected. Overall, I am happy with my experience with so far.

    You would no better than most…..Is it really that easy to beef up a system like in anticipation of a big match?

      1. ovalball

        I’m not certain but I would be pretty confodent that the reason there were no problems with the Fulham City game was because hardly anyone was watching it. seemingly didn’t have big nough server capacity for the volume of viewers wanting to watch United Liverpool.

        You’d think someone might have told them that it would probably attract a higher than average audience.

      1. Oval, to answer your question, it’s not easy to fix the issues, but it’s completely do-able. I’ve run live events where we’ve had 75,000-80,000 people online at the same time watching streaming video (nothing to do with EPL Talk), and it has worked flawlessly.

        With a company like Fox and the resources they have with streaming live events, this is completely fixable. It just depends how much time and resources they’re willing to spend on it to make sure the experience improves.

        The Gaffer

        1. Well said. Technical issues aside. The fact is, they simply don’t give a toss. It may seem trivial but the fact that this “re-launched” site still has the rugby tab as the default says it all. The fact that there is that annoying Chelsea preview supposedly to test the video capabilities for new subscribers but NOTHING to indicate that there is a video feed for their paying customers before a live match, not even a rainbow screen, is sad. I shouldn’t have to keep refreshing my browser or constantly be pressing the “watch now” button like I’m on Ebay, before a match. The project manager of this website re-launch should be fired.

          1. Uhhh, I hate that it dafaults to rugby all the time. And I hate that the Chelsea/Inter match is always playing when you go on the site. Who is the webmaster for this site? Doesn’t it get on their nerves too?? Sheesh!!

    1. I had plenty of problems with Fulham v City yesterday. It was quite annoying. I now regret having signed up for a month instead of just the day pass.

  3. Disappointed with it too. Overall, the stream quality is great and I’m able to connect my PC to my 42″ tv so the quality actually looks better than the regular FSC channel.

    For the second week in a row they crossed over at the last possible second. I have a very high speed line and it buffered for me quite a few times too. It buffered at the end of the game just like yours but I was lucky mine came back just before it ended.

  4. I don’t subscribe to (yet), but I certainly won’t be doing it if the quality stays as it is. I’m sure it’ll get better but right now I’m simply trying to watch this free preview on the site in medium quality and it’s glitching and buffering all over the place. 30 mbit down/5 mbit up.

    And it’s a replay of the Inter/Chelsea match.

  5. I signed up for the day pass at around 5:50aM PSt this morning. the first time I did this last weekend it took 5 minutes for the transaction to approve. Today is took 65 minutes for “Plimus” to approve the transaction. I sat on hold with Rayv for 30 mins only to get the explanation “They have not approved it yet and it can take up to 12 hours”. No response in the live chat to any other questions.

    The approval finally kicked in at the 65 minute mark of the game. What a waste and I am not sure I will go back. They need to move away from RayV who is known for having horrible customer service. This is why people use Ustream/ Mind you I do have FSC/FSP at home but being at work I still wanted to fork over more money to them to view my games.

  6. Yes, I also had a horrid time with’s streaming for this morning’s match. I’ve been a subscriber for just over three weeks and while their platform and quality has been poor throughout today’s was the worse. First I couldn’t even get to the homepage without getting an error message that said to go back to the homepage. I’ve contacted to complain about the poor quality of their stream and all they said in response was that I should change my setting to High Quality when I had told them that that was the setting I use. Anyway, when my subscription ends in May I won’t be renewing. Bring back Setanta-i !

  7. You said it all. I wish I had the chance to get it on cable but FIOS isnt in my town even though its in all the surrounding so I get stuck with

    First the software is pretty poor, picture quality is below average if I am being kind, and the cost is absolutely outrageous. I would love for the gaffer to have the guy on a podcast and have a real go at him. Things like this are inexcusable. I have already sent my email telling them not to renew.

