FOX Sports Announces US TV Plans for 2012 UEFA Champions League Coverage

We already know that the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League Final between Chelsea and Bayern Munich will be televised live on the free-to-air FOX network on Saturday, May 19, 2012, but we learned more details today regarding coverage plans by FOX, FOX Soccer and FOX Deportes.

FOX Soccer’s pre-game coverage begins at 1:00 PM ET preceding FOX Sports’ over-the-air programming. FOX Deportes is carrying the match live in Spanish. Coverage of the Champions League Final will begin at 2pm ET on FOX. Live from Munich, FOX Sports’ Curt Menefee serves as event host, with FOX Soccer’s Rob Stone hosting on-site studio coverage. FOX Soccer analyst Eric Wynalda joins Tottenham goalkeeper and former United States National Team player Brad Friedel for pre-game, halftime and post-match analysis. Martin Tyler calls the match with analysis from Gary Neville.

This is the second year that Brad Friedel has been an analyst for FOX. Last year, he was at Wembley where he joined Menefee, Wynalda, Warren Barton and Christopher Sullivan.

According to FOX, U.S. viewership of the UEFA Champions League Final has exploded in recent years. The year 2011 was the seventh straight year that English-language viewing increased in the U.S.  Over the last 10 years, the audience has increased almost 10-fold, from 264,000 viewers on ESPN in 2002 to 2.6 million on FOX in 2011.

The 2011 Champions League Final is the highest-rated and most watched in U.S. history.  FSMG’s coverage on FOX (1.4 HH rating, 2.6 million viewers) and FOX Deportes (0.7 HH rating, 1.6 million viewers) combined to generate a 2.1 household rating and 6 share, drawing an audience of 4.2 million viewers nationally, dwarfing the ratings and audience of 2010 by +75% (1.2) and +91% (2.2 million), respectively.  Significantly, the 2011 match on FOX and FOX Deportes also bettered the 2009 match, which featured the same Barcelona and Manchester United clubs, by +62% on rating (2.1 vs. 1.3) and +24% on viewership (4.2 million vs. 2.1 million).

11 thoughts on “FOX Sports Announces US TV Plans for 2012 UEFA Champions League Coverage”

  1. I expected Sky would give Neville the nod over Alan Smith, but I’m still a bit shocked they did after the screaming incident during Barcelona v Chelsea leg 2.

    At least there’s no Piers Morgan. I don’t even like Chelsea, but I don’t think I could put up with his anti-Chelsea talk.

    1. The orgasmic scream was a classic moment! Why on earth would you have thought they wouldn’t give him the job because of that?

  2. Please God let the pre-match coverage on Fox in the U.S. not be as idiotic as it was last year, with the comparisons to the NFL, etc. It was horrid! And, yes, so glad there will be no Piers Morgan.

  3. According to Richard Deitsch (of Sports Illustrated) on twtitter,

    “Fox Sports exec Eric Shanks says it’s likely soccer fans will see Piers Morgan again on its pregame show.”

    Not sure if he means the Champions League pregame show…but he continues on to tweet,

    “Says Shanks: “I think anytime we can use Piers in the right situation, I think it is good for the fans.”

    Which fans is he talking about exactly?!?!

    1. Piers Morgan won’t be on the Champions League pre-game show. FOX was asked whether we could see Morgan as a pre-game pundit on FOX in the future. He said yes.

      The Gaffer

  4. Curt Menefee again?

    The pre-game last year was a complete joke and they are gonna repeat it? This is a European soccer game. Have your event host be someone who actually is familiar with the sport.

  5. Fox loves Menefee… They act like he’s their Bryant Gumbel or something. He has no business heading the UFC coverage or soccer coverage.

  6. Refuse to watch american commentators of any stripe, always watch spanish tv for pregame and half time.
    Only watch mls on spanish tv!
    Piers Morgan is a ^%$$##@@! numbskull which is why american management like him, he aspires to their level of incompetence.

  7. As a Liverpool supporter (45yrs) I want Bayern To *TROUNCE* Chelsea in Munich!!! Chelasea were very lucky to win the UK FA cup – and only won because L/Pool did NOT play agressively in the first half of the match!!

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