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FOX Soccer Acquires Europa League US TV and Internet Rights For 2012-15

europa league FOX Soccer Acquires Europa League US TV and Internet Rights For 2012 15

FOX Soccer today announced that it has acquired the TV and Internet rights in the United States for coverage of UEFA’s Europa League from 2012 to 2015. FOX Soccer will kick off its Europa League coverage beginning with the 2012-2013 season next summer.

Next season FOX Soccer plans to air 205 Europa League matches and 146 Champions League matches across multiple FOX networks such as FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus, FOXSoccer.tv and FOXSoccer2Go, the network’s new tablet platform.

“The combination of the UEFA Champions and Europa leagues provide viewers with the complete club competition experience at the highest level,” said David Nathanson, General Manager of FOX Soccer.  “The fact that all the leading European teams and players can now be seen on one destination speaks to FOX Soccer’s total commitment to showcase the world’s best.  No other TV network has an elite international soccer schedule that even comes close.”

In prior seasons, coverage of the UEFA Europa League had been shared across several TV networks including DirecTV and GolTV.

In other related news, FOX Soccer is reportedly in talks with Glasgow Rangers to discuss televising their games for the US audience, according to a report in The Scotsman newspaper.

“We are in initial discussions about developing a relationship with Fox and we feel there are exciting possibilities,” said Ali Russell, Rangers’ chief operating officer. “There is increased interest in Rangers now that Carlos Bocanegra and Alejandro Bedoya have joined us and we are looking at supplying this new demand.”

One more item of news is that the FOX Soccer iPhone app has been updated in the Apple iTunes Store. The iPhone features the new FOXSoccer2Go name as well as new FOX Soccer branding. It’s available as a free download. Note that if you want to watch live games on the iPhone, you’ll need to have a FOXSoccer.tv subscription.

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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54 Responses to FOX Soccer Acquires Europa League US TV and Internet Rights For 2012-15

  1. soonerscotty says:

    Now, if only their quality would match their ambition.

  2. NY90 says:

    Good look!

  3. Anthony says:

    I received an email from Fox Soccer Net issuing a credit for the issues they had this weekend. Decent recovery, a full recovery would be when these issues go away completely.

  4. Joe says:

    Bad news. Fox is clueless when it comes to covering European soccer. Their CL games don’t even have a scoreboard on the screen. I hope ESPN can start sublicensing some of these Euro games so we can see some decent match coverage.

    • VillaPark says:

      This has to be a good thing. So far, I have seen barely any of the Europa League games available on television, including the DirecTV channels. And doesn’t Fox work with DirecTV on game coverage anyways?

      • OT says:

        DIRECTV, Inc. is currently the U.S. rightsholder for the UEFA Europa League.

        Coverage on DIRECTV will start with the GROUP STAGE in September.

        GOLTV sublicenses 45 matches from DIRECTV, Inc. each season.

  5. Fernando says:

    If Fox is going to continue to acquire these football properties then they have to acquire top tier pundits. The ones currently at the channel are not very good and have been that way for years.

    • bradjmoore48 says:

      Fox REALLY needs good pundits if they want to make the Europa League a viable property. Europa League has a lot of Eastern and Northern European teams, and a lot of the smaller Western European leagues (Portugal, Belgium, Holland). Having said that, since Fox Soccer will get first choice of matches they will likely only televise matches involving EPL teams to keep the branding process going. In the later rounds, when EPL teams drop out to focus on their league, expect lots of “Them Portugeuse, mate…” and nothing else substantial.

      La Liga, Serie A and Bundesliga US TV rights end after this season, Fox may swoop in for 1 or 2 more properties to round out its European coverage.

      Sadly, I think this also is starting to spell doom for GolTV.

      • OT says:

        Univision Deportes Network is a bigger worry for GOLTV than FOX.

        Why?

        Univision Deportes Network currently has ZERO live event programming on weekends prior to 6pm Eastern Time.

