The Dilemma: Is Better Than Fox Soccer Plus?

After the World Cup, I was so jazzed about the beautiful game. I couldn’t wait for the Premier League season to commence. I had checked out all the options available to a DirecTV subscriber, as well as the possibility of since we do have broadband. were rather sluggish in putting information about their package for the 2010-11 season, so I went out and picked up the DirecTV Sports Pack (to get Fox Soccer Channel) as well as Fox Soccer Plus.

When DirecTV began to rumble with the news that they would add HD feeds of FSC and FS+ , I thought my decision towards paying for FS+ was going to pay off.

Then, reality wasn’t quite as perfect as the press release. For DirecTV subscribers, FS+ HD is only available during live broadcasts. Approximately 3-4 matches per week are live and in 720 HD, by my estimation. That’s after paying a premium to access this channel. I sent emails and tweets their way, and there has been no indication that this policy will change.

The other part of Fox Soccer Plus that has disenchanted me is that it seems they continue to focus more on rugby union than soccer. My suspicion is that rights to rugby matches are much more cost-friendly than tape-delayed Premier League. There are always 1-3 EPL matches that receive no airing anywhere on broadcast television.

Hypothetically speaking, let’s assume Fox Soccer Plus decides to air every Premier League match for a round each week. On DirecTV, the delayed matches would all be in SD.

Why should I pay a premium for a channel that a) doesn’t broadcast full-time in HD, and b) doesn’t broadcast a third to a half of the games available to them because of their commitment to rugby union? Sometimes I wonder if they should change their name to Fox Rugby Union Plus.

So my dilemma is over at the moment. From’s trial period, I thought their product was legitimate. Had I not already subscribed to FS+, I would have committed back in August to I have changed my mind, and now have subscribed to There are a number of reasons, some of which I’ve already stated. Another reason that the switch makes sense for me is that it allows me to watch matches on-demand, without clogging up the DVR (and hogging the main television for hours on end each night). While I don’t believe any of the streamed games are in true 720p, at this point it’s not that important since the same is true for games on FS+. In addition, when I do finally figure out which EPL team will receive my full support, I am assured of seeing their game live.

If anyone from DirecTV reads this blog, my message to them is this: if you’re charging a PREMIUM FEE for a channel, that channel should be broadcasting in the highest definition available. And for the Fox Soccer/FS+ people, I think a broader offering of association football would go a long way to bringing me back on board. Again, this is a premium service, I would think that the money raised by the monthly fee could afford you the chance to air a wider variety of soccer matches than the same replay of a Premier League match most people watched live.

The bottom line: if I were single without kids, DirecTV’s lineup would be acceptable, under the premise that in a few months the full FS+ HD lineup would be offered. As a married guy with a wife and kids who haven’t caught the soccer bug yet, I think the breadth of coverage received from overshadows the FS+ lineup, and it is now my choice for watching recorded matches.

56 thoughts on “The Dilemma: Is Better Than Fox Soccer Plus?”

  1. As a Comcast subscriber (FSC SD & no FS+), is better than anything I have available to me. I’ve had a couple of problems, but the staff were VERY quick to help solve them. If they carried FSC games live (even for slightly more $), I’d drop my “sports tier” in no time flat.

  2. I have a somewhat similar situation with my Time Warner cable package. For some reason we get FS+ in HD, but FSC only in standard def. Actually that’s not true, FSC is not “standard def”, it’s a horribly compressed and pixelated picture that is so poor that you can’t read any of the graphics or identify any of the players. So when matches that I want to see are on FSC, I can’t watch them (unwatchable feed on my TV, no live feed of those matches on Frustrating stuff.

  3. For me, has been worth every penny. Now I dont have to upgrade my cable package just to get one channel (FSC) and I no longer have to deal with crappy streams that cut out every five minutes in order to watch all the Fulham games.

