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Why I Won’t Be Cutting The Cord Anytime Soon To Watch My Soccer

 Why I Wont Be Cutting The Cord Anytime Soon To Watch My Soccer

It was 2004 when I cut the cord from Bellsouth, my local phone company. I got rid of the landline and Internet access, and signed up with Comcast for my Internet access and Vonage for my VOIP phone line. Then a few years later, I cut the “virtual cord” and dropped Vonage so that my mobile phone through AT&T Wireless became my home and work phone. Now for me, and millions of americans, it’s time to consider cutting another cord but this one is a lot more tricky. I’ll explain why.

The cord I’m talking about is the TV or satellite provider. In my case, it’s Comcast who is both my ISP and provider of sports channels such as Fox Soccer Channel, GolTV, ESPN2 and a few hundred other networks that I hardly ever watch. And the fact that I’m only watching a few of the hundreds of channels is key. Why should I pay for channels I never watch, I’m not interested in and that simply clog up bandwidth?

During 2010 I watched most of my programming on either a computer or mobile phone. Before Setanta US closed its doors, I watched most of my games on Setanta-i, its broadband channel where you could watch soccer games each weekend on a really advanced website. Since then, I’ve watched most of the Premier League games on FoxSoccer.tv, ESPN360.com and the FoxSoccer iPhone App. Part of the reason has been ease. As a perfect example, this past weekend I was in Orlando with my family for a weekend getaway. Even though I was a few hundred miles away from my home, I was still able to watch the matches on my mobile phone via the FoxSoccer iPhone App. The ease of access is key. I can now watch games whether I’m driving, in the office, in a different room of the house that doesn’t have the TV, or outside in my backyard.

I still watch Premier League games on television, but far fewer than before.

The predicament I’m in is that there’s really only one thing stopping me from cutting the cord with Comcast and dropping my cable programming (but keeping Comcast as my ISP), and that is Fox Soccer Channel. The Premier League games shown on FoxSoccer.tv feature all of the live games except for the Fox Soccer Channel ones. Those Fox Soccer Channel games are available on FoxSoccer.tv on demand after midnight that day, but that doesn’t help me as I like to watch all of my games live, or slightly on delay (rather than 10 to 12 hours later). Unfortunately I don’t see FoxSoccer.tv adding the live Fox Soccer Channel games anytime soon. To do so would give me and many others out there the ability to drop Fox Soccer Channel completely in favor of FoxSoccer.tv (which would provide you with the games normally on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer Plus and more for a much lower rate per month than paying the expensive cable bill).

At the same time, I realize I’m not the norm. Comcast Cable doesn’t offer Fox Soccer Channel HD or Fox Soccer Plus. If they did, I would definitely have to consider whether it would make me stay with Comcast even if FoxSoccer.tv added Fox Soccer Channel’s Premier League matches. But the fact that Comcast has still not added FSCHD or FS+ is a big example of how they’re not helping the situation.

In my household, we also tend to watch a lot of HBO, Nick Jr and Nickelodeon. But the kids have been watching the Nick TV channels less and have instead been watching kids TV shows and movies via Netflix, either through their Nintendo Wii, iPad or, when I let them borrow it, on my iPhone. As for HBO, I tend to watch it more online via Xfinity.tv. If HBO released an iPad app that allowed me to watch all of their programming per month for a set fee, I would definitely consider it, thus cutting out the middle man, my TV provider.

Again, the big roadblock that prevents me from dropping my cable completely is the live games shown on Fox Soccer Channel. On one hand, I can see why soccer fans dropping Fox Soccer Channel in droves would cause panic attacks at Fox where they would be forced into charging lower rates for their advertising because fewer eyeballs would be watching their programming (and thus TV adverts), but at some point in the distant future the economics will change where Fox Soccer Channel themselves would be able to make more money by getting a flat $15/month fee from hundreds of thousands of subscribers across the United States who want to watch their programming on their computer and mobile devices.

