Fox Soccer Plus and FSCHD: Latest Developments

It’s been three weeks since the launch of the new Fox Soccer Plus channel, and almost three months since the launch of Fox Soccer Channel in HD. But what progress has there been thus far and what do we still not know?

As of this writing, Fox Soccer Plus is currently being carried (in standard definition) on DirecTV, Dish Network, and Verizon FIOS. It is available in HD on some regional Time Warner Cable platforms, but will be added in select Time Warner markets by April 5. No definitive dates are available regarding when FS+ will be added to Comcast or any other cable provider, or AT&T U-Verse, or of adding the HD version of the channel on any platform.

Considering that the changeover from Setanta to FS+ happened in the middle of the season and in a 24-hour period, overall I’d argue that it’s been handled fairly well. For instance, most people who originally had Setanta were switched over to FS+ seamlessly, within one day, on the same channel as before. And most of the coverage has been kept.

But I have some specific gripes with the product being shown currently between the two Fox channels. They are:

  1. Where can I go in the US to watch the French Ligue 1, legally? After the monotony of Lyon dominating the league over recent years, this season has a 4 or 5 team title race going down the stretch. But since Fox didn’t pick up the Setanta coverage, there’s no legal way for us in the USA to watch the matches.
  2. Why can’t or why hasn’t Fox shown replays of matches originally shown on FS+ on FSC later? Many of us remember the days when a portion of FA Cup matches and EPL matches were shown only on pay-per-view, and then were shown delayed later in the week on FSC in the middle of the afternoon, when FSC had nothing live to show. Well, now that Fox owns the rights to ALL FA Cup Matches, ALL Serie A, and (bar ESPN’s portion), MOST of the EPL, what’s to stop them from (for example) showing Sunday’s United-Liverpool match, which originally aired on FS+, on FSC this Wednesday or Thursday, instead of the 3rd or 4th replay of this past weekend’s EPL or Serie A matches? It would certainly throw a bone to the substantial amount of us cable subscribers without access to Fox Soccer Plus, and I don’t see how it would hurt the product or stop people from wanting to subscribe to FS+ by delaying the matches for a few days before showing them on FSC.
  3. HD Coverage. Please Fox, don’t treat your viewers like babies. Don’t tell us we’re watching in HD when you know the vast majority of us aren’t. I understand the motives to get us to contact our TV providers to add the channels. I don’t understand why you can’t treat your viewers with respect. A simple, “This match is available in High-Definition…if FSCHD isn’t available in your area please contact your cable/satellite provider” would be much better than the condescending (and false), “You are watching FSC in glorious High-Definition.” At this point, HD coverage of FSC and FS+ is the holy grail for serious EPL fans, and the way it’s being handled by the on-air talent has been horrendous to this point.

Hopefully by the end of this season, or at the latest the start of the next one, Fox will have fixed these issues, the main ones being adding provider coverage and HD coverage. Thoughts?

77 thoughts on “Fox Soccer Plus and FSCHD: Latest Developments”

  1. FSC HD should be available on DirecTV when the new satellite is operational (currently still being tested) sometime between the end of April and the end of May. New HD channels of various groups will be launched in waves in that period of time, assuming no delays.

    FS Plus HD is a question mark so far but there’s a decent chance DirecTV might pick that one up as well. We’ll have to wait and see.

  2. I agree for the most part. I switched over to DISH to get the FSCHD right away and it’s been great. The few EPL and La Liga matches shown on ESPN/ESPN2 are in HD as well and that’s awesome too. However, adding a premium channel like FS+ and not have an HD source is criminal. Also, why are some matches in SD on FSCHD? Shouldn’t all the matches be shown in HD?

    For those who haven’t been able to experience football in HD as of yet, I can only say that when you do, it will be like moving from dial-up to broadband Internet. Once you get a taste, you never ever want to go back. Heck, I switched from DirecTV to DISH to have a taste right now and boy is it sweet.