    The quality has been crystal clear too and this morning I was evening streaming Fulham/Blackburn, Aston Villa/Bolton and Everton/Newcastle all at the same time with hardly any drop in quality!

  4. The picture quality on is way better than the standard def on FSC and FSC+. It might not be HD but it looks pretty darn good.

    1. Hi,
      I’ve read your post and many others regarding the quality of trying to understand the broadcasted quality. Most people seem to say its OK. I paid for a month earlier this year and also recently retried the video test and 2min highlights on the site but I find the quality very poor. Its very blurry,barely watchable, but not stuttering as I have a 10mb connection speed on my laptop and my HDTV, and unwatchable on my HDTV.
      I also have foxsoccer plus (SD) with DirectV and its quality is as expected with SD on a HDTV, but its still better than

      Am I missing something


  5. I am also on Comcast and have FSC in SD and ESPN2 but no FS+. I also subscribe to and have access to ESPN3.

    I don’t think I would pay the extra money to get FS+ even if it were available. I’m perfectly happy with the quality of and like the idea of having some games not clogging up my DVR and ready to play whenever I want to.

    I would like to get FSC in HD, however.

    1. Hi
      I’ve read your post and many others regarding the quality of trying to understand the broadcasted quality. Most people seem to say its OK. I paid for a month earlier this year and also recently retried the video test and 2min highlights on the site but I find the quality very poor. Its very blurry,barely watchable, but not stuttering as I have a 10mb connection speed on my laptop and my HDTV, and unwatchable on my HDTV.
      I also have foxsoccer plus (SD) with DirectV and its quality is as expected with SD on a HDTV, but its still better than

      Am I missing something


  6. I’ve had for less than a week and I am hooked. The website itself is a mess, and there are tons of ways they could really improve the overall presentation and service. However I have found the quality of the streams to be excellent – Just hook my laptop up to my 40″ HDTV, use my $25 remote with minikeyboard and settle back. And if for some reason watching the TV could be an issue, I can still watch on my laptop in bed. Which is how I intend to watch Man U v Liverpool tomorrow morning as I work nights, and 8:30 is far too early. I also pay $5 for the sports view tier with FSC (in SD at watchable but little more quality). So for $20 a month I can watch any Premiership match live or at the worst the next day On-Demand, as well as Championship games, Internationals, Cup games and Rugby. This ex-pat knows how good a deal this is. I am sure the average Brit would sell a kidney for that kind of deal.
    Lets just hope they are able to cope with the Man U Liverpool streaming tomorrow. That should be the big test, if they can deal with that, then they are probably ready for prime time.

  7. I have had FSC and FS Plus since the start of the season. When this gameweek arrived and Aston Villa was not going to be shown live, I weighed the options and decided to pay the $15 for because, after all, I would probably pay $15 to see my team play.

    I made the purchase two minutes before the games started today. All of a sudden, I had Villa-Bolton with a great picture covering the whole of my laptop and not one hiccup to mention. After ashley young’s goal, I decided to see what would happen if I used a second laptop. Soon enough, I had Birmingham-West Brom and Fulham-Blackburn splitting the screen on computer #2 in mute, the Villa game on the other computer, Spurs-Wolves on the big TV and Everton-Newcastle on the smaller TV. ALL FIVE GAMES AT ONCE!!!! aka HEAVEN.

    The other reason why I made the purchase is because now I’ll be able to watch games at the tail end of the work day on during the midweek and for any Champions League games being shown.

    I’ll more than likely be cancelling FS Plus tomorrow. I can’t see how that channel will work if there are better options being provided.

  8. I had last year and enjoyed it. The only reason I haven’t signed up again is that TimeWarner added FS+ at no extra cost, so I have pretty much everything I want, including the rugby and it hasn’t cost me a cent.

    However, I may cave in and get anyway just to get that little bit extra and also not have to deal with the DVR all the time. I can go into the den, send my computer through my 37″ HDTV, relax and enjoy any match anytime I want. We’ll see how long I can hold out.

