FOX to Show 9 Live Premier League Games Across Networks On Final Day Of Season

FOX Sports Media Group announced today that it will show nine of the ten Premier League matches on the final day of the season across its family of networks. The unprecedented move by FOX means that for the first time in US television history, nine of the matches are being carried live simultaneously by one family of outlets. The tenth Premier League match played that day will be shown live on ESPN2.

Led by FX, FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) networks SPEED, FSN, FUEL TV, FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Deportes, along with digital platforms and FOX Soccer 2Go, are carrying all nine matches live on Sunday, May 13 at 10:00 AM ET. Pre-match coverage begins at 9:30 AM ET on all networks with the exception of SPEED, with all outlets carrying post-match coverage of this hallmark event.

“With so much at stake, there’s nothing like the tension of the Premier League’s final Sunday, and we hope to capture every minute we can using the considerable resources available to the FOX Sports Media Group, including SPEED and FUEL TV, unconventional outlets for soccer,” said FSMG’s Eric Shanks, Co-President and COO. “Our plan is to provide cut-ins and updates from matches as often as necessary, while never taking the viewer away from the game they’re watching.”

FOX Sports Media Group’s commitment to the Barclays Premier League is underlined by airing over 300 matches per season, including 180 live matches across FOX Soccer and FOX Soccer Plus. FOX Sports also aired three encore matches on NFL Sundays last fall and two live matches last winter. Highlights, commentary and analysis from England’s top division are at the center of FOX Soccer’s primary studio shows, Match Day and Goals on Sunday. Additionally, FOX Soccer carries round-by-round Barclays Premier League preview and review shows, as well as a weekly magazine feature and Premier League Fan Zone.

FX carried two UEFA Champions League semifinal matches in 2011, and is doing the same this month. FSN, through its 20 owned-and-operated regional networks is the nation’s leading provider of local sports, producing over 5,000 live local events annually, but is no stranger to televising high-caliber soccer. It has aired a national Premier League game-of-the-week since 1998 and has aired UEFA Champions League matches on both a live and delayed basis. FSN also aired a national MLS game-of-the-week last season, Manchester United’s U.S. Summer Tour in 2003 and 2004, WPS matches nationally, a variety of college matches and ancillary programming. Finally, SPEED, the nation’s first and only cable television network dedicated to automotive and motorcycle racing, performance and lifestyle, and FUEL TV, FSMG’s dynamic sports network for men, offers soccer as a programming stunt for the first time.

Survival Sunday has serious implications for the teams involved. The centerpiece of this event is the relegation battle. While there can only be one league champion, the remaining 19 clubs jockey for position to determine qualification for European tournament play and Premiership survival. Wins and losses on May 13 carry heavy consequences, and a single point can be the difference between prosperity and financial ruin.

Survival Sunday matchups are listed below. Specific networks and digital platforms will be determined at a later date. ESPN will select one match from the schedule. All games begin at 10:00 AM ET.

Premier League matches on May 13, 2012:

  • Chelsea v Blackburn Rovers TBA
  • Everton v Newcastle United TBA
  • Manchester City v Queens Park Rangers TBA
  • Sunderland v Manchester United TBA
  • Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham TBA
  • Norwich City v Aston Villa TBA
  • West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal TBA
  • Wigan Athletic v Wolverhampton Wanderers TBA
  • Stoke City v Bolton Wanderers TBA
  • Swansea City v Liverpool TBA

In addition to a full slate of matches on FOX Sports Media Group’s networks, fans can also view and follow real-time scorelines on, as well as FOX Soccer 2Go, FOX Soccer’s subscription-based digital platform available online and via mobile and tablet applications.

This is an incredible move to raise the awareness of the Premier League to soccer fans in the United States. The exposure the league will get with games being played at the same time across several networks is phenomenal. FOX Sports is going “all in” with its focus on the English Premier League.

Of course, I’m sure the FOX executives (and many viewers) will be hoping that the Premier League title race, race for Champions League places and relegation battle will go down to the final day of the season.

The only concern I have, based on what has happened in previous seasons, is that it’s imperative that all of the games across the different networks (including ESPN) kick off at the same exact time on television. In previous years, FOX has shown games on a slight delay, which messed up the final day experience for many soccer fans. The final day of the season is the only time that IMG/TWI commentators – on the world feed — will reveal the latest scores from the other games, so it’s incredibly important for the games to be synced up when shown live on US television otherwise commentators will be providing spoilers, and will ruin the experience.

What’s your opinion about the move by FOX? Does your TV provider offer all of the networks where the games will be shown? Which matches will you like to see on which channel?

46 thoughts on “FOX to Show 9 Live Premier League Games Across Networks On Final Day Of Season”

  1. Doesn’t half annoy me when I see things like this! Rest of the world have blanket coverage and here in the UK, Sky have left themselves with 2 picks for the final day and they’ve not been decided yet until it’s clear where the title/relegation battle is hottest. UK 2… Rest of the world 10… They wonder why we resort to live streams by ‘other means’!