Ideally, right now at least, I’d like to have a subscription to Fox Soccer Channel HD where I could watch my soccer games in beautiful HD on my big screen TV and then have the choice to watch the other games on my laptop and/or mobile phone. Currently I don’t have that choice which makes my urge to cut the cord even more urgent. I could cut the cord today if I wanted to watch games illegally, but I prefer not to because I’m a firm believer that the licensee holders (i.e. Fox Soccer Channel in the United States) should receive the money since they’ve paid such a huge amount of money to bring the games to us. Without them, we’d be royally screwed. So, instead, I’ll bide time and hope that either Comcast adds Fox Soccer Channel in HD or that FoxSoccer.tv decides to add live Premier League games from Fox Soccer Channel. Unfortunately I don’t see either of those options happening anytime soon.

Recommended reading: A wish to dump the dish in 2011 by Dave’s Football Blog.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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61 Responses to Why I Won’t Be Cutting The Cord Anytime Soon To Watch My Soccer

  1. Bishopville Red says:

    I’m in the same boat. If not for live football, I’d be off the TV grid altogether. It’s easy enough to download hours of kids’ shows, cooking shows, torrents of current shows within minutes of the broadcast. But sport is king for me.

    I’ve already cut back my package and watch hockey games on the internet, but I’m OK with missing a few because they’re not offered through live streams. That simply can’t happen with Manchester United. No way.

    But what’s more sinister is this: Our internet provider is also the big TV provider here in Canada. Realizing that more people are choosing the option the Gaffer mentioned, they are looking to tier internet connections and billing for extra bandwidth use. If they don’t get your TV money through the TV branch of the corporation, they’ll get it through the internet branch. Bastards.

  2. spark says:

    i have Time Warner Cable and get Fox Soccer Channel as well as Fox Soccer Plus HD. I had signed up for FoxSoccer.tv but I had to drop it because the games were so choppy for me that it was unwatchable. Also, some of the games were shown with no announcers and no graphics so i had no idea what was going on.

  3. Robert Chicago. IL. says:

    I cut the cord and can see that the number of “cord cutters” is increasing. As more people experience online tv services, they’ll find that it’s easier to use and, in some ways, superior to traditional cable TV. I regularly use TVDevo.com. It offers a pretty wide range of TV shows and some live tv. For full length movies it’s not the best choice, but the tv shows and broadcasts are good. The software, which is cloud-based consolidates many of the online streams and puts them all in one place for viewers.

  4. jose says:

    dude, just switch to directv, there promo now is the choice package for 29.99 add hd for 9.99 so you could watch espn2 in hd and add the sports pack for 12.99 so you could watch fsc in hd & goltv in hd, plus another option is fscplus in hd but only live games are available in hd, for 15.99. also directv has the best champions league coverage, what more do you want, oh by the i don’t work for them, lol.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Jose, the two big problems I have with DirecTV are (1) customer service (I’ve had so many issues with them in the past when I was a DirecTV customer) and (2) in the summertime, the thunderstorms in Florida continually interrupt the broadcast of games. A perfect example was World Cup 2010 where I missed Landon Donovan’s goal against Slovenia because of the thunderstorm booming overhead.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  5. dontcallmepaddy says:

    Cut the cord years ago. A no-brainer for me.

    Verizon Internet: $33/month
    Netflix: $9/month
    Foxsoccer.tv: $15/month
    ESPN3: free

    Plus the cost of a couple pints if I need to see an FSC match at the pub.

    • Guy says:

      “…the cost of a couple pints…”

      Another “positive”! ;-)

    • [OPTI] Madschester United says:

      Cut the cord on December 23rd, 2010 and now “survive” on $20/month (jumps to $40/month after one year) 3 Mbps AT&T DSL internet, which includes ESPN3 access. Once our Comcast special price ran out (on 12/23), our bill went from $80/month to $120/month (or $65/month for only internet). I was fed up with Comcast price hikes and decided to give them the boot.

      3 Mbps on ESPN3 works flawlessly. Veetle is a dream and any other sources should work as well when hooked up to my telly. It is definitely worth it in my book.

      Cut the cord!

  6. Martin says:

    Same here with regards to the kid’s TV shows. Nick Jr, Sprout and Disney are king in my household and I can’t see cutting cable until the kids are older and we don’t need the boost of sanity these distractions provide.

    I do wish there was a way to get Sky Sports or whatever from England over here. I’d love to watch a show like Match of the Day when I can’t watch more matches beyond the ESPN2 game and the Arsenal game I stream.