  8. Gaffer, you said it all. There is simply no excuse for a website with the weight of Fox behind it to be so poor. This is not an unknown start-up pushing the limits of broadband a la ITVN 4 years ago. This is not setanta-i trying out a new platform in the middle of the season. Fox had more than enough time to sort out the kinks. The ridiculous process of having to wait to the second before a match actually starts is unacceptable to paying costumers. Gaffer do have a phone number, not an email so we can let them know?

      1. Thanks Gaffer. I’m glad that I’m not the only one that sees the irony of the PL putting time and effort cracking down on 3 second clips on youtube yet seeming to be aloof on how their content is delivered legally in the States, as long as they get their millions.

        The US market has the potential be one of their biggest in 10 years or so but days like today doesn’t help.

        I’m sure American ex pats don’t get this amount of grief when they watch MLB, NFL, NBA games oversees do they?

  9. I’ve used for the last two weekends. The picture quality is poorer then Setanta’s. It looks like garbage in the high quality mode on my TV, except for the close up shots. As a result I only watch it on my computer. For the three games that I’ve watch (Stoke’s last two games and the ManU-Liverpool matchup), the system has had to buffer and reload for at least 5-10 minutes of each game. I expect it now and try to go to a lower quality option if it takes more than a minute. I understand that this is different from Setanta as it is not a channel but a live streaming site. But it would be more comforting to my nerves if I could access the game before it begings.
    BTW, I had the same issue with logging in and sound everyone else did and lost the last 30 seconds of the match. It’s annoying. Will I renew after this month? It’s up in the air right now. I’ll certainly cut it off after the final games of the Premier season.

  10. very disappointing! it buffered throughout the game including the very last moments. my $45 down the tube it seems. this service sucks!!!

  11. I had the same experience as the Gaffer.

    The leagues and TV channels act as if we’re international terrorists for daring to view games on illegal streaming sites, yet this is the kind of quality we get when we pay them for their legitimate services. Ridiculous.

    1. SeminoleGunner, good points indeed. The Premier League is quick to come down hard on any illegal streams, but when punters are trying to watch games via legal streams, the silence is deafening. Part of the reason why illegal streaming is so rampant is because of the Premier League’s failure to provide quality alternatives.

      The Gaffer

  12. “biggest game of the Premier League season”
    Come now. “Biggest game of the season”? Aren’t Liverpool 6th place right now?

    But yes, it is indeed a big match. And that’s exactly why this game should NOT have been shown on FSP/ to begin with. It should have been broadcast on FSC and given higher priority than some Milan-Napoli game.

    1. +1.

      If they think they’re gonna get me to overpay for less content, they’re out of their minds. Put the big games on FSP to get people to subscribe means that I will DEFINITELY be finding another way to watch the game.

      Flippin’ CL reruns all the time, or A-League, or Fox Soccer Report replays. Give us a reason to shell out please.

    2. Man United v Liverpool has always been the biggest match of the English season for decades whether Man United were mid-table in the 80s or when Liverpool are in 6th spot now. First place against second place isn’t always the biggest match. United and Liverpool have the biggest fanbases worldwide.

      The Gaffer

  13. Had the same problems as everyone else. I was a bit disappointed, but signed up on a whim for the day pass to see the LFC match.

    Don’t know if I’ll sign up again or not.

  14. Same problems here. There are some good things about it, especially that I believe virtually all games are now live, but cannot be having problems like this. I do have to say that setanta-I had it’s problems too, buffering and lost connection. Most important thing was the result!

  15. I was like everyone else furious about this letdown. This is was I wrote in an email to their so-called customer service: “With a name like Fox, I would not expect the poor service today. I MISSED THE ENTIRE FIRST HALF OF THE MANCHESTER UNITED – LIVERPOOL MATCH and then it buffered for the most critical last 30 seconds. I demand that you give me my money back for the month or I will not only cancel but launch an online campaign to be sure others follow in my footsteps. This is disgraceful that you did not make provision for a deluge of viewers for one of the biggest matches of the season. You had better get FoxSoccer-Plus on cable systems because obviously you have no clue about how to run an online service. I will be posting this on a few sites so how you respond will be noted across the USA.”

    In addition, as also noted by others, the quality is crap, and I can only watch the smallest size image to see what the heck is going on.