    1. Too bad that DiSH is using HD Lite technology (highly compressed HD) to offer as many HD channels as they do, though. You get better picture quality on DirecTV, especially when you have a larger HDTVm which is why I’m waiting patiently for the new satellite and FSC HD. :)

    2. Oh and FSC HD is showing games in (upscaled) SD when there’s no HD feed available from the source. Usually that’s because it’s simply not being shot in HD at the stadium and nothing FSC can do about.

      1. HD Lite technology or not, this thing looks damn good so I ain’t complaining :) I had DirecTV and it didn’t look better IMO, so to each his own.

      2. Oh please Civrock, Directv fanboy much? No Dish is not highly compressing the picture, in fact, it has gotten better in the past 2 months because they have been moving channels in their satellites to free up space. AND Dish just launched a new satellite this saturday, which in 2 months will give Dish the capacity to hold over 200 HD channels. Maybe you should join the website and learn whats actually going on. Dish is currently the leader in HD, and has an amazing picture. Just saying…

        1. Fanboy? You’re a funny guy. I could care less about providers as long as I get a good picture and the channels I want. In case of soccer, DirecTV wins easily (UEFA channels, etc), even with the current lack of FSC HD.

          Fact is that Dish is using HD Lite technology. DirecTV isn’t. Several years ago it was the other way around. Dish currently has more HD channels, correct. Who will have more HD channels after both new satellites are operational? We’ll see but it’ll probably be pretty close, likely irrelevant anyway because almost everybody will get what they lacked in HD on either carrier.
          At that point it’ll come down to picture quality and HD is better than HD Lite, regardless of how many channel are on each transponder. You might not see the difference, the average viewer doesn’t, but it’s a fact that the quality is inferior. It becomes more obvious on larger, higher quality HDTVs.

          Anonymous Dish fanboy much?

          1. There is no such thing as HD lite technology. Compression is used by BOTH directv and dish.tell me if this is true or not. Who has more HD channels right now, including FSC HD? Did Dish just launch ANOTHER satellite this weekend? (more satellite=more hd which dish has more room) The UEFA channels arent showing the final 8 in HD are they?
            After Directv satellite is up season will be over. Dish just had a launch and will have even MORE HD channels than they already have, which is more than directv, so that means after this satellite, they will also have more HD. Seriously dude, drop this HD lite technology stuff, there is no such thing. Compression is what you are reffering, but think about it, why did Directv have to launch ANOTHER Satellite? because they didnt have anymore room, even though they were compressing to the max. I wont deny it, Dish does compress, but i know it definetally is not as bad as you say it is, in fact, on my 55 inch samsung LED, the movies, shows, and FSC HD look amazing. You know what, who cares about this stuff, its just you really got me mad when you criticized dish for something that is not true.

          2. Not sure where this comment will show up since there were no Reply buttons below due to discussion this little side-topic created…

            Anyway, HD Lite exists. Do your research before you try to argue with someone, “Dish”.

            “WayneBridgeSucks”, that lawsuit is from 2006 if you haven’t noticed. Back then DirecTV was using HD Lite technology, Dish wasn’t. Now it’s the other way around, it’s 2010.
            Either way, both satellite carriers are using some very shady advertising but unfortunately there’s nobody to effectively regulate such things other than countless lawsuits, back and forth…

    3. I also switched to Dish Network in order to get FS+. I previously subscribed to Setanta via AT&T U-verse but after numerous calls to enquire when U-Verse will broadcast FS+, I was met each time with a total blank. They didn’t even know what FS+ was, even though it was showing up on their web program guide. Very frustrating, so I switched to Dish and within 2 days I was watching FS+. Great.

  3. I was actually considering getting soccer plus but no Ligue 1 so no. And its a 6 team race, not 4-5.

    The showed the Arsenal-West Ham game last night(that was FSC+, right?) on FSC, so it seems they may be doing no. 2.