  7. Marc says:

    I am about to cut the cord and will not even get FSC. I have one question about foxsoccer tv that I hope someone will answer for me. The FSC games that are on demand on foxsoccer tv, are they the entire game or just highlights?

  8. tonyspeed says:

    My only complaint about cutting my dish so far has been fox soccer tv seems to have adaptive streaming problems. espn 360 always properly streams according to my available bandwidth, whereas foxsoccer.tv seems to think i have more bandwidth than I really have, and therefore games can become choppy periodically.

  9. Earl Reed says:

    Ideally, the Premier League would go the route of the NFL. The NFL and DirecTV have successfully wed the Sunday Ticket package with an online/mobile portal which allows you to watch any game anywhere (unless blackout restrictions screw you over).

    So…MLS probably doesn’t have much leverage to do any real dealing with the Premier League, right? Well…they DO have a premium cable/satellite service called Direct Kick. They also have an online subscription service. Could that be inviting enough to lure the EPL into a joint venture to provide both products in the US?

    Benefits:
    Premier League – Complete HD broadcast to the United States of every game throughout a weekend. Online (and eventually mobile) presence which features every game. Can continue to work with ESPN to broadcast one game. Additional promotional space through MLS stadiums, sales and merchandise.
    MLS – Some much-needed $$$ from the EPL into the venture, which could help bolster the platform. A solid product, EPL, from which to cross promote to help attract new fans to the league. For instance, the evening EPL game (12:30 PM EST start) would be a great lead-in to 3 or 4 3 PM MLS games).
    Both – A single platform to leverage costs to both leagues. Periods of time when both leagues would have exclusive domain over the channels (summer for MLS, winter for EPL).

    OK, so that’s more of a pipe dream than reality. But I think MLS has to start looking for ways (besides a rather mundane All-Star Game against an EPL Reserve Squad) to cooperate with the EPL to bolster the interest of the sport in this nation.

  10. Thanks for the link. I think the problem here is that the cable companies and telcos are terrified of becoming “dumb pipes,” because they fear they won’t make nearly as much money if they aren’t a middleman. So the current TV delivery system works in their favor. The fact that they’re also the ISPs works in their favor, too, because being slow about upgrading their networks prevents people from ditching their TV in favor of online video.

    It’ll take a pretty massive bombshell, like Google buying Time Warner Cable (which they could do with their cash reserves, BTW) before things really start to change. And even then, it’ll take a few years.

  11. boringarsenal says:

    Gaffer:
    I understand your dilemma. I have DirecTV here in LA, AND the service is good, including FSC in HD. My opinion of Fox Soccer Plus is that it’s overpriced and DirecTv only broadcasts the live Premier League and UEFA matches in HD. At $14.99 a month for a stand alone channel, it compares unfavorably with DirecTV’s sports-pack at $12.99.
    This issue of multiple viewing choices, and overlapping services will probably continue for the foreseeable future. And besides, if we all decide to cut the cord, internet bandwidth will suffer accordingly and subscription rates would invariably rise for the a-la-cart viewing. experience

  12. Cricketlover says:

    If you only enjoy EPL matches then it’s a close call as to whether to cut the cord or not. Foxsoccer.tv and espn3.com provide more than enough EPL content, minus the live FSC matches, to question if it’s worth continuing with your cable/satellite provider. However, if you also enjoy watching La Lig and Bundesliga matches on Gol TV and ESPND then it doesn’t make sense right now since Gol TV does not have an online presence and not all ESPND matches are shown on espn3 . Fro now I’m sticking with my cable provider, Cox, plus my subscription to foxsoccer.tv .

  13. Guy says:

    “I can now watch games whether I’m driving…”

    I hope not! :-)

  14. bert says:

    I thought it was just my “local” Comcast system that didn’t offer FSC HD. We need to start a revolution here. Watching HD programming on a non-HD channel is horrible. enjoyed the post

  15. Cory says:

    Honestly, I haven’t had cable or satellite for 2 years now and I’ve watched more premier league games than I ever have before. Yes, it’s generally through lesser-quality feeds, but I’ve got a 24 inch HD computer monitor and a fast connection. It’s definitely bearable and costs me only $40/month for internet, split two ways with a roommate. ESPN3 comes free on my 360, and veetle.com’s mobile site (as well as regular site) offer good quality in addition to the myriad of other bootleg venues to watch a game. Plus, going to the pub isn’t necessarily a bad thing either on a Saturday morning just to catch a good game in a good environment.

