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Fox Soccer Channel Morphs Into FOX Soccer

Keen observers will have noticed a small but pivotal change by Fox Soccer Channel in recent months. They’ve been using the name FOX Soccer instead of Fox Soccer Channel.

On the sets they’ve used for the 2011 Champions League Final and Soccer Night In America, as well as the press releases they’ve distributed to media, Fox Soccer Channel has been referring to themselves as FOX Soccer. To some, this may seem like a miniscule change, but I believe it’s an important step forward and the right decision at the right time.

According to a Fox Soccer Channel spokesperson, the network is expected to reveal their new logo and branding this June. It’ll be quite a change for many of us because the current FSC branding is burned on to our retinas. I mean, can you even remember what the Fox Soccer Channel logo looked like before the current one? Or how about the Fox Sports World one (the name the channel used before they became FSC)?

A lot has changed in those years. More recently, Fox has matured. There are still things that the channel does that bothers us, but they seem to be trying to improve. Their acquisition of the Champions League telecasts forced them to dramatically improve their game and to get out of the comfort zone of showing Premier League matches week-in, week-out. Their launch of “Soccer Night In America” on Friday nights has been a positive step forward to improve the way they televise Major League Soccer games.

Instead of referring to themselves as Fox Soccer Channel, they’ll be using the “FOX Soccer” name. While it seems like a small and innocent change, it’s much more important than that. The ‘Channel’ in ‘Fox Soccer Channel’ is unnecessary. What TV networks use the word ‘Channel’ in their name any more? BBC America says it all. “BBC America Channel” would sound silly.

Also, using the word “FOX” in all caps brings them closer to the “FOX” brand. They’ve always been a FOX company, but combining “FOX” with “Soccer” to form “FOX Soccer” is, and sounds, more powerful. On top of that, FOX Soccer rolls off the tongue much easier. It’ll take time for us to adapt to the new name, but it’s shorter (albeit by one word) and has more of a punch. It also encourages people to say or write the name of the network as “FOX Soccer” rather than trying to make it an acronym. While “FSC” has become a staple in this country, it doesn’t do any new sports fans any good if they don’t know what it means and don’t readily have access to Google to figure out what the acronym stands for. FOX Soccer is perfect.

One more advantage of using the name FOX Soccer is the consistency of using the name across everything the network does. FOXSoccer.com is their website. FOXSoccer.tv is their broadband channel. Twitter.com/FOXSoccer is their Twitter feed.

It makes perfect sense to me.

You can see what the new logo and branding looks like in the above promotional video to promote FOX’s Soccer Night In America.

What do you think about the name change? Share your opinions in the comments section below.

This entry was posted in General, Leagues: EPL. Bookmark the permalink.

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 →

24 Responses to Fox Soccer Channel Morphs Into FOX Soccer

  1. kevin says:

    i just wish they would bring back Fox Football Fone In, or something similar…

    • BradMc says:

      I totally agree about FFF. As a somewhat newer fan of the game, that two hours every week was my only chance to get some real in-depth knowledge about the current state of soccer, and to learn some of its history. And it would be nice if it ran the entire year. I don’t really want to hate on the podcasts, but they’re all pretty bad and I don’t find any of them listenable at all. We have no top-notch in-depth regular anlysis and opinion shows!

  2. trickybrkn says:

    Now that I have FS in HD, I only have one issue. That is the low rent production for their internal shows. Fox Soccer Report is still in SD, and looks so low rent, that my local high school on public access has better production value. I miss what they did a few years back during the summer, when they aired Sky News. Granted this was not football related, but was nice to have a live feed of UK news (even if it was SKY). Was great to have football contextualized with other news.

    They do seem to be trying harder, lets see how it pans out.

    • brn442 says:

      They still usually air Sky News @ 12pm and 2am ET

      • MUFC77 says:

        Yeah but the 7pm broadcast was great for getting home from work and relaxing with a cold beer while catching up on the daily football news.

      • oliver says:

        Thats Sky Sports News isn’t it? I think trickybrkn is referring to the Sky News (regular news plus sport)

        • trickybrkn says:

          They used to have news from SKY. So at 7 when I got home and ate, you’d have the midnight news round up.