  4. I don’t have cable or satellite TV, but I agree with the gripes regarding FSC and FS+ (I have I know very little about French club soccer, but the other day I noticed the table for Ligue 1 and thought that would be something I would be interested in seeing how it played out. Usually I watch EPL and La Liga, but those title races are down to just a couple teams now. France is wide open and exciting, which makes it more unfortunate Fox (or another channel) didn’t pick up the rights to this. If the title race remains down-to-the-wire, and the added fact that two French teams made the Quarters of CL (more than Spain, Germany and Italy, and as many as England), and at least 1 will be in the Semis, Fox would be stupid NOT to pick up Ligue 1 rights next year.

    And of course, my belief is everything should be in HD, so the sooner FSC makes HD more available, the better.

  5. I’ve been waiting anxiously to hear about what is going to happen with the Ligue 1 coverage. It’s been fun watching this season and I’m definitely frustrated with how it was dropped with no explanation. I agree that for the most part, Fox has handled the transition well considering its in the middle of the season but to drop a competition’s coverage with no explanation at all? That’s terrible. I won’t be subscribing to FS+ until they bring ligue 1 back.

  6. I cannot believe that UVerse is not picking up on this. Get the HD channel and FSC+. I have called and written in, but of course it is some minimum wage flunkie who takes the info down where I have no reassurances that it is getting seen by the decision makers. I will pay whatever I need to. why can’t they give me the OPTION if it is AVAILABLE?

  7. Also would like to add that the Cox NoVa Facebook page is swarming with people requesting both channels in HD and whoever runs that page does a good job receiving the comments and has said that there should be news soon regarding them offering the channels.

  8. #1 On Brighthouse and Verizon in the Tampa Bay are we get some French Channel that shows Ligue 1, you just have to pay $9.99 a month to get it.

    #2 Fox Sports Florida has been rebroadcasting 2-3 champions league & epl games, and the EPL Review Show throughout the week in HD, which is nice, but they always seem to rebroadcast crap ones.

    #3. I couldn’t agree more. I want to punch Keith Costigan in the face every time he tells me that the upcoming match is in glorious HD. When everyone knows that only a VERY small portion of his audience is actually watching in HD, it makes him sound like a “Ratard”

  9. Just to clarify for a few people why HD is not available for every match. Many host broadcasters do not transmit in HD. A lot of the world outside the US still transmits in SD. Most leagues will not shoot their games in HD. For example, if FSC plus does go HD, only some Serie A, England matches, FA Cup, and EPL games will be in HD. Everything else, like rugby and other competitions will probably be in SD.

    Also. I believe no one has the Ligue 1 rights in the United States. I do know that Ligue 1 is accepting tenders now for the next French Ligue 1 season. If you’re a big fan I would suggest e-mailing FSC, ESPN, or ESPN360 and telling them how important it is to you as a fan.

  10. When I read your first gripe, I thought the article had become a satire.

    Seriously? Your #1 issue with Fox Soccer in all forms is that they don’t show French soccer?

    Are we that spoiled already with the availability of EPL/La Liga/Serie A/MLS/FA Cup/Champions League/Europa Cup/Bundesliga/Argentina Primera Division/etc etc etc

    “Suuure…we have more soccer available on TV than anyone else on earth, but we don’t have FRENCH soccer!!” THE OUTRAGE!!

    1. I agree. The amount of soccer available is quite a lot. However, you will always have people who feel like they should see every top quality league since they are paying money for it. With the diverse amount of expats in the US it will be impossible to please everyone.

      I’m a huge PSG supporter, but for me being able to see them in the US is more of a luxury than a right.

    2. People aren’t just going down a checklist and complaining once they get to a top division that isn’t available. This is an issue of Setanta broadcasting something that was dropped during the transition to FS+. I think it’s fair to be dissapointed that coverage of one of the more exciting title races was dropped without explanation.