    • Joe says:

      Ditto Cory. I haven’t had cable in four years for the same reason, except that I don’t get ESPN360 since for Time Warner it’s tied to having the TV service. Pricks.

      • ditto squared on time warner, i pay a hefty monthly bill for time warner internet here in l.a. but can’t get ESPN3 without cable service, which I don’t have. Still, haven’t had cable in over 2 years now and to echo everyone else, I watch as much as ever.
        Technology will eventually force a la carte pricing on cable, which they have fought for decades. It would be a plus for us sports fans, but bad for all the niche, non-sports, channels.

    • Amber says:

      I would love to cut the cord, but I have one problem. I work every weekday until 5 pm. So watching weekday games, EPL and CL live which start at 2:30 or 3 EST are impossible. My DVR has been a savior for such games. Is there a way the you get around such problems or do you just miss out on the game?

  16. C Dub says:

    I personally could not live without watching soccer on my 50″ Plasma. I have Directv and get both FSC HD and FSP HD and they come in beautifully. I do happen to live in California so I have NEVER had a reception issue of any kind. Not to mention being that I am in callifornia, getting up at 4:30 on Saturdays to watch is doable, but going to a pub to watch…not gonna happen. I enjoy rolling off the couch..lol…and flipping on my TV. Or I can simply DVR several games at once. Try that on a iphone…which I own btw. If you think that watching a game on your iPhone is the same experience as watching it on a big screen in HD then more power to you. Ive tried it….not even close to me. I get the convienence of it but theres no way I’d trade my Directv for it. Sorry. I guess I’ll keep paying the inflated bill and continue to enjoy beautiful soccer in HD on a big screen. Sounds like I’m in the minority here. Cheers.

    • brn442 says:

      Stay off of the Kool Aid C Dub. That is what cable wants you to think.

      The fact that in a year or two you may be able to access Fox, Abc, or a dedicated Premier League channel, a la carte, directly on YOUR 50” Flat screen via a google or apple TV type set up box; is sending shudders down the spines of cable execs.

      It just so happens that cable, by coincidence – controls most Americans’ access to the internet – a major conflict of interest, which they will fight tooth and nail to fall in their favor – lower internet speeds, getting rid of net neutrality – they have already started.

      • C Dub says:

        “The fact that in a year or two you may be able to access Fox, Abc, or a dedicated Premier League channel, a la carte, directly on YOUR 50” Flat screen via a google or apple TV type set up box”

        So your guessing? LMK when that happens, in the meantime I will continue to enjoy watching LIVE HD broadcasts on FSC and FSP. By what your stating is that you dont want to pay money to a “cable” company, yet you will pay money to buy a “google or apple TV type set up box”? Thats good, then you will pay a monthly fee after the initial cost of the box and most likely you will be watching taped matches. Sounds great! Not. Whats next? You’ll not want to pay Apple or Google money for the broadcasts? Where does it end? We live in a global economy that is based upon people making their own decisions on where they will spend their hard earned money. If you dont want to spend your cash on a cable network then dont! If you enjoy watching a few “live” games on the internet then enjoy. Next thing you know after everyone decides they aren’t paying for cable, satellite, or any “box type” device services, the companys that broadcast these events, which costs money btw, will stop broadcasting and then we wont be watching any EPL games. So keep up the good work and continue to boycott the companies that broadcast this beautiful game. That’ll show em!
        And for the record….I actually enjoy the Kool AId. Grape is my favorite! Nobody is making me think anything. If I dont want to pay, I wouldnt. I actually enjoy watching live matches on the weekends laying on my couch. Not sitting at the computer watching on a 20″ screen. In fact Im tired of typing this already! Cheers!

        • brn442 says:

          As it is your right – if you want to keep paying $150 for 200 channels, only ten of which – (probably not in HD), you actually watch, then by all means.

