Just as I was really excited about the launch of FOX Soccer’s Premier League TV coverage this summer, I ended up being severely disappointed. The same can be said — if not worse — about the relaunch of, FOX’s broadband channel which promises “Watch Live Soccer Anytime, Anywhere.”

Maybe the tagline should be reworded to “Watch Live Soccer Sometimes, Not All The Time”?

First, the back story. I learned about the forthcoming relaunch of earlier this year and was genuinely excited. The features and functionality discussed sounded like a dream come true especially for this soccer fan who has had to endure companies like ITVN (whose main business was peddling porn) and the highs and lows of Setanta’s broadband product, Setanta-i, which morphed into the improved in early 2010.

A lot has changed since then. In the summer of 2010, switched their streaming partner from RayV to Perform. There were high hopes for improved performance and reliability from Perform, especially after the embarrassing mistakes that RayV/ accomplished during the 2009-10 season such as missing the first half of a game between Barcelona versus Arsenal and the catalog of errors that happened during a Manchester United against Liverpool game, to name just a couple.

However despite the optimism for the 2010-11 season, including the addition of an iPhone app, there were still isolated issues throughout the season with the service not working. So, when I heard about the new features to be launched in August 2011 as well as an iPad app, I was very excited. After finding out about the price increase from $14.99 to $19.99 per month, I questioned whether the price increase would be worth it. As I said then, “Whether the $19.99 per month fee will be worth it will be dependent on how successful the launch is in August as well as how reliable the service is for the entire season.” Reliability was key.

After reviewing the experience during the opening weekend of the 2011-12 Premier League season, I was over the moon. The features and functionality were exceptional. The video quality was superb. And, most importantly, there were no technical issues.

Sadly, though, those initial positive feelings were dashed this past weekend when encountered issues both on Saturday and Sunday.

The outages that customers experienced on Saturday and Sunday weren’t as bad as what we’ve had to endure in the past, but I’m so sick of issues cropping up over and over again. On Saturday, I was at my daughter’s AYSO game, so I wasn’t able to watch the Premier League games live on, but when I returned home, I was really disappointed to read about all of the issues that my readers were having with getting to work. The second half of the Swansea against Wigan game hadn’t finished yet, and I didn’t know the score, so I tried to log on to so I could watch the game from the beginning. That’s when I began experiencing the issues that other customers had. First, after entering my username and password, the page would hang and wouldn’t authenticate my login details. After trying this three to four times, it finally let me in. When I tried selecting the Swansea against Wigan game, nothing happened. After refreshing the page and trying again, this is the error message that was displayed on-screen:

Thankfully, I was able to finally get the game to load when I went to the homepage and clicked the ‘Watch Live’ button. The rest of the experience that day was flawless.

Then on Sunday, after looking forward to watching Norwich’s first home game of the season against Stoke City, I successfully logged in to But I was extremely disappointed when I tried to watch the game and all I got was a spinning black wheel of death. I tried reloading the page several more times, but was unable to get the game to play. I tried the iPad app, which gave me a network connection error message and then crashed, so I then resorted to the iPhone app. And heaven behold, the game worked there albeit it on a device that measures 3 inches by 4 inches in the palm of my hand.

I’ve come to a point where my patience has run out with I’ve thrown in the towel and have given up hope of them perfecting their service. One of the reasons why I was so incensed this past weekend was because these issues should never have happened. Saturday’s 10am ET kick-off only had two live Premier League games on — Swansea against Wigan, and Aston Villa against Blackburn. These are hardly two games that will cause servers to crash with massive amounts of traffic hitting the site. Meanwhile, on Sunday, I’ve lost count of how many times there seems to be issues with getting the early kick-off to work on

Simply said, I give up. I’m sick and tired of not being reliable. I won’t be championing their cause despite believing in what they’re trying to do, which is to bring the Premier League to your laptop, smart phone and tablet devices. While I believe in the theory of what they’re trying to accomplish, I’m fed up with the service. Maybe they’re trying as hard as they can to get it to work, but maybe their best isn’t good enough. At this point, I have to put it down to incompetence.

If these were isolated incidences, it would be one thing. But we, as customers, have been experiencing a whole host of problems for more than 12 months now. Enough is enough, and I’m throwing in the towel. I’m no longer going to be an affiliate partner of theirs. I won’t recommend the service any longer, and I’ll be removing the banner ads that promote their service. has turned from a must-have into a necessary evil. Despite all of the issues that the site has been experiencing for more than 17 months, the fact is that if you want to be able to watch all of the Premier League games, is a necessity in addition to FOX Soccer and ESPN2/ Based on what I’ve seen so far during the free trial, I would not recommend the service due to technical and reliability issues. And I definitely do not agree with the price increase given the poor quality of service that customers receive. Having said that, if you’re willing to be extremely patient, is a necessity if you want to ensure that you’ll be able to watch all of the live games featuring your favorite club.