        Don’t be surprised if Univision were to bid on the U.S. rights to La LIga.

        The only live events on GOLTV that can draw more than 150,000 viewers are the Barcelona-Real Madrid clasicos.

    • OT says:

      NewsCorp has always used locally-based pundits on its networks around the world.

      For example: ESPN STAR Sports in Asia (which is managed by NewsCorp) uses English-speaking pundits in the studio who are based in Singapore or across the border in Malaysia.

      One would expect FOX Soccer to keep using Los Angeles-based pundits.

  6. john says:

    Does that mean that games that aren’t picked up by FOX won’t be on the Direct TV UEFA channels anymore?

    • bradjmoore48 says:

      For the Champions League, matches that aren’t picked up by the Fox networks still get played on DirecTV UEFA channels, so I would guess it would be the same for Europa League. Only difference is that the top matches for Europa League would now be on Fox, and DirecTV gets the leftovers.

      • OT says:

        There are 24 matches on Match Thursdays during Match Days 1-4 of the Group Stage, with 12 matches in each time slot (1pm ET and 3pm ET, or 2pm ET and 4pm ET.)

        FOX Soccer will have the 1st pick

        FOX Soccer Plus will have the 2nd pick

        One would assume that FOX Deportes will either simulcast one of the games (on FOX Soccer or FOX Soccer Plus) or will select a 3rd match.

        DIRECTV is capable of taking up to 8 matches per time slot.

        That means 1 or 2 matches will be Internet only (FOXsoccer.tv pay subscription, uefa.com pay-per-view.)

  7. Chris says:

    horrible news

  8. Guy says:

    I know folks love to dump on Fox (done so myself), but at least they are committed to bringing us as much soccer as they possibly can. This acquisition just proves the point. Exactly where would we be without them? ESPN has too many other fish to fry and will never be the soccer factor in the U.S. that we would like. I’m not looking this gift horse in the mouth.

    Now about those pundits……. ;-)

    • OT says:

      FOX saved itself $8 million/year by walking away from MLS.

      Some of the $8 million/year has found its way to the coffers of UEFA.

      FOX basically traded MLS (which was nothing more than a ticket to bid for U.S. rights to FIFA World Cups) for the UEFA Europa League (a cheaper product with comparably lousy viewership.)

      One would expect FOX to keep Serie A if the rights remain relatively cheap (certainly cheaper than La Liga.) Serie A is filler on FOX Soccer and FOX Soccer Plus.

      FOX has no room for the Bundesliga because English Premier League and English Football League Championship have taken all the shelf space on FOX Soccer and FOX Soccer Plus.

      La Liga is the big one. GOLTV absolutely needs it. One can argue that Univision Deportes Network would also be a possibility.

  9. edgar says:

    Why can’t Espn show la liga matches aka only Real Madrid and Barcelona matches. What does Espn show at 12-4pm eastern on weekends that would outdraw la liga matches? Ok college football but after December there is nothing espn shows that would outdraw Real Madrid or Barcelona. Goltv gets good numbers for those matches and basically no one even gets that channel or if they do its located in the far reaches of the channel numbers. Like many are saying if Goltv does loose la liga then they are in a world of hurt unless Espn buys them out and turns it into ESPN Soccer Channel.

    • bradjmoore48 says:

      “What does Espn show at 12-4pm eastern on weekends that would outdraw la liga matches? Ok college football but after December there is nothing espn shows that would outdraw Real Madrid or Barcelona.”

      Umm, College basketball does. Pretty easily too.

      • Yespage says:

        While I share the zeal for soccer, generally anything can beat it in ratings. One of the reasons why you have to pay a healthy sum of money to watch the Rugby World Cup this year, on TV, even the US team would draw less than the America’s Cup…. okay, maybe not that low.

    • Guy says:

      Last year ESPN aired 1200 NCAA men’s basketball games across multiple platforms. They are regionally geared much like their NCAA football coverage. There is no soccer league or match that can even begin to compete with the revenue college hoops brings in to ESPN.