  16. I had the exact same problems as everyone above and tried to contact Fox through the email support address but have heard exactly nothing. I also sent an email yesterday asking about a problem I was having with the preview video and again heard nothing. It seems fox is putting out a shoddy product and coupling it with terrible customer service. Has anyone actually heard back from Fox about any of this? Like the Gaffer I tried to use the online chat support and got a one line answer for my 30+ minute wait.

  17. Same experience here. I in fact did sign up this morning for the one day, $5.

    Not the way I wish to watch a match I must admit. The only reason I was forced to try this was because U-Verse has not added Fox Soccer + yet.

    I am more dis-satisfied with U-Verse at the moment than with FoxSoccertv.

  18. Just as a general note, I am puzzled by all the comments about crappy picture quality. I had Setanta-i for two years and find the quality, when on “High”, to be fairly comparable….today’s problems aside. This is only the second time I have had any issue with the service and I have used it quite a lot since I also watch rugby. I run my basic Dell Inspiron to a 37″ HDTV, full screen.

    Go figure.

  19. Had all of the problems that Gaffer described. I hope FoxSoccer.TV irons them out. I like having a pay service because I hate having feeds shut down on me. I will pay for a legal way to view, but not if it’s as hit-or-miss as tracking down feeds. Frankly, for a big match like this, the quality was worse than what you can find online illegally.

    I paid for the Championship Pass running through the end of the season. I entered the deal in good faith, but if the problems aren’t ironed out I surely won’t be renewing next season.

  20. Aaron, I do, but I’d prefer not to share it with the general public unless he wants me to. But I can reassure you that the team reads the threads here.

    The Gaffer

    1. The customer service actually has nothing to do with Fox. The email address provided on the site for contact is actually supported by Rayv who is well known for taking months to respond or not responding at all. Perhaps the best direction would be to give your voices into Fox moving to another provider who actually cares about their customers experience.

  21. Wow! I consider myself “lucky”. I was able to get in… right after L’Pool scored, around 5 minutes, but obviously no sound. I had a few buffer moments, but not many. I did get a streaming error once and had to reload, that occurred during halftime. I had watched the Stoke City v Tottenham game on Saturday with many fewer complications, probably because it was Stoke City v Tottenham. ;^) I did not see the end of the game as if froze up at 94:37ish.

    The quality is a bother. I can’t get the RayV to run for three to five seconds without needing to buffer. Granted, my download speed is only 2 MB/s, but still, that should be enough for some good quality feeding. I don’t think I can tell a difference between “medium” and “low”. I could use an improvement is the feed. It is viewable and as of now hand wave the poor feed in lieu of being able to watch almost anything in demand, as long as works on improving their system.

    I sent an email stating my displeasure. I understand these things require development, but I need to have a bone thrown to me when one of the more important games that is being played is completely messed up… I fear I’ll get an email response on Thursday that explains it was my internet connection that was the problem, not them… to which point I would consider dropping the service entirely. I can live with mistakes, however I can not live being BS’d to.

    1. 2 Mbit, or 2 Mbyte? If you’re downloading files at 2 MB/s then that’s MORE than enough to get quality streaming from anywhere. My connection is even faster than that and was buffering and stuttering to no end earlier today. And that way just the free preview which kept replaying the Milito goal from the first leg of the Inter/Chelsea tie.

    1. I second this movement. It’s an obvious choice seeing how ESPN shows their matches. Their Champions League coverage was set at start of the match on the same channel ESPN2 while FOX has it all over their damn network – fsc, fsp, fsn,etc.

  22. I for one found this match to work more reliably better than usual, disregarding the missing commentary. But then, I don’t mind a little buffering so long as the stream comes back up and resumes. I’ve had more trouble with the recent Champion’s League games.

    The worst, for me and my 1 month investment, is the archived streams that don’t have any fault tolerance whatsoever: this stream stops, dies, and presents me with the unhelpful, “An error has occurred connecting to the server.” Ok fine, you had an error, just skip it and let’s carry on! But it’s stopped, I have to refresh the page and try again. Nothing makes me angrier than this. I smell lazy programmers behind behavior like that. There’s basically no point in watching anything you may have missed, which living on the west coast means just about everything.