          If I can get a box where I can choose and pay for the channels I actually want to watch, on my 42″ (sorry, I’m not a high roller like you,) directly from the companies that actually PRODUCE the beautiful game.

          I will leave it up to generous people like you to patronize the middlemen who simply take your money.

          • C Dub says:

            I actually pay about $100 and I actually watch around 6 channels. LOL. My kids watch the other 4. But seriously, if there was an actual good alternative to watch EPL games…that is what we are talking about isnt it?….on an actual TV, then by all means if it was cheaper I would be all for it. But in reality there isnt. I refuse to waste my time, what little I have, to watch EPL games on a 4 inch screen or on my computer. The point of my original comment was that there is no alternative for a person who wants to watch EPL games LIVE and in HD on an actual large television screen. And btw, I watch La Liga and Serie A games almost as much. Not saying your ideas are wrong, just commenting on Directv’s HD experience for myself. Its well worth it. Maybe not for you. Cheers!

          • Joe says:

            Though I cut off my cable years ago, I know exactly what you’re talking about C Dub. I visited my family over the holidays, and they have about a 50-inch HDTV (mine in standard def, and as I said, no cable). The way the games on ESPN looked on that television blew away anything I see on a regular basis.

            For me, I’m saving money for vacations, for a house, for a family someday, so it’s just not worth it to spend an extra hundred dollars a month. But for someone who has the means, the big screen HD experience really is a world of difference.

          • brn442 says:

            Well I’m glad that you and more importantly – your lovely kids are happy – yes – my point was access of internet based channels directly on your TV. Would it not be awesome to turn on your internet connected 50” TV and access your football directly from Fox, Espn, or, the EPL itself. Watch man u, Liverpool, or Chelsea tv, directly on you tv, no booting up, logging on, 7 inch nonsense.

            I’m glad that you are happy with your service but my monopoly cable provider does not want to provide FOX Soccer CH in HD or Fox Soccer plus at all. I have no choice but to use them, I pay over $100 a month for 200 channels, yet I can’t get the TWO channels I want. Is it too much to wish for an alternative?

          • Earl Reed says:

            I am in C Dub’s court. I detest cable, ESPECIALLY Comcast. I live in the Philly area, and Comcast screws those who refuse them, cutting them off from 75% of the local sports programming on their RSN.

            I find DirecTV has been a good option for soccer. The one downside is that lack of full time FS+HD. I have sent a couple of emails to ask for them to bring FS+ to HD full-time, hasn’t changed…yet. I’ve told them I won’t subscribe to FS+ as it is. That’s my stand…if you’re paying a premium, they should give us the HD.

            For BRN – for every one of you who are concerned about their bill, there are two people who go through blindly and purchase the biggest package no matter what. They get 400 channels and watch freaking Turner Classic Movies and sporting events on the local channels (I have a family member like this). The market is full of lemmings, and to be the one to miss out on some great soccer to make a point seems masochistic. It’s money, and we can’t take it with us.

  17. SeminoleGunner says:

    This is slightly off topic, but has the picture quality on FSC standard definition gotten worse?

    I tuned in for Birmingham City/Arsenal on Saturday and I think it was the worst picture I’ve ever seen from them. The screen was compressed with black bars on the top and bottom (I think that’s a symptom of using the HD signal for both channels?) and the quality was just awful. I don’t know how it’s possible to have taken a step BACK after establishing an HD channel, but they’ve done it.

    • Joe says:

      I noticed this last weekend during Spurs/Aston Villa. The funny part is that the logo on top of the screen says “HD” while you’re squinting to see who has the ball.

      I’ve found foxsoccer.tv to have a decent picture at least

    • nicc says:

      the issue with the Birmingham v Arsenal match weren’t with Fox Soccer but rather the stadium itself.
      it looked like half of the lights at the ground were not functional and the 2 camera views being used the most had horrible placement!

      • Patrico says:

        I noticed the same thing, but nicc, it couldn’t just be the stadium – the quality has been poor on multiple FSC broadcasts recently. Spurs/Aston Villa was actually even worse, and that was in a park that looks great when it’s on ESPN2HD.

