As the World Cup wraps up today with a weary and melancholy sigh, a large group of soccer fans in the US begin again their patient wait for any news concerning the addition of Fox Soccer Channel HD to their respective platforms.
DirecTV, one of the nation’s largest satellite providers has let down it’s rabid soccer fan base for the last half year as rivals DISH Network have picked up the HD feed and has made the essential channel easily available to customers since Feb. 10, 2010.
With the brilliant HD broadcasts soccer fans have received this summer from ESPN’s World Cup coverage, one only needs to flip to channel 619 or 621 on DirecTV to quickly realize how excruciatingly tortuous it will be to start another Premier League season having to witness the beautiful game in not so beautiful standard definition.
If you’re able to view today’s World Cup final on ABC, try flipping immediately to the channel where FSC is aired in your region. If there is an old match on replay either today or later in the week, view for yourself, or should I say squint and try to even make out the names on the shirts or which player is which. It’s seemingly impossible after a summer spent in HD. But unfortunately, it could be a further sign of things to come if satellite and cable providers don’t wake up and realize how important this service is to soccer fans.
As of press time, the only satellite provider that has picked up Fox’s HD feed is in fact DISH Network. Upon further research, there are a few various cable providers who have picked up the feed as well. But the sad fact remains that some pretty heavy hitters in the satellite and cable landscape in some large areas across the country such as the aforementioned DirecTV, Verizon Fios, Cox, Time Warner Cable and Cablevision have all left their more than patient customers in the dry desert of standard definition broadcasts.
As always, EPL Talk will continue to provide updates when we get them concerning the addition of FSC HD on new providers and into new markets. The Gaffer has written a myriad of articles over the last 12 or more months concerning the topic and is as connected with the right people as one can get concerning the matter.
If I were a betting man, I would hope and pray (and bet) that all of the above mentioned providers are simply biding their time as the rabid soccer fan base in American have their heads turned to the direction of ESPN for the majority of the summer.
Upon further wagering, the right move for the providers would be to swoop down from their high perches and play hero to the masses just a few short weeks before the Premier League and other European leagues kick off by launching FSC and FSC+ in HD.
The aptly timed move would allow the companies to capitalize on the already established need for the channels and any newbies to FSC originating from the World Cup’s massive success in the US. The angry masses would be silenced and all involved would be happy.
Still, there’s a reason I’m not a betting man, but let’s hope I’m wrong.