    As an aside, Rugby Union is my second favorite sport and I have been super excited that FSC has picked it up. (Perhaps some Aussie Rules next, Rupert?) Rugby coverage was what made me finally take a chance on the service and it’s a shame that we are so close but so far from a good viewing experience.

  23. Just a note that I don’t see mentioned here. I talked to my friend just after the game and he said he had some issues even watching it on Fox Soccer Plus. He said the game kept on pausing and mentioned it paused right at the end just as it did on the stream. So maybe some of the issues were due to the feed they were getting from England.

    Anyway, I had all the same problems as you Gaffer. I missed the first minute due to all the issues mentioned above. I had no sound for the first 25 minutes and then it buffered just a couple of times during the game.

    The first thing they NEED to correct is starting the streams early. It is ridiculous that you can only enter a stream just as the game is starting. FOX Please Correct This!!

    Fox should hire someone from Setanta-i as a consultant so they can learn how to do things the right way. I never had one problem on Setanta-i. I purchased Setanta-i in the beginning of the year and watched at least 25 matches and I don’t remember a game buffering once. So far I have had Foxsoccertv for 2 weeks and I have watched 3 matches. In all three matches I missed at least the first minute of the game and experienced buffering in everyone of them. Come on Fox this is embarrasing for a company like you.

    1. Jeff,

      That is true, I thought it may have just been my provider (FiOS) but there were absolutely some freezes during the match on FS+ including at the end. They would usually last a few seconds then the screen would go blank for a split second then the audio would come back on then the video. So as you said perhaps the feed being transmitted to Fox is the real issue here (freezing->FS+/buffering->

      Of course that doesn’t explain why people weren’t able to log on to or the audio issues in the first half of the match that didn’t exist with the FS+ broadcast.

      Just seems like a real bad day for the Fox folks and their customers.

  24. Have you guys not heard of I know it is frowned upon by many as “illegal” but it is decent quality with NO buffering — I saw it from Sky Sports from start to end.

    Fox Soccer Channel is amateurish at best. Watching one minute of Fox Soccer Report gives that away.

    1. Fox Soccer Report looks like a production made in my old high school’s AV Media Room TBQH. Unless ESPN did a daily show on Football/Soccer like they do with NASCAR Now, NFL Live, Baseball Tonight (etc..) (as if its that would ever happen) i refuse to watch Fox Soccer Report or GolTV News due to the absolute elementary production.

    2. Instead of fighting services like and Veetle, the powers that be should be learning from these amazing developers how to stream and achieve super high scalability.

  25. No way that I would pay for FS+ (crap programming) or when you have Veetle which is now streaming games in HD with no buffering.
    If that doesn’t work there are plenty of other ways to watch the game online

    In the time it takes you to sit there and watch your PAY feed buffer…I will have found an english HD feed/Chinese feed/Portugese feed to watch the game for free
    Go figure

  26. Had the same issue. Took forever logging in initially, missed first 6-7 min of the game which meant I missed Torres’ goal, and no audio for 25 min.

    I e-mail FoxSoccer.TV support regarding this issue with a complaint and I got a lousy response saying “o ya, we know we had an issue,” but nothing else.

  27. Sadly it was not just that was having issues with this game. I was at the pub Sunday and FS+ froze at least twice during the game, including at the end as mentioned above.

  28. I bought the game on and when I logged on ten minutes before and there was nothing on, I found a pirate stream in HD that had the full match build-up. I stayed with the pirate stream the whole time and even got the halftime show from the studio in England.

    I tried to support, but from now on, I’ll stick to the pirate streams.

  29. All i want to is watch football on TWC NYC . you would of thought Time Warner and Fox could sort that out .Any news on when TWCwill carry it.? No good phoning em up they aint got a clue.
    In the meantime free internet feeds are the way. my arse ..if it is anything like that i-setanta bollox they can keep it.