    1. Funny you say that. Last week, while I was watching Man Utd v Wigan my soccer mad, Man Utd seasons ticket holding parents called me for a chat. I couldn’t understand it until I learned that the game was not on in the UK. They live about 20 miles from the ground and I was giving them a running commentary from California.

      1. They limit the amount of live TV games here for a decent enough reason in the grand scheme of things but I still think they can juggle it around a bit better than what they do. We get 138 live games out of a possible 380. They could at least raise it to 200 (which I believe they’re considering at the moment for the 2013-16 rights). At least that way, with 200 games, we’d be able to see virtually all midweeks, bank holidays, end of season etc live on TV like the rest of the world.

        1. Why doesn’t Sky at least have something like NFL Sunday Ticket? Why doesn’t Sky and the Premier League allow clubs to sell local TV rights (even if there’s no such thing as “local TV” in the UK)?

          1. Sky would offer something similar to the season tickets (Sunday Ticket etc) if they were allowed to show all games live but as it stands, they can only show the 115 games the league sells to them, with the remaining 23 games being owned by ESPN. They’ve already got the technical capability to show up to 8 matches live as part of ‘match choice’ by pressing the red button… it’s just the actual football content that’s lacking.
            The UK isn’t big enough for local coverage. We couldn’t even have the blackout system where games won’t be shown live if they’re not sold out etc, it’s just not a big enough country. 138 games we get currently is a huge advance from the 60 live games we got when the league started in 1992 so at least we’ve moved (ever so slightly) forward 😉

  2. It’s funny they decide to do this now because there’s a reasonable chance that almost none of these games will mean anything.

    This is the best place to post my other complaint. I can’t stand how FSC randomly switches games to other channels. I missed the first 15mins of the Chelsea v Barcelona game while I searched for it. Had I not been watching it live I would have missed it altogether because my “Auto Record Champions League on FSC” thing would not have caught it. Once I found it was not on FSC I simply couldn’t find it, eventually finding it from a search on Twitter.

    I’m sure this was advertised but, guess what, I don’t watch ads, I record most games in such a way that I can skip the before, after and half time stuff.

    Why could it not have been simulcast or clearly marked somehow.

    We have FSC on various channels at work, I was not at work but I hear a group of about 30 people assembled, casual fans, to watch the game and ended up disbanding since no one knew what channel it was on.

      1. Thx. I wasn’t actually aware of that page :)

        On the other hand I’m not sure it would have crossed my mind to look, I need to be TOLD about a change.

        So if EPL Talk could please post me a personal message every time a major game has a schedule change I would greatly appreciate it :)

    1. Doesn’t/Shouldn’t FSC be advertising this sort of thing on the broadcasts themselves? Like run something at the bottom of the screen saying “CHELSEA-BARCELONA ON FX” with a big FX logo?

  3. Hoping that Fox goes even deeper in on this by making FSP and FoxSoccer2Go a freeview for May 13. In any case this is a great development. Since Fox is committing so many broadcast resources to this, I would assume it will be heavily promoted, which also helps.

  4. Tony – just so you know, next week’s 2nd legs will be the same – Tuesday (Barça v Chelsea) on FSC and Wednesday (RM v Bayern M) on FX.

      1. We posted a couple of announcements on our Twitter and Facebook pages earlier this week as a reminder, as well as mentioned it in one or two of our posts on EPL Talk.

        The Gaffer

  5. Well, that’s handy.

    Survival Sunday also happens to be Mother’s Day, so I was looking at facing the prospects of only having access to ESPN while visiting mum. So this will at least give me FX and FSN with that, maybe Speed…

    While I’m sure things will continue to narrow or change, right now I think you can say that Norwich/Villa, WBA/Arsenal, and Swansea/Liverpool are unlikely to have much of an impact on the race for 1st, 4th, or 17th.

  6. This is the kind of thing I used to dream of as a budding Arsenal supporter back in 1997. For the first few years, I used get up at 6am on Saturday mornings to drive 2 hours to NYC to pay a $15 cover charge just to get into the pub to watch the match on satellite. And even then, Arsenal were shown about twice a month. For a brief time, ESPN showed a Monday match. I used to use ESPN Soccernet’s Matchtracker and follow the matches through the running commentary and then have to buy 1 or 2-day old English newspapers for $5-8 and magazines like World Soccer, Shoot!, and FourFourTwo for $10 each just to be able to read about the PL. Later, our cable company offered a season package of Sunday matches for almost $200.

    I used to dream about being able to watch numerous matches each weekend and having access to the English press. But the thing is that back then it took real effort and commitment to support Arsenal through which I believe I developed a much stronger bond with the club because of it.

    1. Great job Arsenal Station. Because of people like you we have the extensive tv coverage we do today. Keep the interest up.