  10. DMC says:

    Starting next season, Fox and ESPN will share the rights of the Champions League and Europa league in Latin America. I hope they do the same for the US.

    Fox already secure the rigths of Serie A for the next 3 years.

    • OT says:

      FOX and ESPN are sharing pay-TV rights in Spanish-speaking Latin America because:

      1. Free-to-air networks such as Televisa (Mexico), TV Azteca (Mexico), and Meridiano (Venezuela) have free-to-air rights, and

      2. In order to offer 4 different matches live, FOX and ESPN have to team up in Spanish-speaking Latin America: one match live each on FOX Sports, FOX Sports+, ESPN, and ESPN DOS/ESPN+.

      FOX does NOT have to share UEFA club soccer with anyone other than DIRECTV in the U.S. because1) FOX is able to air 4 different matches live all by itself, and 2) FOX has exclusive rights in all languages across all distribution methods including free and pay TV.

      FOX Soccer
      FOX Sports Net
      FOX Soccer Plus
      FOX Deportes

  11. Scrumper says:

    Who wants to watch the Europa League?? and as for Glasgow Rangers….may as well televise the Albanian league.

  12. OT says:

    Even bigger news:

    Sunday February 5, 2012

    10:30am ET pre-game, 11am ET kickoff – Chelsea vs Manchester United – FOX network (free-to-air broadcast)

    Not FOX Soccer, not FOX Sports Net, not FX, but the FOX broadcast network

  13. Jose says:

    I’m glad to hear this. I’ve been hoping someone other than GolTV would get the Europa league matches.

    I hope that Old Firm matches will be included with the Rangers deal.

    Hopefully they’ll also make a deal with Celtic.

  14. OT says:

    Rangers FC does not control live U.S. TV rights to its matches. Rangers FC can only sell live internet rights and tape-delayed TV rights (via Rangers TV.)

    One suspects that Rangers FC is trying to sell its Rangers TV tape-delayed package to FOX Soccer.

    (Rangers TV cannot be aired prior to 7pm ET on Sunday.)

    FOX Soccer does have Monday evenings available.

  15. richardfromnyc says:

    Arsenal fans should be happy with this news – but only if they can qualify =)

  16. Roger says:

    now if only they put score graphics on the live streams…

  17. Neal says:

    Dear Mr. The Gaffer,

    Thank you for posting news that I might otherwise wait until 2012 to hear, but I thought you were ceasing your endorsement and promotion of Foxsoccer.tv per your “Foxsoccer.tv Sucks” post.

    Cordially,
    Neal

    PS. Good for American fans of The Pope’s O’Rangers, now if only they can obtain rights to The Queen’s Celtic.
    PPS. I saw that Foxsoccer.tv extended this sucker’s annual subscription by a month. Are monthly subscribers compensated equally?

    • The Gaffer says:

      Neal, I still have a duty to report the news to my readers, so I’m not going to boycott FOX Soccer or not report about developments. I said I wouldn’t endorse the product if I have concerns about the technical side.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  18. OT says:

    Mark this on your calendar:

    Sunday February 5, 2012

    10:30am ET pre-game, 11am ET kickoff – Chelsea vs Manchester United – FOX Network (free-to-air broadcast)

    NOT FOX Soccer, NOT FOX Sports Net, NOT FX, but the big FOX.

  19. Aeris Gainsborough says:

    I am glad/not glad that Fox Soccer is picking up the Europa League. Glad that Dish Network will get to finally see Europa League, but not glad it’s on a Rupert Murdoch channel.

    GOLtv sucks, due to their bad negotiations with Dish Network, so I am so glad to see this happen, but on a Rupert Murdoch network, and since Fox Soccer owns a lot of the football rights…

    • Nathan says:

      @ Aeris Gainsborough
      I take it you’re huge FFVII fan?

