Since it’s relaunch on March 1, the track record for FoxSoccer.tv — Fox’s broadband product that features live and recorded games — has been frustratingly poor. First there were the problems that plagued the Manchester United against Liverpool match shown live on Sunday, March 20. And Tuesday, the FoxSoccer.tv website was down for the entire first half of Arsenal’s biggest game of the year, their second leg against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League.
Soccer fans trying to access the FoxSoccer.tv website on Tuesday afternoon received a timed-out error message (see above screenshot). The site was down for approximately 50 minutes from 2:45pm to 3:35pm ET. When the site did return at 3:35pm ET, the first half of the Barcelona against Arsenal match was already over and viewers were greeted with the half-time broadcast. Viewers desperate to see the match online would have missed four goals including a spectacular first half hat trick by Lionel Messi.
For matches of this magnitude, whether it’s Man United against Liverpool or Barcelona versus Arsenal, it’s vital that the website is able to handle the surge in traffic and to deliver a quality experience for the subscriber.
In addition to the issues with massive matches that are shown live, there continues to be a problem with games that are available on demand where the audio and video are not synced. Watching a game from this past weekend on demand, I ended up turning off the volume because the audio commentary was ten seconds ahead of the video and it completely ruined my experience of watching the game online.
Looking ahead to FoxSoccer.tv’s schedule for the close of the season, the following games are ones where we hope FoxSoccer.tv will be equipped to handle the surge in traffic during the most crucial time of the season:
- Sunday April 11: Tottenham Hotspur v Portsmouth, FA Cup semi-final, 11am ET
- Wednesday, April 14: Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal, 3pm ET
- Sunday, May 9: Final day of the Premier League season where the title race may come down to a photo-finish between Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.
In the meantime, it’s probably no coincidence that Fox Sports Interactive has posted a job opening for a Broadband Product Manager who would work on the FoxSoccer.tv and FoxSoccerPlus.com website. What’s revealing in the job posting is that part of the job responsibilities is to “develop specs for product improvements such as picture in picture and live chats.” Both would be welcome additions to the FoxSoccer.tv experience.
What are your opinions about the technical issues that FoxSoccer.tv is encountering? Is your patience running thin, or is this to be expected due to a mid-season re-launch after Setanta USA went out of business? Post your feedback in the comments section below.