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Soccer Fan Stands Up Against Comcast In Quest to Get Fox Soccer Channel in HD

It’s been 17 months since DISH Network launched Fox Soccer Channel in HD. During that span of time, several other satellite and cable providers have added the HD channel. But for the vast majority of Comcast customers, we’re still waiting. And now according to a Comcast executive customer relations representative, the channel is not going to launch this year. At least in the Bay Area of the United States.

“I can pretty much tell you that [Fox Soccer Channel in HD] is not going to launch this year,” says the Comcast representative in the above recording of an audio call that one soccer fan named 81FanVilla had with the cable company recently. Note, that while it’s not likely that Comcast will launch FSCHD in the Bay Area this year, each Comcast region works separately, so it’s possible that other parts of the country will get it sooner.

The call may sound familiar to some readers who have contacted the cable network only to hear the same excuses. But you’ll hear during this call that the soccer fan addresses the excuses and dismisses them with strong arguments. The customer service rep replies “I know, I know” and then passes the buck by saying she’ll communicate the request to Comcast’s marketing department.

Ah, marketing… seemingly the last bastion to conquer before Comcast customers — myself included — can get Fox Soccer Channel in HD. Despite large numbers of soccer fans nationwide who have left Comcast in the past 17 months to go to satellite so they can watch Fox Soccer Channel in HD (and Fox Soccer Plus), it seems that Comcast is still not listening. And with the 2011-12 Premier League season scheduled to kick off on August 13, Comcast should expect even more customers to switch from them to satellite providers. DirecTV and DISH must be loving Comcast’s incompetence.

Meanwhile, congratulations to 81FanVilla for having the fortitude to contact Comcast, to stand up against the excuses and for doing his homework.

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 →

47 Responses to Soccer Fan Stands Up Against Comcast In Quest to Get Fox Soccer Channel in HD

  1. Matt says:

    I am in a comcast network without it too (twin cities) and I am renting a house with three roommates for a year. We decided to get DIRECTV, even though we would have to terminate the contract and pay a lump sum at the end. Its a worthwhile cost for the outstanding product they have.

    Comcast, you should really get your act together. I wish Time warner could take you over in this market. My family’s place in Milwaukee, where I am for the summer, has FSHD and FS+ as part of its standard HD sports and SD sports package, respectively. No add ons. No subscription. Its pretty awesome.

  2. maw4bc says:

    Any news on UVERSE getting FSCHD??? This is going to drive me nuts if I have to watch this campaign in standard definition. So annoying.

    • TJ says:

      I feel your pain maw4bc. The last conversation I had with a U-Verse employee about FSC in HD was in April and I was told they were “always looking to help their customers” and they would talk to the appropriate management about the issue. I live in Indiana and haven’t heard anything about it yet. In short, I imagine it’s going to be another season of standard definition.

      I love U-Verse but this continues to be a point of frustration with no solution in sight.

  3. SoccerLimey says:

    Obviously the statistics must show Comcast that up to this point, the loss of customers does not warrant the added expense of adding FS Plus to their network. I’m not sure how that can be but then I’m not privy to their balance sheets.

    Unless there is an Arsenal fan up there holding up the change !

  4. El Jefe says:

    But U-verse has FS+ in HD for $15/mo.! *sarcasm*

  5. Mad_Andy says:

    When people switch from Comcast (or other cable companies) they need to tell the customer rep they talk to the reason they are switching and make sure that is listed as the reason.

    But seriously, best of luck getting Comcast to change anything based on customers wants. That’s not high on their list of priorities.

  6. acraft says:

    Something to remember: Comcast fought FOX for almost 3 years before agreeing to a carry the Big Ten Network (owned by FOX). Eventually, FOX won out due to intense customer demand & BTN wasn’t put into Comcast’s “Sports Premium Package”; resulting in an exorbitantly higher cost to Comcast ($.36 paid to Fox per channel recipient). Also, (forgive me if I’m wrong) but doesn’t Comcast only have 2 HD channels in its “Sports Package”…NFL Redzone HD & CBS Sports HD?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s more than a little “bad blood” between Comcast & FOX over past issues, which might be contributing to Comcast’s ridiculous delinquency in adding FSCHD.