    1. TWC in Columbus is adding FS+ on Monday (29th) as part of the digital sport package. I had an email reply from them last week and FS+ is now listed under the New Channels section of the website. We have not yet called to ask for a cost quote–we don’t have the digital sports package so not sure how much that will cost us (we have digital variety or whatever it is that includes FSC). We’ll likely hold off until the start of next season and then decide if it’s worth it or not. TWC confirmed that for our area there is no plan to add FSC or FS+ in HD.

  30. Everything about Fox is a ripoff!!! I have a ’62 inch lcd, and I have to watch stretched out bu!!$#*^!!!! Cox Communications doesn’t carry FSC+ (like I would even buy it then, and why pay for Fox’s online ish when ESPN has 360 for free. FSC+ and their paysite is raping people of their hard-earned money in a down economy. Fox could easily broadcast in HD on it’s main channel, FSW, FSW2, and FXHD for FREE!!!! Instead these greedy arse holes are making me pay and/or switch providers?!?!? PLEASE ESPN BUY THE RIGHTS TO EVERYTHING WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILIBLE NEXT!!!!!!

    Any Fox exec or director of programming reading this…. eff off!

    1. @Aaron….I fully agree
      FOX has more than enough resources to broadcast the matches ESPN/ABC-esque through FX/FSW/local-FOX + making their own version of espn360 free

      any1 who feel better about themselves paying for inferior service can continue to deceive themselves…especially when theirs paid subscribers above like Pat who ended up watching a free stream throwing their $$$ down da drain

  31. This is what I sent as a complaint when the game started:

    “I couldn’t get the game started for the Man United v Liverpool game until about 5 minutes into the match.

    Bad as that was, the audio does not exist for any of the Man United v L’pool streams. I can see the game, but can’t hear it. I was watching a replay of the Newcastle game from the Championship League just prior to the Liverpool game and watched the Stoke City v Tottenham match live yesterday, so I know the audio glitch is not on my end (ie a slow Internet connection). ”

    This is the response I have received.

    “We sorry for the inconvenient that happened during Liverpool Manchester united game . It takes time to the payment processor to complete and verify the payment. Then the processor acknowledge our system that your payment is approved, and only then our system will let you see the game.”

    So, are complaints sent to India, translated, responses written, back translated to English? Because that would describe the terrible grammar and the complete and utter misunderstanding of my complaint.

    Not pleased.

    1. Despite my ranting and anger with Fox, this reply to you actually made me laugh. How ridiculous! No wonder the US is becoming a third word nation…

  32. Any idea why the Chelsea v Villa game has moved from ESPN2HD to ESPN Classic? I don’t get Classic in HD – damn!

  33. James, I don’t think ESPN Classic is available in HD. But at least ESPN has made the effort to move the match to one of their other sister channels even if it is only in SD. ESPN Classic is available by almost all cable and satellite providers. Contrast that with what Fox does with matches on Fox Soccer plus which is not available to the overwhelming majority of cable subscribers coupled with’s many problems and it is clear to see that ESPN would be the better choice for EPL coverage. Let’s hope ESPN outbids Fox the next time around.

  34. I had the same problems accessing the United Liverpool game for the first 10-15 minutes and no audio for the first 20 minutes. I also had the same problem getting assistance from the live chant. As an added insult, I was charged a currency exchange fee for the day pass. Now I understood getting charged that for Setanta, a European site with prices in pounds or Euros but has the prices in dollars so why f*ck I am getting charged for a currency exchange. I am glad I chose a day pass and not the monthly or championship pass. I am already liking ESPN’s coverage more and starting to miss their coverage of the CL even with Seamus Onion Bag.

  35. Canceled foxsoccer service twice… Just find out they are still charging my bank account…REDICULOUS…!!! The reason for canceling was not able to watch any matches for “technical reasons”…

    To foxsoccer: you need to cancel my account, stop charging my bank and credit my bank account for the last 5 charges you made… Apparently, nothing on your site works, even cancelations… please comply immediately!!!
    How else I can get to you…? The phone number doesn’t exist… I will be posting message to you through other web sites as well… one a day should do it…

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