  9. I have Directv and just convinced DTV to give me a free month of FS+ over a scheduling mistake they had on their guide for a CL game this week.

    I will probably cancel after the month and go over to I cannot see paying $15 for a channel that is only part-time….. if that! If Setanta couldnt stay in business with programming all the time, I cannot see how FS+ can do it.

    I am very disappointed that Fox is not making this a full time channel, or at a minimum, lowering the price. Hopefully, enough consumers cancel FS+ so that they do something about it.

  10. My only hope is they don’t see a big rise in subscribers matched with a big drop for soccer plus, and decide to lessen the value of the website to try and show plus is still worth paying for. Maybe not show plus games live on, but delaying them the way they do the regular fox soccer channel games.
    My hope is they are smarter than that. Give those who are paying $15 for plus the ability to get for $7.50. That 50% reduction them makes it more likely to get both, rather than one or the other, and my guess is they would end up with greater revenue. I don’t get plus, but there is no way I would pay extra for it now that I can get all the content and more streaming.

  11. Here’s an addendum from today. I’ve watched 4 matches. The first three were all HD, but I had to DVR the Tottenham/Wolves and Sunderland/Arsenal matches due to my kid’s soccer league. So after I’m done hogging the TV until mid-afternoon, then I can pick up the other mid-morning matches on demand from It’s perfect. Alright, I’m off to watch another one. Glad to not have been spoiled on the rest of the matches checking out the feedback. Thanks!

  12. I love when it works. This may not be the best place to turn for help, but it is the only place that I might get a straight answer. I have a subscription to and whenever I try to either stream a live game, or watch a full game on demand, the Flash crashes, no matter what browser I’m using. I can watch the 45 minute highlights videos no problem. Has anyone else had this problem? I’ve uninstalled and reinstalled Flash. I’ve updated my drivers for everything I can think of. I don’t have any problems with Flash crashing on any other websites. I’ve contacted the help for and they tell me that it’s a problem on my end and can’t help me. If anyone can help, you would be a lifesaver!

  13. As I’m not in Australia you may have to indulge me on a few facts mentioned in the article. Does the Direct TV Sports Pack as well as Fox Soccer Plus come through the Australian equivalent of our Sky TV or a separate provider altogether? Also I wasn’t sure if the PL games mentioned on Fox Soccer Plus come through a pay to view TV Channell or the Computer. I don’t think this or a similar deal is available in NZ yet, and if it is how does one go about signing up? Thanks very much.

  14. So has anyone been having any issues with this morning’s Man U-Liverpool match?

    Been working flawlessly for me as of halftime.

  15. had a big bump early in the season, but they did something that RayV didn’t do last year… admit something went wrong in an email. I was very pleased by that. Pretty much since having the system crash on them early in the season, their performance has been really good. I’m hoping the video quality improves when I upgrade my bandwidth substantially this week.

    As long as the service of is available FS+ is no match for The choice of almost any game in the EPL blows FS+ out of the water. Granted, vid quality is better on FS+, but I’m more than willing to trade vid quality for a ridiculous amount of choice. The website seems very stable now, unlike last season and that includes today with Man. United v L’pool… and I’m sure people remember RayV’s performance on this fixture last season.

  16. Well done to for a flawless ManU-Liverpool stream. I’m actually glad I am unable to get FS+ and therefore had to subscribe to as the choice it provides is terrific. Let’s hope they keep it up.

  17. I’m honestly very disappointed in thus far.

    Quality is good, as long as the stream is coming in smoothly. I’m very happy with that.