    As for me, last season I said I’d give Comcast 1 more year & that time has come…so onward to DirecTV.

    • bradjmoore48 says:

      “Also, (forgive me if I’m wrong) but doesn’t Comcast only have 2 HD channels in its “Sports Package”…NFL Redzone HD & CBS Sports HD?”

      It, as always, depends on your market. When I first got Comcast and their sports package a year ago in Northern VA, the only HD channels from the sports pack were NFL Network and NFL RedZone. Recently we just had the Xfinity rollover (analog to digital signals through cable, opening bandwidth) so we were given NHL Network, MLB Network, ESPNU, ESPNews, BTN, Tennis Network, Golf Channel all in HD. But still no FSC or GOL or CBS College Sports.

      • DCSpurs says:

        I’m in the same boat with comcast in North VA, when they exapanded the HD channel lineup back in the spring, I erroneously got my hopes up that FSC would be included, but alas.

        An additional problem is that a lot of people face is being handcuffed by the availability or feasibility of a single provider. Technically I could switch to DirectTV, but I would also have to pay additional monthly fees to my condo association for installing the dish and they would also require that I carry extra insurance, which would leave me paying more in total than I am for Comcast now, so I’m stuck.

      • DCSpurs says:

        I’m in the same boat with comcast in North VA, when they exapanded the HD channel lineup back in the spring, I erroneously got my hopes up that FSC would be included, but alas.

        An additional problem that a lot of people face is being handcuffed by the availability or feasibility of a single provider. Technically I could switch to DirectTV, but I would also have to pay additional monthly fees to my condo association for installing the dish and they would also require that I carry extra insurance, which would leave me paying more in total than I am for Comcast now, so I’m stuck.

    • acraft says:

      Sorry Bradjmoore48, you’re correct; I just glanced @ the website before posting & at least for me, those additional HD channels you mentioned were included in the highest tiered plan, rather than the sports package. However, I forget how vastly different Comcast is in different regions.

      I always use my Monsoon Vulkano (like a Slingbox but better) to watch my TV & DVR via computer when I travel. Last season, during my trip to see EPL games, I even hooked it into my hotel TV & could watch the 3pm games via FSC on my cablebox (all the Sat. 3pm games are blacked out in England to prevent people living in the pubs all day).

  7. Che Holts says:

    I too live in the bay area, but unless I want to switch to u-vesrse, I have no other option but to use comcast (or just stream everything.) Many of us live in apartments, where your not allowed to attach dishes to the building…. so comcast has been bending me over for years, and will probably continue to do so as long as my options are so few and far between.

  8. BD says:

    Comcast drive me nuts!
    I’m with Frontier FIOS in Portland OR (who don’t give a damm about FIOS TV and a pushing their FIOS customers towards DTV). I contacted Comcast about FSC HD and after about 4 email with no straight answer I got some garbage about “no demand for HD” and “no demand for soccer” (we’re talking the NorthWest, are they serious).
    I get my install from DN on Monday (America 120 Plus)
    $42/mo for the first year (FSC HD, ESPN HD, HD DVR and a free Sling Box)
    $15 for FS+ in SD, but for 1 game a week (LOL), I can live with that.

  9. cnl. onions says:

    Ugh..going from DirecTv and then back to the other stuff is so frustrating. Damn apartment buildings!

  10. Jeff says:

    Well I can say that FSC in HD is not in every area of Philadelphia and it’s certainly not in the suburbs of Philly. Where I’m from.

    I’m done talking to Comcast about this. No matter who you talk to they will tell you something different. That is why I don’t remotely believe this audio you posted. I guarantee if you got this persons co-worker they would tell you something different.

    Anyway, it amazes me that the largest topic on the Comcast forums is about FSC in HD yet nobody at Comcast is paying attention. The thread has 332 posts, 7 pages long, and has had 5,219 views. By far the biggest thread on Comcast’s support forums.