  11. I’m a FiOS customer. The difference in HD quality between the games being shown on ESPN HD and FSC HD or FSC+ HD is incredible. ESPN set the standard in their broadcasting which is probably to be expected given the size of the company. Their feed is unbelievably clear and vibrant wheras the HD feeds from Fox often seem to be incredibly poor. There are times when I literally struggle to make out the players faces on the field when watching a game on FSC or FSC+. Like some of the comments above, I can really take or leave the French league but I do hope FSC can do something about the quality of their feeds. Luckily, the World Cup games should be in crystal clear HD on ESPN and ABC in the summer!!

    1. I think this just proved one point…FiOS doesn’t broadcast FSC or FS+ in HD. That HD bug at the top is just confusing and defeating there mis-directed purpose. They now make people think their HD is crap. HAHA!!

    2. Totally correct, FiOS does not have HD feeds so to say there HD feed is incredibly poor its because its not an actual HD feed, otherwise it will also be in widescreen not 4:3, its just FSC putting a HD badge on because it is available in HD.

  12. Gaz-

    You are correct, games on ESPN/ESPN2 in HD are spectacular. Confused about your comparison though. I’m also on FIOS and my understanding is that nobody with FIOS has FSC in HD. Hope that if/when FIOS adds the HD channel that the feed would be comparable.

    1. Chris – I think that every now and again, regular FSC will broadcast a game in HD and when they do, there is a clear improvement in the picture (They will say at the start of the program “This game is brought to you in HD”). I guess they rely on how the game is being broadcast from the UK though so not every game comes in HD. Here’s to hoping they make it universal at some point. As someone mentioned above, once you see a few games in HD, it’s hard to go back to regular old SD….. mind you, I know I should count my blessings that we get as much football on telly as we do. It’s changed my life here in the US over the past few years!

      1. Dude,
        It may say it’s in HD but it’s not in HD. It is upscaled standard definition. Don’t let that logo fool you.

          1. If you are a FIOS customer, you don’t have FSC in HD. Therefore even if they announce that “This game is brought to you in HD” and you have HD logo in the top right corner. You still watching it in SD. And for my eye there isn’t too much difference between SD or HD converted to SD, when I watch it on SD channel (i.e. FSC).

  13. I’ve posted this elsewhere-TWC in Columbus is adding FS+ to the digital sport package on Monday the 29th. They told me there are no plans to add FS+ or FSC in HD. We don’t have the digital sport package so I’m not sure how much that will cost us. My primary gripe is the confusing schedules and I hope by next season this is all sorted. (Today’s Spurs-FFC FA replay is listed as delayed 8pm on FS+. However, has it listed as both live at 3:45 and available on delay at 7:15. Which is it?).

    1. “(Today’s Spurs-FFC FA replay is listed as delayed 8pm on FS+. However, has it listed as both live at 3:45 and available on delay at 7:15. Which is it?).”

      It is on right now. Schedule shows Live and Available the same time.

      1. If you see a schedule for “Available” at 7:15 that would be when it will be ready for VOD. Matches shown live are usually ready within about two hours after the match ends.

  14. Thanks for the update. I was hoping for better news but it doesn’t seem to be coming. I have been sending a message to the FiOS twitter account (@FiOSTV) to make my point known.

    Would be great to be watching Ligue 1 right now. I am watching less soccer without Ligue 1.

  15. I don’t know if it’s always been these assigned time slots for FSC and FS+ (defunct Setanta) but on a day like today with so many matches to only have the live game and no same day delays on FSC is a joke. I remember having all sorts of options for delayed and replayed fixtures before all of this. And while it used to be debatable who had the better match of the day, FS+ now wins hands down. They’ve definitely given FSC the short end of the stick to try and lure people to pay yet another 15 a month, which I’m sorry, but I just can’t do.

    I thought this would be a good thing, but it’s turned out to be quite the opposite, in my opinion.

  16. My $.02: I could not watch the Man U/Liverpool match live. Therefore, I watched the replay at 7PM CDT (not knowing the score). What do they do?? They show the final score on their crawler!!!! That has to stop when you have a replay later in the day!!

  17. Its funny how you (Phillip Badger) dont mention dish network is the only satellite company with HD on it. Its really funny! Maybe be a little more discrete about your obvious favor of directv.