    But there are two big problems for me:
    1) When you advertise using the term “DVR,” that means a user should be able to set up recordings of games in advance. Given that I live in the pacific time zone, one of the main reasons I got into European football was because I could set my DVR to record games in advance, wake up at a normal weekend time, and watch them either in their entirety, or if they’re stinkers, fast forward through them (I’m really not into waking up at 5 a.m. to see a 0-0 game of anti-football officiated by one of the Stuart Attwells of the world). When I got started on and saw no way of doing this, combined with not being able to access full epl games on demand, plus only being able to access partial games a day later, that pretty much totally defeated the purpose.
    Maybe I’m missing the control somewhere, but if you’re going to advertise saying “DVR,” there needs to be a way to actually record the games in advance, like you would with, say, a DVR. Just being able to rewind a streaming file or jump around in a not streaming file is nowhere near that.

    2) The major reason for me to actually spend the money to get this service is that I can’t get fschd (or even fs+) in my area. Dish is not really an option for me, and comcast doesn’t care. I was under the impression (yes, maybe the ignorant impression) that if an EPL game was on fsc or fsc+, it would be on Yet that is not the case. Again, this majorly defeats the purpose of me spending the money. I couldn’t care any less about Rugby (if I did, I would look for a service called something like, so it’s all the more galling to me to not have a fox soccer EPL game available while looking at a huge list of upcoming rugby.

    Beyond that, the organization of games (or complete lack thereof) into sensible categories is kind of ridiculous. I understand it’s still in the beta mode, but $15 a month to get something that thus far, for me, been more of a hassle to deal with than anything else, is a bit much.

    1. For somebody who likes both EPL and rugby I am very unhappy with both fsc+ and for their lack of coverage of the Magners League. There are 6 games per week and they only carry the same 2 on both Plus and .tv and the showing times are totally unacceptable on Plus.

      Besides, they have never answered any emails I have sent to them about it.

      Very frustrating! Was much better last year.

  18. I had FS+ for the rugby mainly. I dropped it in order to get FSC.TV for a month to compare (after all, I still get all my rugby). I’ve lost streams TWICE during Fulham matches. Its one thing to lose a stream when you’re watching an illegal stream, its another when you’re paying for the service. When it happened a 3rd time during a rugby match, I had enough.

    This month, went back to FS+ (I have Dish Network). I won’t get again unless I can get customer service to answer my questions (haven’t responded in a month).

  19. Can’t understand why anyone is complaining about Fox Soccer Plus or showing rugby. They are not broadcasting rugby in place of soccer. They are supplementing the soccer offering with rugby and with the case of Fox Soccer Plus they bump all rugby to delayed coverage when there is live soccer match to show. My lord, maybe they should call the channel Fox Sports World, so you whiners can’t pick on the name. For the rugby haters, you have a ton soccer programming on Fox Soccer Plus/ and it’s not going to get any larger if they drop the rugby content. The likely scenario is they wouldn’t have enough programming to have a second channel and therefore this offering would either disappear. Some of the content like Champ League rights would obviously be picked up by someone (ESPN), but imo there’s not enough interest in lower tier EPL matches, nPower matches, or Cup matches for someone like ESPN or Gol to care about the rights.

    For those with legit concerns about the website format and responsiveness from Perform/Fox customer service, I concur. I also agree that the streaming quality is much improved over the earlier version of

  20. Does anyone have even reasonable streaming from I cannot get more than 2 seconds of video. Audio remains but picture disappears to be replaced by flash hourglass and black screen.

    Impossible to use in San Fran on 9Mbs cable modem!?

    Back to the pub, for another season? I just cancelled. Again.

    1. I had the same issue. Under the Flash settings, disable (uncheck) enable hardware acceleration. Since doing that, I haven’t had the black screen.

      I don’t know what that does, but unchecking that worked on my newer machine, while leaving it checked on my older machine worked too.

      Give it a go.


    1. It is very obvious that Fox Soccer Plus (and .TV) are only paying token interest to Magners, though Fox Soccer Plus advertise it constantly. They only show 2 of 6 games each weekend and nothing is live on Plus. They seem to be constantly buying into other leagues and diluting what they give to the viewers for anything that people actually want. They certainly are not conscious of, or care about, the Munster v Leinster game this coming weekend. They treat fans of Magners like this all the time.