  18. brn442 says:

    Stay off the kool aid C Dub, that’s exactly what Cable wants you to think. Cable companies have seen the writing on the wall – that the increasing presence of a la carte “internet tv” channels you can possibly watch on your REGULAR TV via apple TV, google TV, netflix etc is in direct conflict with the content packages they provide.

    By an accident of history they also provide biggest threat to their demise – access to the internet. They have already slowed down internet speed in the US, now they’re trying to destroy “net neutrality.”

    I have already suffered two blackouts here in NY the last two years by both ABC and Fox over pay issues. The fact that in a year or so you may be able to access – Fox, ABC, or an EPLTALK type show for that matter, DIRECTLY on your 50” flat screen via a google tv type box is sending shudders down the spines of cable tv execs.

  19. Tim says:

    There is one thing to consider when cutting the cord is that most Internet Providers (Comcast, Uverse) have a cap on how much data you can use. Comcast is 250GB and Uverse (I think) is 100GB. These numbers may seem high but last summer during the World Cup I got very close to Comcast’s 250GB cap as I watched all the games on ESPN360.com, I got to 235GB. If you go over the cap 2 times Comcast will take away there Internet service.

  20. Brad in SoCal says:

    Perhaps I’m older than most of you (I remember when a phone was just a phone), so please explain how watching soccer on a tiny computer screen is better than having a glorious HD big screen experience. Yes, cable is a pain in the ass, paying for lots of unused channels, but remember that all those Lifetime fans actually help to pay for FSC even though they don’t watch it either. In the US anyway, soccer is still a niche market, remember.

    FYI-just added FSC+ (to watch Blackpool tomorrow!), and the Time Warner rep told me that TWC will be upgrading to HD on multiple channels come June, including FSC and FSC+. Maybe then they will be equal to ESPN2 on HD. We’ll just have to wait and see and hope they don’t jack up the rates. (Nah, probably too much to wish for.) We’ll just have to enjoy the games as they are and not think about the cost.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Brad, watching games on a television in HD is better than watching them on a laptop or desktop monitor. However what FoxSoccer.tv provides is mobility (usually I have my kids jumping on me every Saturday morning so I’m constantly on the move). Plus, FoxSoccer.tv provides a lot more choices of games to watch at one time.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Joe says:

        I was able to watch all the weekday world cup matches at work because of my phone. It wasn’t ideal, but more manageable than taking two weeks off for the “glorious HD big screen experience”.

      • Yespage says:

        It musn’t be forgotten that Foxsoccer.tv can be hooked up to the HD television via VGA/RGB cable. That is my setup, watch the foxsoccer.tv match up on the television via the laptop. And yes, the options made available on foxsoccer.tv are almost ridiculous. 5 or 6 additional FA Cup matches! All for $15 a month! And thankfully, their service is much improved over last year… and now they actually separate their content.

        I agree, with another, that the streaming is still a bit buggy. I upgraded to 12 Mbps, so I’ve got more than enough bandwidth, but it’ll go from sharp to super blur a few times a game. I need to check is hard wiring the network to the laptop would improve that.

  21. Kevin says:

    I’m in a similar predicament. Previously, my internet at my parents’ house was so terrible that ESPN3 and FoxSoccer.tv just weren’t an option.

    I’ve been in England for most of the season so far, but in the month before I left and the month I’ve been back I’ve subscribed to Fox Soccer Plus. Previously, we always had FSC through the Sports Pack, but my parents have decided that it’s not worth it anymore. So I only have those channels during hte European season when I’m not at college.

    I’m finally moving into an apartment at school this semester. I get free Comcast cable and would like to add the sports package to get FSC, but the realtor has told me that it can get quite expensive and difficult to open your service with Comcast directly.

    I’m essentially tending towards just getting foxsoccer.tv, and using that and espn3 primarily. As for the Spurs matches or other big matches I want to see that are just on FSC, I’ll just stream them illegally, as I’ve had to do with most matches the last two seasons when I’ve lived in the dorms. I figure more and more matches are being broadcast on FSN and ESPN2 anyway.

    As for cutting cable completely, I absolutely couldn’t do it. I’m also a massive baseball fan, and there’s no way I could go without seeing my White Sox.