      It’s seems to me that this is good news for more extensive network coverage for the 2012-13 season? Anyone hear anything about a bigger live schedule on Fox?

  7. I remember 1993 when I first moved here. The way I found out the football results was the weekly paper that came out on Wednesday, so that gave me all the weekend results and the results from the weekday games the week before.

    I have a huge gap in my memories of footy between around 1993-1995 when the internet really started to get going.

  8. What good it this?? How in the …. am I supposed to watch 10 live game simultaneously even if I had enough TV’s and PC’s. 😆 This looks like a great opportunity for DirecTV to step in with one of their special mosaic channels like they do with the tennis grand slams, golf majors and the season NHL, NBA and MLB packages.

    It won’t happen, but what a thought…I wish I had one of the new DirecTV DVR’s that allows you to record 5 programs at once and has PIP. (Maybe DirecTV will give me a discount for the plug!!!)

    This is a great problem to have. I just hope that there are meaningful games at the bottom of the table and that they are the ones readily available. I hope Fox doesn’t put the most important games on FS+ and FoxSoccer2Go in order to build their subscriber base. They haven’t in the past, so I hope the resist the temptation.

    I love the relegation fights…I think they are among the most interesting, for the neutral, events in sports. I’d have an ulcer if I had grown up with a team that was in the relegation zone on the last day.

    THANKS FOX ❗ ❗ ❗

    1. I doubt the most important games will be relegated to digital, or even FS+ or Fuel. However, FSC might get more important games than outlets with wider distribution, namely Speed and FSN.

  9. As tightly bunched as the 9th-14th placed teams are, the last match of the season could be worth a difference of about £4 million in merit payment. The players themselves may not care much about it, but the clubs surely will.

    1. I’ve never understood this “players won’t care” thing. I have never heard of any player at anything beyond the lowest level playing at anything other than their highest level. That’s why you get red cards, and fights etc. etc. in what otherwise appear to be meaningless games.

      1. Tony…..I said the players may not care much about the amount of money the club receives in merit payment. I neither said nor implied anything about the level of effort they would give in any match.

  10. I wonder if this is FOX testing out the idea of having FOX Sports 1-4? Also why are they differeing and Foxsoccer2Go? I thought they moved all the digital viewing from to Foxsoccer2Go.

    1. It’s not clear re: FOX Soccer 2Go vs, but I think it’ll mean probably 2 games on FS2Go, while will have the matchtracker with textual updates on scores.

      The Gaffer

      1. Correction. I’ve clarified with FOX Soccer that one of the 9 live games will be shown on FOXSoccer2Go, meanwhile, will have a minimum of one game.

        The Gaffer

  11. I just posted the following to one of the main DirecTV blog sites (DBS Talk)…probably will do no good, but stranger things have been known to happen. As my school teacher wife is fond of saying to kids that say they can’t do something…”Can’t never tried…” (I never understood it either…:-D):

    Probably not the right spot…but…I am anticipating (dreaming for) that on Sunday, May 13, D* uses the channels set aside for the UEFA soccer broadcasts to set up a mosaic channel for the Fox network coverage of the final day of the English Premier League. There will be nine games broadcast simultaneously over the Fox network (plus internet site) and an additional game on ESPN2. This is one of the most compelling days in English soccer as it determines the fates of teams for the next season. There are millions of dollars at stake for the clubs and bragging rights for its fans.

    Please DirecTV set up the feeds similar to the special golf major/tennis grand slams/MLB/NBA, etc.

    Thanks everyone for your indulgence…Hopefully, someone (Sat Racer????) will think this a good idea and make it happen, or at least send me an HR24 so that I can record more games.

  12. depending on how certain results go over the next few weeks all but 1 of these matches could have potential Championship, Champions League, Europa League or Relegation battles.

    love it!

    1. But it promises to be a real fast game, with many yellow lights, opps cards, and maybe a fight on the backstretch will pique interest for future years, such as the most famous incident in NASCAR history which really helped bring it into the main stream…Red necks…Red cards…what’s the difference? No one likes either one of them (OK, bring it on 😀 )

    2. Well, I’m not sure what the F1 schedule is, but if there is a race it will end about a half-hour before the match and I bet the overlap between F1 viewers and EPL viewers is substantial.

      1. Spanish Grand Prix (Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona) starts at 7:30 AM EST on May 13.

        I, for one, will be skipping the post-race interviews for the pre-game show on one of the other channels.

  13. And why aren’t they airing one of the games live on Fox? Is it because “they aren’t giving stations enough time to adjust” away from their supremely lucrative infomercial time?

    1. It’s probably because if a game is on FOX, there’s no guarantee that local FOX affiliates will show it with it being a Sunday morning, competing against church programming and Sunday morning news programs. With the cable networks like SPEED and FUEL, etc, they can guarantee that the show will air nationwide.

      The Gaffer

  14. This is a fantastic development……..even the mighty NFL has never had this kind of blanket national coverage for regular season games

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