    Absolutely ridiculous.

    What else can be done to get this through their thick heads?

    I’m giving them till August 1st and then I’m calling Verizon.

  11. Elliott says:

    These regional cable monopolies are problematic everywhere – eventually the internet will cut them to shreds, but for the next five years expect more misleading “bundle marketing campaigns” than reasonable prices & decent channels.

  12. Lou Poulain says:

    I’ve given up and am simply bitter. I need the high speed internet, and I am left with no good choices in my corner of the Bay Area. I have contacted them repeatedly, and (as someone stated above) heard something different each time.

    Comcast is a horsesh*t company.

  13. Craig says:

    Comcast are a laughing stock. So glad I don’t have them…for any services. DirecTV has a harmonious relationship with the American footballing fan. UEFA channels, FSC, FS+, Fox Deportes all in HD, Gol TV and many of the spanish language channels like Univision and TeleFutura. I can locate a football match just about any time I want and I can’t thank DirecTV enough.

  14. Tayo says:

    FIOS user over here, sorry about the issues you guys are having with Comcast (worst cable company in America if you ask me). Looking forward to watching EPL in HD on FSC and ESPN, no FS+ in HD yet on Fios, sucks..

  15. Villafan81 says:

    i’m the guy who called and made this video it, it originated from http://forums.comcast.com/t5/Channels-and-Programming/FSC-HD-Fox-Soccer-Channel/m-p/995621#M11747 ,

    I am getting Direct TV in about 2 weeks.

    • Rosa says:

      Don’t you know it’s against the law to record someone without their consent???

      California’s wiretapping law is a “two-party consent” law. California makes it a crime to record or eavesdrop on any confidential communication, including a private conversation or telephone call, without the consent of all parties to the conversation. See Cal. Penal Code § 632.

  16. bluemoon70 says:

    I have TWC in Raleigh NC. No FSC in HD either (FS+ in HD). However, we just got Gol TV in HD. Looking forward to watching Barcelona & Real Madrid matches in HD next season, as well as the Bundesliga.

  17. Slugs says:

    No FSC in HD on Comcast here in Boston. And no FSC+ at all.

  18. JW says:

    Still no FSC in HD in Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, on the sports package there lies NFL RedZone in HD, dormant for 345 days out of the year, plus 12 of the hours on Sundays when there are games. Why not throw FSC on for the rest of the time when there’s no NFL?? Same old Comcast BS.

  19. Patrick says:

    Gaffer,

    I don’t see Comcast adding either of these channels anytime soon. Not making excuses for Comcast, but I think that one of their primary focuses will be on resurrecting NBC, which has really fallen by the wayside so to speak. Personally I think that this will take years. Granted Comcast should have picked up FSC HD and FS+ well before the FCC okayed their takeover of NBC-Universal. Thank God for ESPN3, not only do they broadcast soccer matches from around Europe, but they also broadcast AFL and French Rugby. I just wish they would show more cricket and broadcast some SPL matches as well as League 1 and League 2.

    • Warren says:

      I don’t think this is an either/or situation – resurrecting NBC is an entirely different order of magnitude than adding a single HD channel. Adding FSC HD (and FS+) is a purely administrative exercise.

  20. Comcast does the same thing to me when I order the NHL Center Ice Package. They lie to me for a couple minutes over the phone as to why we can’t get the NHL package in hi-def. I point out where they are wrong and ask them when we’ll get the Center Ice package in hi-def and they have no answers.

  21. Horace says:

    How can we somehow locate which individual it is to make all these decisions regarding channel lineups, and then somehow make our voices heard??? What is the best way to make a complaint to the top guy in Comcast??? Is there anyone inside that company who handles complaints???

  22. Rosa says:

    Don’t you know it’s against the law to record someone without there consent???

    California’s wiretapping law is a “two-party consent” law. California makes it a crime to record or eavesdrop on any confidential communication, including a private conversation or telephone call, without the consent of all parties to the conversation. See Cal. Penal Code § 632.