          Or two world cups ago when ABC ruined the WC with banality, FS ran a German feed. Which was great cause German commentary is basically silent.

          Now they run cut up games from November, which is so hit or miss… and the FA Cup blooper shows I could do without. They have me looking when I get bored and flip, but outside of match play I rarely stick around.

          and I know people don’t talk US soccer here, but JP Dellacamera was just awful… and I watch him week in and out doing Union games where he is very very good. But they never really called out Donovan for his antics nor his poor play. Nor gave us any inkling as to why he was playing so poorly… was he still ‘sick’ or what. Compare that to ESPN.. night and day.

  3. Sam says:

    I agree. The production values of Fox Soccer programming are staggeringly awful. Public Access TV has better quality than Fox Soccer. Until Fox puts some money into the network, we will continue seeing abysmal programming and lock TV news gone wrong quality.

    Honestly, their shows look like they are taped in my basement. And when they run highlights of other games, the picture is so blurry that streaming video would be a step UP.

    • Earl Reed says:

      Not to fight FOX Soccer’s battles for them, but I would imagine that purchasing the rights for the Premier League, Serie A, Champions League, and MLS eat up a lot of their budget. I think high quality content is important, but I’d rather have 3-4 Premier League matches a week with a modest studio (that is improving, mind you)…than 1 match and a beautiful set and high-priced studio analysts.

      One thing to remember: I’d imagine that, as more cable outfits roll this into their programming, the numbers will increase, ad revenues will improve, and thus there will be more money to spend on the bells and whistles. Our mission should be to help spread the word in America about soccer, as well as the network. Attend matches, especially if you’re in an area that only has a D2 or D3 team. Go support your local team, and spread the word. You get people hooked on that level, then they flip through their guide and see, “FOX Soccer,” maybe they check it out. If we are going to complain about the set and production for FSC being substandard, and that they need to spend money to improve it, well maybe we need to say to ourselves, “We need to spend money on tickets to do our part to grow this sport in America.”

      • trickybrkn says:

        Ok so they fork out a ton of cash for matches… bought out Setanta for FS+ and then sold off rights to ESPN. So maybe there is a lack of revenue…

        But your plan of spreading the world at a community level doesn’t work if there is only content worth watching during live match play. Production value isn’t really costly. Why reality TV and news has taken over tv. Its cheap. Something like football fone was excellent because it engaged viewers. FS report is just awful. They mis pronounce team names, grounds and players. Its trying to be ESPN, but by persons who are not fans. FS has tried to be more organic with fans, doing shows from London, sending field reporters out etc. But they need to air that stuff, not FA Cup Bloopers. I’d love to see the the guys who do the podcast here do a show… Would be super cheap, hand held, rough edits, and just conversation on Skype and viewers calling in… Do other shows profiling US fans, fan grounds, the experience of watching in Portland OR v New York City…. And don’t just do the big clubs. Wouldn’t you love a story about a that Bolton fan who sets up a projection screen in his back yard in San Diego to watch Bolton play the noon game v Man U… at 5am.

        I’m just a guy writing off the top of my head… they need to be a TON more creative… money is only a small part of production value. Creativity is the biggest part.

  4. JW says:

    So this means I should wait another year for “Fox Soccer” to show up in HD on my Comcast instead of looking for “Fox Soccer Channel?”

  5. Fee says:

    Hopefully this means an over haul of everything in time for the Premier League season. The presentation always felt so paper thin and that’s nothing to do with budget, it has more to do with passion and skill. Their stuff always looked thrown together by an intern who would rather lick Peyton Manning’s jock strap than give a crap about proper football.
    I can imagine that to the casual (sportscenter) observer switching from ESPN to FSC would immediately make them want to switch back. But with a renewed look and feel maybe they can hold the attention of US sports fans and show that this is a serious sport and yes you should be watching it!

  6. Redzilla_LFC says:

    “What TV networks use the word ‘Channel’ in their name any more? ”

    My cable provider offers the following channels that do just that.

    Discovery Channel
    Family Channel
    Golf Channel HD
    iChannel
    Independent Film Channel
    Speed Channel
    Super Channel
    Super Channel HD 1
    Super Channel HD 2
    The Fillipino Channel
    The Accessibility Channel
    The Shopping Channel
    The Learning Channel
    Star Channel
    Sundance Channel

    Changing the name is not ‘morphing’, changing the name is just ‘shooing the flies’. “You can shoo the flies from a pile of sh*t, but you’re still left with a pile of sh*t.”