  18. Oh also argument number 3, they ARE NOT LYING. Fox Soccer channel is in HD, available in certain carriers. Its not their fault that Directv doesnt have space to add more HD. They are HD on Dish Network, which is enough for them to be able to put that FSC is in HD. Your horribly wrong in that argument.

  19. the news that i’ve gotten from several comcast queries is that they are planning on adding FSCHD, FS+ and FS+HD to the xfinity re-branding and i’ll get it when my market launches xfininty…

    ‘unfortunately, there is no definite timetable as to when this will happen in your area’…

    1. According to my recent (10 minutes ago) chat with a Comcast rep, Xfinity is rolling out May – July. If what you say is right, that means we’ll get FSC HD just in time for, oh, next season :(

  20. I saw this posted on another website:

    Time Warner Cable in NYC have announced that they will carry the new Fox Soccer Plus channel beginning on April 5th in time for the run-in of the English Premiership season. The channel will be available on ch 460 and in HD on ch 470 and will be offered as part of the sports tier.

    It’s true those channel desigantions are currenlty available on TWC NYC, but there is nothing posted about this on the TWC NYC website. Fingers crossed, I guess.

  21. Well – seems my nice folks at DISH have moved ESPN Classic to some “sports package” on Mar 20, due to financial handbags with ESPN… what does this mean ? Your Sat morning Chelsea v Villa game @ 11ET is on ESPNCL (for a nice extra expense of course if you have DISH).. and not ESPN2 where they will show college scoreboard and lacrosse.

    Is this a permanent move for the ESPN network to show their Sat morning game on Classic but the Monday game on ESPN2 ?

    anyone anyone bueller buller


    1. People need to see those NCAA BBall pundits talk about the Tourny in HD for an hour. Funny thing is FSC is still advertising the game to be aired on ESPN2.

  22. Atlanta Seasider,

    I think its a one-off. There isn’t lunchtime fixture in the UK this weekend so no 7:45 in America.

    1. Phew … just went to ESPN tv guide website – next weeks Man U v Chelsea HUGE MONSTER game on Sat morn – is a 7:30 start on ESPN…. 2.

      so college scoreboard and lacrosse is more important than Chelsea Villa ??

      Well – it is brought to you by the people who brought you Mickey Mouse…..

  23. Anyone alse have a problem with FS+ cluttering up the screen? I watched the Villa game yesterday and they had their logo in the top right corner. They also had a 2″ scroll at the bottom with another logo on the left, and they then ran the scroll continuously with the same 2 stories about Bradley’s broken nose and Philly’s first game. Do we really need that throughout the game? Lose the scroll.

  24. I emailed Cablevision and they said that they would like to add all the channels there customers want, but they can’t. They also said that they keep a tally of what people ask for and would pass it along that I requested FSCHD and FS+HD. I doubt they will add FS+ since they never had Setanta either.
    I made a Facebook group with links to emails and phone numbers for all the offices in CT. If you search “We Want FSCHD and FS Plus HD on Cablevsion” it should come up.

    I also think I know why they haven’t added FSCHD. They needed the bandwidth to show the Rangers vs Islanders game on the new MSG channel 1300 in god damn 3D.

  25. So it seems that Cox is offering FSC+ in some areas but not others. Nothern VA has it but not southeast VA. Thankfully ESPN2 is going to show the Manchester United v Chelsea game.

  26. I’m not sure if they would have been played on FSC anyway but nothing annoys me more than not being able to see Liverpool v. Man U last week or Inter v. Roma this week. If Fox is holding out these games for FSC plus just because they want more FSC plus subscriptions its freaking ridiculous with such a small percentage of the market even having access to subscribing to FSC plus that they are pulling this kind of crap (if they are). I understand it will cause more of a push for people to try to get FSC+ on their cable system but when companies piss off their core customers just because they know they can it really gets to me.