  23. robert says:

    i’m in the CA bay area and i get FSC in HD. but you’re frightening me… i’m moving to another city in the bay next weekend… i’ll be seriously bummed if my football gets a visual downgrade.

    • Horace says:

      Robert, where in the Bay Area are you in??? Do you think you get HD for FSC because you see that “HD” logo on the top right corner of the channel?? That logo is there for the SD feed as well!

  24. robert says:

    now that you ask? i dunno. i get fsc and have an hd tv. the dif between watching in hd mode and standard is startling. crisp. now you have me doubting whether its fsc in hd or just my tv. i live in crockett on the south side of the straight across from vallejo.

    • Horace says:

      Robert you are one lucky person because apparently, you can’t tell the difference between a HD feed and a SD feed….. you are probably just watching a SD feed stretched out to 16:9 on your HDTV, and believing you are watching HD because you saw that “HD” logo on the screen…. you probably also wondered why everyone on the stretched-out screen is so fat….

  25. Franc Issac says:

    Crazy. I live West of Atlanta and what pisses me the most is that Comcast keep saying it’s coming soon but no date yet. Retweet this, lets spread the word… Follow @fsc_HD_comcast where tweets about FSC in HD stories are tweeted/followed but to be fair, I think I’m finally taking the plunge to Uverse. It’s the lies from Comcast that make me mad.

  26. Andy in Atlanta says:

    It is official… Comcast is just evil and it will be my personal mission to bankrupt them….

    Today in Atlanta… Comcast added new HD channels in the 700s where they currently have all the permiuim HD movies and sports subscription services from the World of More rollout last year.

    What they have added is astounding…

    758 Outdoor HD, 757 Wildlife HD, 756 BBC Amer HD, 755 DIY HD (do it yourself), 742 Game Show HD, 741 Cooks HD…

    Yup…. NO FSC HD even though the terms were agreed in the Spring… I flipped to the Outdoor HD for amusement and saw 2 little 9 year old girls clad in orange hunting vests that have just bagged a big old deer…. Yes certainly worrth HD bandwith over sports…

    Atlanta still has no FSC HD nor Tennis Channel HD despite being an absolute hotbed for both sports….

    I am at a loss and will enjoy sticking a pitchfork in a Comcast Atlanta programming exec in my dreams tonight….

    COMCAST… When I move you are GONE and I will make it a mission to have all my soccer and tennis friends to do the same….

  27. mannyu says:

    Astound has just added FSC HD to its lineup, channel 919!!! Might want to switch if you can.

  28. mannyu says:

    ** EDIT** Bay Area Fans, Astound has just added FSC HD to its lineup, channel 919!!! Might want to switch if you can.

  29. fastandy says:

    From my U-Verse North Bay Area supervisor:

    U-Verse to add FSC HD on August 1st, Channel # 1654, available on U200 & above.

    That’s next Monday!

  30. Diriye says:

    Short term fix for cable cutters.

    1. Pick up Googletv/Logitech Revue($99). Bonus, Honeycomb 3.1 showed up tonight @ 9:00 pm, totally Awesome Stuff.
    2. Set it up with espn3/fox soccer tv accounts
    3. If u r Bundesliga fan like me sign up individual club TVs.

    Overall trend

    By 2012-13 season some leagues will have an independent online subscription making it easier for sports fans to dish cable altogether. have read it somewhere Bundesliga will be accessible for a general subscription next season. EPL, hopefully. Youtube too is testing the waters, Copaamerica streaming. Who knows, may be Comcast isn’t that stupid after all and they could see through FSC’s business model. As long as Youtube or Leagues themselves can jump into the game, as early as next year, Fox soccer business model may be redundunt.

  31. Don says:

    Have I been living under a rock? I just noticed COMCAST has now added FSC in HD on channel 915 in Minneapolis. Woohoo..I watched today’s games and there were fantastic..about time!

  32. John says:

    Today, December 6th, 2011, Comcast in Denver, Colorado started the Fox Soccer Channel in HD on channel 692.
    At last soccer fans in Colorado can start watching beautiful soccer in HD.

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