    And anyway it’s still owned by Murdoch. All the reason you need not to watch it. #dontbuythesun

  7. bayou says:

    I miss Fox Soccer World. They showed cricket and darts when they weren’t showing football.

  8. Tayo says:

    They can change their name all they want, they can even call it SKY SPORTS if they want but one thing I know is they will ALWAYS be crap! Warren Barton and the other guys are a bunch of clowns, ‘beautiful game in HD’ oh pls 70% of people are not watching it in HD, o i guess we will blame their cable company. How about during match days, they go on commercial break and show us kickoff after almost about 2-3 mins of the game starting. I am looking forward to the day ESPN will get full rights to the EPL. Fox Soccers champions league coverage is not bad, and well don’t really care about the italian league..

    • MUFC77 says:

      Fox soccer CL coverage is crap, its commercials every 90 seconds up until the game starts and in studio personalities are not much better. The thing that really pi$$es me off though is them showing the EPL teams on taped delay. Instead of showing Utd/Chelsea/Arsenal games live at 2:45pm they started showing the smaller European teams matches live and putting on a replay of the big English clubs at five or sometimes seven o’clock at night. Most Die hard fans are not going to wait around until 7pm to find out the score of the games and they certainly are not going to watch Lyon v Rangers at 2pm on a work day.
      For a network that’s main source of football being from the EPL it doesn’t make sense to me. It doesn’t happen every time but its becoming more and more frequent .

      At least with ESPN you had guaranteed live coverage of whichever EPL teams where playing that day.

  9. Matt says:

    They still have a long way to go before they truly win me over…

    First and foremost: FS+ and fox soccer tv (both online and the mobile app) must come in one package. I really don’t understand why this is so difficult to comprehend. If you are paying $15 a month for a service, you deserve to be offered all available options. Even the NFL and MLB (in their infinite greed) understand this.

    The .tv service also needs to include the live matches on FSC. I never understood this either.

  10. Jleau says:

    I’m not sure how changing the name matters but I would agree that Fox is slowly getting better. ESPN broadcasting the Prem is pushing Fox forward mode than anything. I also think that we should remember what a feat I is just to have access to all the games. Out here on the west coast the EPL is a foreign product 5 time zones away. I’m amazed I get to watch at all.

    One thing I would like is for foxsoccer.tv to be included with a subscription to Fox Soccer Plus. They already get my $15 a month, I should get access to Ligue 1 without ponyin up additional cash.

  11. jay says:

    I’m close to dropping FSC for the summer. Already dropped FS+ until the new season starts. Didn’t FSC used to offer much more during the summer than Gold Cup and a handful of MLS matches? The only thing I’m hanging onto FSC right now for is Sky Sports News to keep up with the transfer news. Did they sell off more rights to ESPN?

    It seems ESPN3 have most of the international friendlies and EURO 2012 matches lately. For the next month, ESPN3 also has UEFA U21, FIFA U-17 World Cup, and some MLS. That’s a much more impressive summer schedule than FSC.

  12. Branding is always about syllables. The less amount, the better. Its why Microsoft chose Bing, one less syllable than Google. Fox Soccer sounds better because its shorter and to the point.

  13. Gaz Hunt says:

    I’m guessing a lot of you weren’t around or don’t remember what was shown in the States before Fox Soccer Channel.

    Next to nothing. Maybe a few Mexican league games, a Manchester United replay from two years ago, a goal highlight reel, etc.

    Sure, the production value of the studio is bad and a lot of us would prefer better commentary – but the matches available! You do all realize that we are spoiled with matches (especially those with English clubs) in this country due to Fox Soccer Channel, right?

    Often times, we are getting access to more games than those in the UK (my cousin in London included) for much less money.

    Perspective, people. :)

    This is all speculation on my part, but, as Earl pointed out, it’s probably a question of budget. Either you can have lots of games with sub-par studio work or just a few games and better studio work. Are you all eager to watch people talk about football or see lots of clubs play football? The studio work will get better but they’ll need to get back some of their investments by increasing viewership.

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