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Fox Soccer Channel Debuts “Soccer Night In America”

Fox Soccer Channel is premiering a brand new packaged program tonight and every Friday night during the Major League Soccer season entitled “Soccer Night In America.” Why should fans of Premier League teams care? There are several reasons why. Let me explain.

First, whether you enjoy Major League Soccer or not, “Soccer Night In America” shows that Fox Soccer Channel is committed to improving its product. Judging by the above promo video, it certainly looks like Fox has raised the bar in terms of graphics and creating an engaging trailer. Whether the production value and on-screen graphics will be up to that quality throughout the game, we will have to wait and see. But the promo video definitely shows a lot of promise.

Second, it’ll be interesting to see how good Fox’s enhancements to the game are. According to their press release this week, the show will feature “Re-designed, state-of-the-art graphics” and “super slow-motion camera technology.” In more detail, Fox touts the technology by saying “The new graphics package incorporates Vizrt technology, which provides digital, real-time 3D and virtual graphic displays for a crisp, 21st Century look. Super slow-motion cameras and digital recorders added to game coverage capture action at 90 frames per second compared to the 30 frames per second of traditional slow motion, thus providing stunningly clear replays, especially in HD.” It certainly sounds intriguing.

Third, it’s quite possible that the broadcast tonight will give us an insight into how the rest of Fox Soccer Channel’s programming may be enhanced in the future, particularly the Fox Soccer Match Day and Super Sunday + programs as well as pre-match, half-time and post-match coverage of the Premier League.

Fourth, and most importantly, Fox is trying to encourage soccer fans to give Major League Soccer a try. Personally I think we owe it to Fox and Major League Soccer who bring the game to us in the United States. The least we can do is give it another chance (if you’ve not been hooked before). The first match features Portland Timbers against Philadelphia Union, two passionate teams who will be playing in front of the Timbers Army, the wild soccer fans from the northwest United States.

While Friday nights are challenging for some of us since we may be out with our friends or families after a hard week at work or school, it is an opportunity by Fox to capitalize on soccer fans during the one day of the week when there is hardly any other soccer games on television. The audience won’t be as large as a traditional Saturday or Sunday crowd, but it gives Fox an opportunity to carve out one night of the week and to encourage fans to make it a weekly habit.

Also, in exclusive news from EPL Talk, the Fox Soccer logo you see in the promo video above will be the official new logo for Fox Soccer which will debut in June, 2011.

Graphics aside, “Soccer Night In America” will feature Eric Wynalda and Christopher Sullivan teaming up in the studio, while JP Dellacamera will be doing the commentary of the game, Kyle Martino will be adding his analysis, and Brian Dunseth will provide sideline reports.

The match between Portland and Philadelphia kicks off at 10pm ET/7pm PT. If you’ve never seen Portland’s fans in action, you’re in for a treat!

What do you think of the promo, and will you be watching the match tonight?

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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 →

22 Responses to Fox Soccer Channel Debuts “Soccer Night In America”

  1. old33 says:

    “Super slow-motion cameras and digital recorders added to game coverage capture action at 90 frames per second compared to the 30 frames per second of traditional slow motion, thus providing stunningly clear replays, especially in HD.”

    Doesn’t do me much good having Comcast.

    • PaulFromMiami says:

      I know, I can’t stand Comcast. They are one of the worst ISP/Cable companies out there. ATT Uverse and Verizon dont provide service in my area.

  2. jose says:

    i think it’s great since i love m.l.s.

  3. Yeah, would be nice if more cable providers put FSC into their HD offering (like AT&T U-Verse should be.)

  4. DJ says:

    This would be a great idea on a Saturday Night. Friday night is a different matter. I want to watch FSC Report at its normal time instead of watching MLS. I hate to rip the MLS but I would rather watch Bobby McMahon and Co. discuss the upcoming European fixtures.

    • Sean says:

      I partially agree with you on this.

      I do not know if Saturday night would work but, I think this would have a greater chance for success if they picked another night to have it on.