  22. Dust in the Wind says:

    I cut the cord, I cancelled Comcast TV service 2 months ago (for the same reasons you are still thinking about) I only retain the internet for watching the Premiership live online with a subscription to foxsoccer.tv and 1 other football site. For any other game I go down the bar local spurs bar where they have it on anyways. Below is the real issue as I see it

    The shambles that is licensing for the premier league in the states has to be corrected. With technology as it is coupled with the undeniable demand for the Premiership there is no real reason what so ever that I can not access any game live on any device, mobile, tv or otherwise.

    I would not hesitate a second paying 30 bucks a month if it meant I could access “any” spurs game irrespective of competition on any of my media devices.

    I’m not sure that the premier league clubs even realize the potential market out here or even how the current market is being treated. Lets face it, the Premier league as a product is all over the place.

    Inconsistent quality of delivery HD here but not there, live here but not there, glitchy playback online here but perfect there (you can all fill in the here’s and there’s you know who they are)

    The Premiership clubs need to own the experience, more along the lines of the NFL out here, not that same as the NFL but along the lines, fix how the product is delivered in the states, take note of the quality of deliverable and the experience that surrounds the broadcast.

    Just because I watch online does not mean I do not want to see player/manager interviews or pre/halftime/post game analysis, but as it stands this is inconsistent, it depends on where I watch it.

    I get espn3 for free with Comcast, their delivery is far superior to fox soccer, but espn has limited/shared rights.

    If you could access every game your club plays in any competition live on any format, tv, computer, iPad, iPhone, android etc.. how much would you pay?

    Before moving to the states back in london and not at a game, on my satellite I could change camera angles pick player cams etc… the media experience was fantastic! I know part of the issue is that sky sports owns a lot of the IP for that technology. I would like to see the Premiership Clubs get together and insist that when biding for rights these are the criteria that have to be followed to protect the brand/product.

    A Premiership network Tv station/site for the US just like the NFL network.
    This would fix so many issues–

    TV Broadcast must be in Cable and Satellite and in HD and accessible by 95% of a market.

    Online computer broadcast must be constant and also in HD and in an open source format — (HTML 5 with m4v video) with interactive options for angles and player cams.

    All streams / broadcast’s must include pre/halftime and post game analysis and must not be Alexi Lalas.

    These are just thoughts, I’m sure everyone on here has there solution, feel free to suggest yours, maybe out of it all we can come up with the best possible package and submit to the premier league for their consideration! what is there to loose?

    • Earl Reed says:

      Here’s where I think the MLS, EPL, FIFA, and USSF need to come together and brainstorm about ways to grow this sport in the United States. This country has a huge number of people who have played soccer, through gym classes or leagues. Why is it that the sport doesn’t make its way from the park down the street to the living room?

      I think there are several factors, most of which is that the exposure given to soccer by our idiot-box pundits on ESPN is extremely small. Yes, you get two hours on Saturday morning, and maybe two hours on Monday afternoon. Unfortunately, ESPN doesn’t believe a sport exists unless the sport comes directly to them to negotiate a deal.

  23. David G says:

    One tip to save a little cash is too look into the Latino packages the various cable/dish providers offer. They usually include Fox Soccer (usually in HD unlike evil Comcast) and have all the English Channels you could ever want to watch.

  24. BA14 says:

    stupid question, where do you get your internet access if you cut cable?

    • Joe says:

      I think it’s implied that people are cutting their cable TV, not cable in general. I still pay $30 a month for Time Warner Internet.

  25. Guy says:

    Our son gave us an Apple TV box for Christmas. I was amazed at what was available. That type of technology is getting real close to a la carte viewing. No subscription, just pay for what you want to watch. Since Netflix was already 75% of our viewing with sports being the rest, I should be thinking about getting out the scissors. Unfortunately, there are some other factors such as the ESPN/ESPN3 deal with TimeWarner that give me pause, but I’m getting closer!

    Given the seismic changes in the music industry over the last ten years it would take a brave (or foolish) person to predict what TV will be like ten more years down the road. Companies like TW will claw to retain their power and since they already control most ISP networks they have us coming and going. Suffice it to say our options will continue to grow and that is a good thing.

