Over the past two years, FOX Soccer has spent a lot of money and worked tremendously hard at improving everything related to its channel. But at the same time, FOX Soccer gets a lot of criticism from soccer fans from all walks of life. “The analysis from their pundits is garbage.” “FOX Soccer was the reason why MLS ratings were so poor.” “I only watch the games on FOX Soccer and nothing else.” “FOX Soccer News sucks.” “FOX Soccer Plus is a ripoff.”
And the list goes on and on.
At the same time, I would argue that FOX Soccer is the best it’s ever been. FOX has invested heavily to change and upgrade its studio, so that the visual presentation is significantly improved. FOX Soccer has moved more Sunday EPL games that used to be on FOX Soccer Plus to its flagship channel. FOX has shown far more EPL games on the free-to-air network, to bring the league to the US masses. FOX has made several changes to its on-air talent, improving the quality of coverage. FOX Soccer has improved its website and added better quality columnists. FOX has produced a documentary about one of the most historic Premier League clubs, and aired the debut episode on free-to-air national TV. FOX has significantly improved its on-screen graphics. FOX Soccer pulls in more reporters from the grounds into its telecasts of EPL and Champions League matches. FOX shows more Sky Sports News broadcasts than ever before. And finally I would argue that even its nightly news show, FOX Soccer News, is a step in the right direction.
Despite all of this, FOX Soccer still comes under a lot of criticism from its viewers. Sure, FOX Soccer has room for improvement, but soccer fans need to realize the effort and expense the network is making to helping grow the sport (and its number of viewers) in the United States.
While ESPN no doubt produces a quality product, the quantity of TV soccer coverage it provides soccer fans in the United States is far less. And back to the analogy of FOX Soccer being that longterm spouse or girlfriend (or boyfriend), ESPN is that striking blonde that dashes across the street or through your office once or twice a week, where you catch a brief glimpse, making your heart flutter. FOX Soccer is that longterm relationship. She’s there day after day, month after month, year after year.