      I wish for the days when you asked Setanta a question and they always came back with an answer within a day, even if it was not the answer you wanted. Fox, on the other hand, are rude and arrogant.

      On another point, last week I asked FiOS when they are moving both Fox Soccer channels to HD. The immediate answer I got was they have “NO IDEA!!”

      1. has the Cardiff v Connacht match listed for 2PM (Eastern)Sept 30th. Don’t see a mention of this on the FS Plus schedule at this point. Seems like the Magners League dealings/negotiations are going on week to week. I’ve seen schedule changes at the “last minute” and matches pop up on the schedule for the weekend as late as Thursday. I don’t hold out much hope for Fox/Perform addressing any issues other than ones related to EPL or Champs League matches. The rest of the offering seems to be available as a filler, not as a quality offering. Feed without commentary??? Who cares, people will feel like they are sitting in the stands. Feed without graphics??? Who cares, the viewer can just manually keep track of the score other stats on a piece of paper and set a stop watch so they know the time of the match. Need to go to the bathroom??? Just pause the feed and your stop watch so you don’t miss anything when you’re away.

        1. Don’t know why but it always seems like the Magners League matches are the last to get updated for FS+.

          The Ulster-Glasgow match is now showing on the schedule at 5:00 pm on Friday and the Leinster-Munster match is showing on Saturday at 10:00 pm.

          The Cardiff-Connacht match on Thursday that is showing is not on the FS+ schedule. Bummer.

          1. Dave, seems to be a policy to only show 2 Magners on FS+ per week and not show them live.

            Not sure if you looked a week ahead. They have 6 Heineken games (3 on Saturday and 3 on Sunday) lined up on FS+. (It is a weekend break from Barclays because of the Euro international qualifiers – several of which are live on ESPN3, Friday and Tuesday).

          2. That is a bummer since I’m a Cardiff Blues man when it comes to the Celtic League. But hey the Leinster-Munster matches are usually great even if you’re not a fan of either team.

            To Jim’s comment below…
            I don’t think it’s a policy, I just think they’ve only acquired the rights to two matches a weekend for the Magners league. When the Currie Cup regular season ends I think you may see a few live matches on Friday since there won’t be much other live content on FS+ to compete against. Atleast they have graphics and commentary for Magners unlike the Aviva Premiership, can’t even enjoy the rare Sharks match shown. Euro qualifier week would have been great except the wife has me wrangled into a family commitment for Saturday afternoon. Was planning to sit at the local pub and watch Heineken Cup in glorious HD.

  21. OK, all you fans of how the heck do you follow one team? This channel hardly carries all the games of one team. It’s just a mishmosh of leftover games. As an Arsenal fan I subscribed hoping to watch most of the Arsenal games, yet they have not carried over half of them. Why does anyone like this website. I cancelled my sub.- if they can’t give me 90% of a teams games, what’s the point.

    1. I am having the same problem. I just get a black screen with an exit button. I think it is a Fox problem, because I looked at it a few times recently and it worked fine.

  22. Hi guys,

    I posted the question below in another of your articles, but not sure which of the two articles is more popular, I am trying it here also to hopefuly get and answer:

    I am a bit confused about their replay service. How often do they purge their games? Last night I was watching Paris St Germain – Nice and left it in the middle. This morning I wanted to finish it and it is no more there.

    Also, I do not see any Ligue 1 games scheduled for their next two weeks, anyone knows if they are stopping Ligue 1 or is their schedule incomplete?


    1. Hi Alex, no worries. We’re not ignoring you, but to be honest, a lot of the information on is up in the air. I don’t believe many of the people who use it know the answers to your question. Many of us just go along for the ride. Communications from are pretty poor and erratic, in my opinion. Your best bet may be to e-mail the customer service folks on and they should be able to get back to you. If not, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

      The Gaffer

      1. Thank you the Gaffer,

        I did not think you were ignoring me, just was not sure which thread was more popular. :O)

        Thanks for the info. I actually emailed them this morning, but thought ask the same question here as I was sure I could find people using their service in here.

