Why FOX Soccer Needs Their Own Version of Match Of The Day

It was an incredibly rare Premier League weekend for me. Instead of being glued to the television set on Saturday and Sunday while watching Premier League matches, I watched the early kickoff between Arsenal and Chelsea followed by the first half of Stoke City against Swansea.

As soon as the first half whistle blew at the Britannia Stadium, I spent the rest of Saturday helping my wife at a major food truck in South Florida. I purposely cut off all communications with Internet and television so it wouldn’t ruin my enjoyment of catching up on the games as soon as I had a chance to watch them. That time finally came on Sunday lunchtime. However, I faced a problem.

As many of you are probably aware, the options to legally watch highlights of Premier League matches on US TV or Internet are severely limited. I wanted to catch up on all of the games by watching highlights that would help show me the key moments that happened in the game without telling me the score until the highlights package was over.

My choices were:

  1. Watch Goals On Sunday on FOX Soccer,
  2. Watch the Premier League match highlights on FOXSoccer.com
  3. Watch or fast forward through the games I had DVR’d or could watch on-demand on FOX Soccer 2Go, or
  4. Watch the Premier League Review Show on Sunday night.

However, each of the options has its fault. With Goals On Sunday, I would have to sit through the entire show to get to what I want. But even then, Goals On Sunday usually shows a very abbreviated version of what happened in the game, which wouldn’t give me a complete understanding of how the game progressed.

I could watch the Premier League match highlights on FOXSoccer.com, but at the beginning of each video, it reveals the final score of the game before I’ve had a chance to see how the game evolved.

I could watch or fast forward through the games I had on demand and DVR’d, but that would be very time consuming on a day when I’d love to watch the matches, but was having a birthday party later that day. Or I could watch the Premier League Review Show on Sunday night, but that’s an awfully long time to wait (from Saturday morning through Sunday night without knowing what happened).

The option I chose was to watch as much Premier League games on demand and DVR that I could squeeze in. I watched the second half of Stoke-Swansea followed by Fulham-Manchester City, and then the 90 scintillating minutes of Manchester United-Tottenham.

I realized that what was missing in my weekend was Match Of The Day. If you’ve never watched it, it appears on Saturday night on BBC Television in the United Kingdom and shows the highlights of each match in painstaking detail without revealing the final score when the highlight reel kicks off. It lets the game tell the story. On top of that, it sometimes provides excellent analysis regarding key moments or plays in the game. It’s not perfect, but it’s the perfect show for someone who just wants to watch a highlights package in a timely manner.

While FOX Soccer won’t be buying the rights to Match Of The Day anytime soon (if ever), it still owns the rights to the Premier League match highlights on US TV and Internet. As of today, FOX Soccer makes the Premier League highlights available during their half-time and post-match analysis throughout their Premier League games, as well as some on FOX Soccer News in addition to the aforementioned website. But FOX Soccer is missing out on a golden opportunity to produce a Saturday night EPL highlights show of its own. It doesn’t have to be anything flashy. It doesn’t have to feature a lot of talk. It just needs to be the highlights from the Saturday games in a 60 minute show.

A 60-minute highlights show on FOX Soccer on Saturday nights would appeal to hardcore fans as well as new fans who are just getting into the sport or league. FOX already has the rights, so why not create a show to make the most of the highlights rights that they’ve already paid a massive amount of money for?

26 thoughts on “Why FOX Soccer Needs Their Own Version of Match Of The Day”

  1. I completely agree, I think you can see I’ve said the same myself. You could get a proxy and then actually watch MOD. I player will allow it to be on demand next season (uk only).

    They would need to seriously up their on air talent to do it

    1. Yeah, upping the on-air talent would be a big step. To wit: the one American studio host on the post-match show needs to understand that it was “West Brom” that drew Villa on Sunday rather than “West Ham.”

      Everyone has the odd mental slip now and then, but I think the guy did it something like 4 times in a minute. Leading me to wonder if he indeed did know they were two different clubs.

    2. It’s going to be available on iPlayer next year… But not until the following Monday. Sky still hold the trump card with ‘Football First’.