    1. Tom, I think you’ll find that the games on FS+ will be those left over from Setanta, which was also a subscription channel. Setanta ceased broadcasting on 28th Feb. FS+ began on 1st March. So you would probably not have seen it anyway.

      1. Yeah I know that’s how its suppose to work in theory but it almost seems a little to coincidental that the 2 biggest games of the last two weeks just happened to be scheduled for FS+. Maybe I’m a little too conspiracy theorist on this one but having the biggest EPL and Serie A game on the new network seems like a good way to piss people off enough to call their cable company and demand FS+

  27. Before fox took over santanta every weeked and in the week in some cases they would show 4 or 5 of the the best games that week and rightly so the punters were paying. I’ve been with santanta for years and often mocked my friends when they could’nt watch the game i was watching. But since fox took over the amount of games has been reduced and foxes highlight reel will show burnley v blackburn(0 1)for this last weekend, well done fox great programming.Mean while the top game of the weekend chelsea v aston villa(7 1) was espn classic yet another pay site, iam sure hardly anyone watched that because of the paying issue. Fox you suck and i for one cancealed my sub on friday night after seeing the watered down weekend programming and i wonder how many more will follow.

  28. FS+ has been added to Time Warner in NE Ohio. Only $5 extra a month, on the digital sports tier.

    No HD yet (for FSC or FS+).

  29. Here is a flyer that was sent out to Brightouse Customers that a guy on this forum posted within the past couple of days with Brighthouse pimping it’s new additions to their Sports Pack that they sell for a few extra bucks every month on 4/21. Included on the flyer is the addition of FS+ and FS+ HD. I have really high hopes that FS+ will become the new carrier of the planned Premier League Network that is rolling out in August when the new season begins to territories outside of the UK.

    I don’t see the addition of FSC HD but I would guess that it will be added since FSC comes with digital cable that you pay for and will be included somewhere in the 1100’s since all the stations in that band are sports stations.

    I am pretty stoked that FSC+ has been added to the Sports Pack which I already subscribe to because for me the Sports Pack is a must have as a displaced person from Florida living in Tampa because they offer the NHL Network, the Big 10 Network, and the Fox College Sports channel that shows a ton of Michigan Hockey and are must haves for a sports nut like me. Add to it that I sometimes check out NBA TV and yes even YES from time to time. Brighthouse Sports also shows the Everton TV game of the week most weeks. I always thought that United should beam ManU TV programming to BH47 with the Glaziers tie to the area but it hasn’t happened.

    Now if Brighthouse adds GOL TV HD when that rolls out in August and moves it from the Spanish Tier to the Sports package I would have almost perfect cable. The only additions that would be missing to make my cable experience optimal is, the NFL Network, and WWE Classics which will likely be switched to a 24 hour full service WWE Network within the next 2 years.

    Here is that flier about Brighthouse expanding their sports package including the addition of FS+ and FS+ HD:

  30. For all those Rubgy people out there just a FYI Europe’s Super League (rugby league) 2010 season is being shown on local Fox Sports Net affilates. Ex. if you live in the Northeast and have MSG the matches will be aired on MSG+ so check your local listing. Also they will be airing the NRL.

    1. Also if you live in areas that have America One games will be on that station as well since they are the owners of the US TV rights.

    2. Thanks for the tip. I favor Union, but also enjoy League. So far have not been able to spot it on my TW Fox Sports Carolinas schedule, but I’ll keep an eye out for it. Don’t get America One.

      1. Hey ovalball here is a link you can use to see what stations are affiliated with America One in North Carolina ( and if you live in South Carolina ( Enjoy sir.

        I tried to watch Union but thought it was a little to slow and man-pileish so I wanted to check out league since they have fewer players on the field so it could be a faster sport. The big thing I do know is that Union has all the money backing them.

  31. I’m pleased to report that FS+ and FS+HD are now available on TWC in NYC. Strangely FSC HD is not yet part of the channel lineup.

  32. Any update on these Fox Soccer channels? It is now July 25, and the 2010-11 EPL season is about to start. It would be good to know where things are for the coming season.

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