      You can’t blame GOLTV for not being on Dish network they have to
      Look out for their own interests. If anything blame Dish network for being cheap & their lack of commitment towards Football coverage, I dumped them about 2 years ago for DirecTv & I couldn’t be happier, the amount of games available on any given week during the season is simply overwhelming.
      The many free Champions League games provided by Directv & in HD is big plus, you can get GolTv HD too. Watching Barcelona week-in-week-out in HD whether its La Liga or Champions League is simply breathtaking!

  20. david, say it like da-veed says:

    Looks like ESPN has signed on Todd Grisham. IF you don;t know he used to work for WWE wrestling and used to work on Fox Soccer. Good news for us fans of soccer because now when they show highlights on Sportscenter hosts like Grisham who are actually soccer fans won’t treat it like a low class sport and might actually get people not familiar with the sport interested in it.

    • OT says:

      ESPN, Inc. appears to be signing cheap talent to replace veterans, especially for ESPNEWS. Brian Kenny will be gone in September.

      3 former WWE announcers will now anchor ESPNEWS: Jonathan Coachman, Max Bretos, and Todd Grisham.

      • Casey G. says:

        so sad about Brian Kenny, he’s the only one who even cares about boxing on ESPN, now they won’t have anyone decent to host friday night fights or be on Sportscenter to interview/cover big PPV Boxing fights.

  21. garcia says:

    How exactly does Goltv get to be in HD on Directv but that have more viewership are not? Even Fox deportes and Espn deportes I imgaine get more viewership and both they are in SD on Directv. I thought Directv only makes channels HD that are worth it and have high viewership. They should make FOX Soccer Plus in HD all the time while put GOLtv part time hd only when Real Madrid or Barcelona play because basically thats all that Goltv has to offer.

    • garcia says:

      *channels that have more viewership

    • OT says:

      Because GOLTV HD is cheaper for DIRECTV to carry than FOX Deportes HD ord ESPN Deportes HD.

      FOX and ESPN both want DIRECTV to pay premium fees for their Deportes HD channels. In both cases, only Time Warner Cable and Brighthouse Networks have signed on, and only because Time Warner Cable serves both New York and Los Angeles.

  22. reidscott says:

    More soccer I can watch the better! It’s all good guys. However…showing the Scottish League games..not a good idea…if people think this is the quality of footy in Europe that is being played each week…they will tune out right quick..

  23. Dent Ford says:

    Not entirely convinced this is a good thing…Much prefer ESPN’s presentation all the way around…I wish someone would light a fire at ESPN to increase their coverage

  24. Gaz Hunt says:

    It seems everyone loves to complain for little reason but Fox really has burned quite a few bridges. If ESPN (or anyone else) ever decide to up their share to close to half the league matches, Fox’s subscriptions will dwindle.

    Related, I got an email from Fox Soccer’s steaming partner today saying they were crediting all users one month of subscription for the poor quality last weekend.

    I then went on to the site to watch the Liverpool match (Carling Cup) and it just sat there buffering – they’ll owe us all a life-time subscription by the end of the season!

    The only good thing I can say is that I got an answer from a real human within 30 minutes of emailing customer service and it was up and running again within an hour or so.

  25. Matthew says:

    I for one will be pleased to hear this news. I’d rather watch it on TV than the internet. Good times.

  26. Josh says:

    Gaffer,

    Will you be updating your TV Schedule page with the Europa League fixtures that feature English teams? Of course, I can slog around on my own to find the information but, boy, it sure would be handy if you published it.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Josh, as far as I can tell, none of the games featuring Premier League teams in the Europa League will be shown on US TV for next week’s round — unless they’re on DirecTV, but DirecTV hasn’t announced their line-up. If you find out what games are being shown, please let me know and I’ll update the TV listings.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Threefeetoffun says:

        Directv Europa for 9/15/11

        1250pm

        481 PAOK vs.Tottenham Hotspur.
        483 Dynamo Kiev vs. Stoke City

        3pm EST

        481 Fulham-Twente
        482 Birmingham City vs. Braga

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