  2. Is MOD similar to the Premier League Review Show on Sundays on FSC just on Saturday instead of Sunday?

    Or is there something different about MOD that makes it better? Because I think PLRS does a good job of giving the details and flow of a match.

    1. Jake, the Premier League Review Show is very good. The disadvantage is that it’s played on a Sunday night. MOTD is similar in concept, but different in that the pundits often go into a lot of detail about key moments in the matches. Depending on who the pundits are, the analysis can be anywhere from hum-drum to eyeopening. But the biggest advantage of the show, for me, is the timing. Saturday night is perfect since most of the EPL matches are played on that day each week.

      The Gaffer

      1. btw – what happened to Lee Dixon. Even though he’s a Gooner he did a brilliant job on MOTD. I don’t usually download MOTD2 except during european weeks, so maybe he’s still there.

  3. I have been saying this for years. It all comes down to the basic reality that Fox Soccer does a terrible job from back to front in their original productions. Goals on Sunday is terrible, the on air talent is terrible, the format is terrible.

  4. I would probably then add the sports package on Comcast to get Fox Soccer if they added a show like MOTD. Until then, I’ll just watch the actual MOTD live on my PC.

  5. Well said. There are plenty of fans here who, for whatever reason, cannot always get up super-early for these games. MOTD shows there’s another way to show highlights than the quick-cut “Sportscenter” style which provides the “action” bits with no context.

  6. ‘Painstaking detail’ is stretching the truth a little. If you follow one of the lesser lights you’ll get four or five minutes of replay and a couple of lines from the pundits after.

    Laudrup’s under pressure in the media already over here.

  7. The best review show is the Official Premier League Review Show. Goals on Sunday is a waste of space and while Fox Soccer “News” can show highlights, it has to spend time on Soccer as a whole, so cannot go into much detail. Even if they did, they make my teeth itch so I’d rather they didn’t.
    Goals on Sunday is a joke! The pundits are laughable, Eric Wynalda just says things to sound controversial, and in turn sounds like a moron! ANd once again they have to stretch themselves out to do all of Soccer and extensive analysis and highlights aren’t possible.
    A dedicate 10pm, 90 minute spot is needed, maybe negotiate the rights to the MOTD highlights packages? I’m sure they won’t come cheap though…

  8. Are you sure MOTD shows all the games ? It’s also not intended as an “I Don’t know the score” show.

    Whenever I get Brit visitors they all comment on how much MORE soccer we get to see here, they have limited access to live games and only a couple of highlights shows. The consensus is that we are lucky to get what we get and people prefer the Premier League Show due to it’s, fairly, balanced showing of most games.

    1. They show highlights of all the Premier League games played that day, with extended highlights (8-10 mins) of the bigger games of the day with shorter and shorter segments for the subsequent games. They tend to put the more interesting games on first (either high-scoring, late drama or the bigger teams) so a pair of the smaller clubs playing out a 0-0 draw will probably be shown last. They don’t have any spoilers before the games so you could watch it without knowing any results and see how the day played out.

      It’s usually hosted by Gary Lineker, with 2 of Alan Hansen, Mark Lawrenson, Alan Shearer or Lee Dixon as the pundits.

      There’s also a MOTD2 show on Sunday evening with highlights of the Sunday games plus the Saturday goals. They tend to get a bit more detailed in the analysis, but have different presenter/pundits.

      1. adding: Forgot to mention that the US has more live football available, as do most foreign countries. The league usually won’t let Saturday 3pm games be shown live in the UK as they don’t want supporters staying home instead of going a local game for teams in lower divisions. For supproters of bigger clubs that’s not too big a deal as they usually play on Sunday or the early/late Saturday games, but it’s a lot harder for fans of mid-table teams (though the TV contracts stipulate a minimum number of times each team is shown in a season.)

    2. We do get limited live matches (138 out of 380 until next season when it goes up to 154) but that includes pretty much all the biggies. Plus we can physically attend the games in person so we’ve got that in our favour. There’s too much footy on TV as it is, all 380 matches live would be overkill.