    As someone who grew up looking at a 12″ b&w RCA TV with 3 channels in a cabinet that took up half the living room, I can’t complain…..too much.

  26. Sideways_Steve says:

    First of all – The discussion here is nothing short of the Top Shelf – Good Stuff.

    I have considered my options but perhaps not all… wondering how to play this for myself. A few things about my watching.

    -I have Time Warner Cable and I pay 120 per month for 300 channels to watch 5 of them. FSC, BBC America (TopGear), Speed (F1), Golf Channel, and FSOhio (Cincy Reds – don’t judge)
    -Though I desperately want to, I have yet to pick up FSC Plus because its even more.
    -I do not have home internet because with my phone and workplace I can do without.
    -I am not concerned with HD – its beautiful, but just being able to watch an EPL match is wonderful.
    -DVR makes it all possible. I take great pride in being an active/present husband and father so my TV watching comes second.

    I have considered dropping my extended channels and picking internet service back up to use FoxSoccer.tv and ESPN3 etc. However, from what I have experienced with ESPN3 and EPL you can’t watch games on demand. Is this the same for FoxSoccer.tv ?

    A La Carte Channels would be a dream…

    • The Gaffer says:

      Sideways Steve, the games on FoxSoccer.tv are available on demand with a choice of full game highlights and a 45-minute highlight version. Games on ESPN3.com are usually only available for a few days after they end. FoxSoccer.tv’s archives are longer, I believe.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  27. geki says:

    It’s ridiculous that Comcast still broadcasts FSC in SD.
    GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER COMCAST

  28. BA14 says:

    I am thinking about dropping Charter cable and just keeping the internet but the channels I like are BBC America (Dr. Who, Top Gear), History International, FSC, ESPN family and the SiFy channel. I would save over $1000 if I did this…grr.

  29. derrick says:

    not getting rid of cable until they provide

    1080i HD to my 50 inch plasma on demand.

    I have no interest in watching soccer when driving or in my backyard. if the internet doesn’t deliver the game in HD to my tv just like cable, with dvr capability, and a remote to pause the action i don’t need it. internet is a stop gap it’s not a viable solution unless you just don’t care about quality or language and i do. not to mention you’ll miss out on most live events, like election results, live news, etc.

    and i’m watching blackburn liverpool now on the internet and it’s attrocious. it stops for 4 seconds ever 2 seconds. it’s darn near unwatchable.

    and the reality is if networks can’t make money at it they aren’t going to offer it and if it canabalizes their business they aren’t going to offer it.

    • brn442 says:

      Derrick, I wish I was on your planet, I pay a ton to a monopoly cable compaly and they could care less about giving me anything soccer – in HD, bar ESPN – I don’t even get Fox soccer plus, I assume you don’t either, so why do are you defending the status quo. The sooner this evil empire can be destroyed, the better.

  30. Martijn says:

    We just did the same, last year we had enough of the high prices of Comcast so we decided to try Dish Network.
    After a year we found out it’s the same mess, 300 channels, only 5 we watch and been charged around 100$
    It’s just not worth the money, so last week we canceld Dish Network aswell.
    I have a dedicaded media PC next to my tv, use MediaPortal as my mediacenter and to just browse the web, all good.
    This afternoon we gonna look around for a antenna to get the free to air TV channels also..
    I do miss my Discovery and History Channels but there other ways to watch the shows i really want to see..
    Saving 1200$ a year, can do nicer things with that..

    Martijn

    • Wife says:

      Does your media PC stay on all the time? What is the name of the PC you’re using? How much did your electric bill go up when you switched to a dedicated media PC from a satellite box? I’m considering doing this, but my husband is resistant because of the ease of a remote & readily available channels. Tell us more about your setup, please. Thanks!

  31. tony the tiger says:

    I’ve been on the fence for a few months now about whether to kill
    my cable and just go with internet. I wanna thank everybody’s input
    on here its helped be to FINALLY decide that I DON’T NEED CABLE.
    With my Verizon Fios 15/5 I should be find without cable. My plan
    will be the following: Verizon internet 15mb/5 – $50/month ESPN3 -
    free zmovies (latested movies streaming) – free veetle – free
    FSC.tv – $15/month TVdevo.com – one time fee $27.

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