  5. MLS Upstroke says:

    Verizon FIOS also has MLS Direct Kick. $76 for the package split over 3 billing cycles. I have it and it’s great. They broadcast EVERY MLS game unless it’s covered by ESPN/ESPN2/FSC. Verizon FIOS also has FSC in HD which is a fairly good upgrade. I beat my DVR to death on Saturdays and Sundays for all my tasty MLS matchups.

  6. jose says:

    two more things that are pending. first…espn has to have it’s own soccer only channel, competition is good for us, the fans…………why, because the t.v. contracts would be better for the mls. to keep growing we need good t.v. contracts. the counterpoint would be (no one is watching so why should we.) the more money we get the better players we can buy and that way more people will be watching mls. sounds logical.

  7. harold says:

    It’s the first rule of advertising not to over promise and then fail to deliver. It doesn’t matter how many super slo-mo cameras you have or how good the pre-match graphics are if the standard of football is poor fans used to watching European soccer leagues will switch off

    • R2Dad says:

      I think MLS management is focusing on migrating new soccer fans rather than trying to convert existing footy fanatics from other leagues, since the quality isn’t quite there yet and those fans are quite demanding. So if you don’t have to please fans who already know the game, you can take a more familiar approach, borrowed from the NFL. Let’s call it the least common denominator approach to league growth. I would like to know how MLS is approaching the Hispanic market, since serving them would be more akin to pleasing a PL/Liga/Serie A fan.

      • Ryne says:

        The problem I see with this potentially is that once you get interested in the sport, that will naturally spread to taking a worldwide view. Once this happens and you see the level of play outside of the US, it will be hard to get enthused for Championship/League One level soccer/football. I don’t think this is as true for those that live in a city with an MLS team to support, but for those of us that don’t that can’t go to see your team much easier than you can an english or spanish team, why not watch the better viewing experience?

        That said, I’m going to give MLS more of a chance this season than I did last. I want to be excited about it. I’m only three hours from Columbus, so I could see supporting them.

  8. Nick says:

    Real creative Fox. I’m sure they had no clue about NBC’s “Football Night in America.” What’s next, buying property next to 30 Rock in NYC moving the studio there?

    • Aaron says:

      In fairness, I believe ABC had a “Baseball Night in America” at some point during the 90′s.

      • Sean says:

        I am pretty sure the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Hockey Night in Canada predates both of those things.

  9. Daniel says:

    This seems like a nice improvement — if nothing else it’s always nice to see soccer taken a little more seriously in the States.

    I wish they would add MLS to I’m a big fan of that service, generally, but no MLS. Personally, I don’t have much interest in Ligue 1 but would love to be able to follow MLS better.
    I can see why they would opt for bigger leagues (Ligue 1 and Serie A) but I am much more interested in what’s happening in the Eredivisie — but I can’t find a good way to watch games — any suggestions?

    • CTBlues says:

      The MLS has its own service called MatchDay Live which is $39.99 at the start of the season then goes up to $49.99 and the quality is really good. You get all the matches minus the ones on ESPN2/TSN, FSC, and if a local MLS team has a deal with your region sports network. I believe there is free trial this weekend so check it out. (

  10. efrain says:

    I love the Super Slow Mo that the Champions League has been showing off…. I assume MLS will be the same since its all Fox anyway right?

  11. Moe says:

    its $69 for the Ipad and laptop version, and if you have a ipad you can stream it to you TV. or if you travel a lot you can watch it on either Ipad or Laptop on the GO

  12. It’s about time Fox Soccer Channel (FSC) carries MLS and what better way to do so than with Soccer Night in America. This is a major shift for soccer in the United States by providing players the opportunity to play in front of a global audience.

  13. Dakota says:

    I like it too :) I think its a great next step, especially in promoting MLS!!

  14. Rob says:

    Your opinion is right on the money. I went to a NE Revolution game with my wife on Saturday and even she commented on the large drop off between MLS and the Premier League. American Sports fans like it or not are spoiled and won’t settle for a mediocre product. With that being said for as bad as the Revolution game was I stayed up to watch the LA v NY match and that first half was as exciting as any match you’ll see anywhere. Which really only proves that this league needs more stars.

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