Hopefully will do something to appease their customers — whether it’s extending the free trial to convince soccer fans that the service is reliable. Or offering customers a refund for the interruptions in service.

FOX Soccer has its customer between a rock and a hard place. Other than (and a few games), there are no other legal alternatives out there to watch Premier League games online in the United States, so we have to persevere and hope that does what it is necessary to improve their service. But if the last 17 months are any barometer, I don’t have much faith that they’ll get it right, which is a crying shame because they’ve obviously poured a ton of money, time and energy into making it a must-have service. Unfortunately, technology has let them down again.


  1. Kevin McCauley August 22, 2011
  2. Matt August 22, 2011
  3. Matthew Reed August 22, 2011
  4. Evan August 22, 2011
  5. P A U L August 22, 2011
  6. Scott August 22, 2011
  7. sucka99 August 22, 2011
    • mattjg August 22, 2011
    • Steve August 22, 2011
    • Joe August 22, 2011
    • sucka99 August 22, 2011
      • C Dub August 22, 2011
        • Coit Park Rangers November 7, 2011
    • Yespage August 22, 2011
  8. Anthony August 22, 2011
    • Martin August 22, 2011
      • Neil O August 22, 2011
        • Joe August 22, 2011
        • Timm August 23, 2011
  9. Jason Gatties August 22, 2011
  10. Jim August 22, 2011
  11. reidscott August 22, 2011
  12. Tagomi August 22, 2011
  13. Dave August 22, 2011
    • cnl. onions August 22, 2011
  14. Tony August 22, 2011
  15. Yespage August 22, 2011
    • Fog August 22, 2011
  16. David August 22, 2011
    • Yespage August 22, 2011
      • David August 22, 2011
    • sucka99 August 22, 2011
  17. Chet August 22, 2011
  18. Ponzi August 22, 2011
    • Guy August 22, 2011
  19. Terry August 22, 2011
    • David August 22, 2011
    • Timm August 23, 2011
  20. Jason August 22, 2011
    • MG August 22, 2011
    • trickybrkn August 22, 2011
      • Fog August 22, 2011
        • Guy August 22, 2011
          • Matt August 22, 2011
          • Fog August 22, 2011
          • Timm August 23, 2011
  21. Ty August 22, 2011
    • Guy August 22, 2011
      • Ty August 22, 2011
        • Yespage August 22, 2011
          • Guy August 22, 2011
  22. Rick August 22, 2011
  23. Rom August 22, 2011
  24. dlink09 August 22, 2011
    • Guy August 22, 2011
  25. dlink09 August 22, 2011
    • Guy August 22, 2011
  26. Maybee August 22, 2011
    • Fog August 22, 2011
  27. Yespage August 22, 2011
    • Chet August 22, 2011
      • Dave August 23, 2011
        • Yespage August 23, 2011
  28. Aaron August 22, 2011
  29. Matthew August 22, 2011
  30. BA14 August 23, 2011
  31. Mike August 23, 2011
  32. ripher August 23, 2011
  33. Rick August 24, 2011
    • Fog August 24, 2011
  34. Harry August 24, 2011
  35. AP August 24, 2011
    • Yespage August 24, 2011
  36. CHN Robert August 24, 2011
  37. foxsucks August 26, 2011
  38. Jason August 26, 2011
  39. Andy August 26, 2011
  40. Kyle August 26, 2011
    • sucka99 August 27, 2011
  41. Joel August 27, 2011
  42. AP August 27, 2011
  43. Rick August 27, 2011
  44. corey August 27, 2011
  45. Fog August 27, 2011
  46. Aious August 28, 2011
  47. Webster August 28, 2011
  48. Barry August 28, 2011
  49. Tagomi September 1, 2011
    • Harry September 7, 2011
  50. Andy Bogle September 3, 2011
  51. Fog September 6, 2011
  52. corey September 10, 2011
    • The Gaffer September 10, 2011
  53. Fog September 11, 2011
    • Fog September 11, 2011
  54. Sean September 12, 2011
    • Sean September 13, 2011
  55. Mohan Kumar September 22, 2011
  56. Daniel October 1, 2011
  57. Carla December 14, 2011
  58. M December 18, 2011
    • The Gaffer December 18, 2011
  59. Scott June 1, 2012

Leave a Reply