  9. I keep hoping it gets picked up and played on BBC America, but I’m sure the rights fees are so complicated that I’d never be able to figure it out.

  10. I think The BPL needs to go a step further.

    I have posted on a variety of occasions that the BPL being the most watched league in the world should have its own channel Like the NFL network. Games coverage and licensing to espn and fox is fine, the NFL manage it just fine. there are easily enough fixtures to go around. yes I know there are media companies that produce things like the premier league review.

    But I think the league and brand is strong enough to successfully produce its own Channel. the NFL MLB NBA all have it, the epl blows those leagues away for global audience. It really puzzles me as to why they done do it.

    1. It’s down to the local rights holder. The league & its production partner make their 24 hour feed of programmes available and the rights holders can pull whatever they want from it in order to fill their schedules. Some counties around the world have a dedicated Premier League channel… They just show the full 24 hour feed and brand it ‘PL TV’ or whatever.

      1. I have never heard of PL tv, either way, it doesn’t sound anything like th eNFL, MLB or NBA networks.

        I think there is a fundamental difference between producing programs that are optional and actually having a Premier league channel.

        They are not in true control of the brand or its perception until they do so. they are actually throwing money away. Teh games are the darw but its the analysis and constant coverage where the real money is.

        even if they only had 2 games a week live. it would be the access to the clubs, interviews, historical pieces, a laws of the game show even. Im telling you it is the access and the hype that feeds the machine.

        is this paul the Lfc fan? if so, do you get the NFL network in the UK?

        It’s 24 x 365 for a sport that only runs for 4 months.

        The smartest thing the NFL did. the content is a bit ropey because out of season, but they fill 8 months of not playing with it, the BPL is 9 months a year and has way more content.

        1. Yes it’s that Paul.. Can you not tell now on this new site? Or maybe it’s because I’m using a new phone? Knew I should have had a more creative name lol

          We don’t get the NFL Network. We get live games on 3 different channels plus the Red Zone thing under the red button on Sky Sports.

          The content the PL broadcast and make available to rights holders is all their own stuff (Preview, Review, World etc), archive matches and live matches with full studio featuring pre & post match analysis and obviously their own commentary team that goes out on the world feed.

          They package it as an ‘off the shelf’ deal so everything is done for the rights holder if they don’t want to produce anything themselves but most companies like Fox and ESPN decide to do their own production.

          Europe has loads of dedicated Premier League channels like this one (http://www.viasat.se/content/sport-viasat-premier-league-hd). Technically, Fox could carry the same feed and call it ‘Fox Premier League TV’ or whatever they want but instead they just fill their own Fox Soccer schedule with programming lifted from it.

  11. Fox are never going to waste money on a Saturday night show. If anything it would be Goals on Saturday rather than FSCMOTD. Plus I’d be worried that they would drop the official premier league review show which is better than anything they could produce. And who says MOTD is any good these days? It used to be great back in the 80s but has died a slow death once live matches came along. Lineker was a good striker but is a terrible presenter, and Hansen is well past his sell by date.

    1. People may like / dislike certain pundits but the basis of the show is still spot on and relevant – highlights of every game & broadcast nationwide on a channel not hidden behind an expensive Sky pay wall… Not quite sure where you get your info from saying MOTD has died a slow death since live matches came along though… What do you back that up with? Everybody I know still watches it – it’s the only thing worth watching on a Saturday night if you’re staying in.

  12. I wish they could get syndicated rights to BBC MOTD here in the US. I’d much rather watch that then Columbus play Philly in a “Huge Matchup of soccer heavyweights.”

  13. FOX Goals on Sunday studio should be four empty suits on hangers and some highlights.

    I just came back from the Middle East and Al Jazeera has two football channels – one purely for the EPL it runs 24/7 showing all live games, football shows from the UK including football quiz shows, replaying the current games (and some older ones). Such a delight to hear football discussion from people who really understand the game. Alan Curbishly is particularily good.

  14. I would LOVE to see a US version of Fan Zone. Why this hasn’t happened sooner is beyond me. And not just in soccer as well.

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