        I will post their response here if it was not a canned response.


  23. As a major fan of the beautiful game, there is no team that plays it better than Arsenal (better = quick accurate passing, unselfish play, humility, good sportsmanship, good camaraderie, and at times stellar finishing).

    That being said, arsenal is the most exciting team to support because they can outclass any team and at the same time lose the game. It is always nail biting stuff.

    All the best in making a good team selection.

  24. Hey guys

    Thinking about subscribing to and have a question. Pretty excited about the prospects of the football AND rugby. Sweet.

    But here’s my question… I have an old school analog TV. Does anyone know if it’s possible to hook up my laptop stream to the TV. If so, how? Is it cheap?

    It may not be possible, but until gets a roku hook-up, I may be just watching it on my laptop.


  25. I’m disappointed in thus far. I had Setanta until its demise, specifically for the English Championship.

    Although it is fantastic that still carries nPower League, the manner by which matches are archived is very frustrating.

    As well, I am not a “EPL is the be all, end all” supporter. I enjoy football from other countries. Yet again, Serie A matches get short shrift when archiving, for example:
    Parma v AS Roma aired on at 0645 on 24 OCT. I awoke, sent the kids off to church with their mum, and watched Liverpool v Blackburn live at 1000. It is now 1708, 24 OCT and Parma v AS Roma is still absent from the archive.

    I’ve asked repeatedly:
    Why are matches not archived chronologically?
    How does decide which matches to archive and when?
    How long does a match stay in the archive?

    The only response is “all matches, which air live, are archived within 24 hours”

    I want to know – for sure – what their process is so I can better plan my veiwing. Essentially, I want to manage the $15 a month I give them. Right now, it they have me by the b***s.

  26. Hi all ,
    I’ve read your posts and many others regarding the quality of trying to understand the broadcasted quality. Most people seem to say its OK. I paid for a month earlier this year and also recently retried the video test and 2min highlights on the site but I find the quality very poor. Its very blurry,barely watchable, but not stuttering as I have a 10mb connection speed on my laptop and my HDTV, and unwatchable on my HDTV.
    I also have foxsoccer plus (SD) with DirectV and its quality is as expected with SD on a HDTV, but its still better than

    Am I missing something


  27. I’ve been a subscriber since it’s inception and have no real complaints about the quality of streams. My complaints are with their ( inability to deliver what they promise, frequently links to “Live” matches simply do not work but give the annoying “Ooops! Sorry, something went wrong. We couldn’t find the page you were looking for.” message. It’s one thing to have trouble finding an archived match, but for a Brit supporter of an EPL team, to not be able to watch a live match is shear torture! More than once my 28″ fp monitor has come close to being thrown through the nearest window. I’m an IT guy so I know tyhere’s nothing wrong with my PC, always try multiple PC’s if something doesn’t work. Although my ISP (Charter) isn’t the best I know it’s not their fault either. I try to report issues using’s “Contact Us” email form but that gives the same annoying message most of the time.
    I think the fact that the word “beta” is still present in’s URL is telling of the fact that they ( have no idea what they are doing……..and obviously no idea how fanatical a true football fan is (anyone know where is based, I’d love to pay them a ‘personal’ visit?).

  28. Well, the match just finished, now to avoid finding out the score before it becomes available in ‘Replay’ on (not too hard down here in the ‘deep south’), hopefully will be up-to-date by this evening!

  29. When it works, is great. But recently the site has been plagued with problems. They started out really well but have slipped since. Some are stopping their subscriptions because of it. I’m going to wait it out a couple more weeks and if the problems aren’t fixed I’ll cancel as well.

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