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Why Do Some Soccer Fans Dislike FOX Soccer So Much?

fox soccer logo Why Do Some Soccer Fans Dislike FOX Soccer So Much?

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.

FOX Soccer is like that longtime girlfriend or spouse you’ve had where you neglect to see all of the great things she does and you zero in on the negatives. Only when she walks away do you realize how much you miss her and how you previously took her for granted.

So, why do some soccer fans dislike FOX Soccer so much? There are several reasons: (1) They’re an easy target. FOX Soccer provides so much soccer coverage to viewers in the United States that it’s easier for people to find fault with a particular thing they do because they air so many soccer matches and programs. (2) The pundits rub many the wrong way, but the fact of the matter is that no one loves their pundits. Listen to the Brits and you hear them moan about the pundits on Sky Sports, ITV and Match Of The Day all the time. Sky’s Gary Neville is possibly the only exception that isn’t heavily criticized. (3) Another reason why FOX Soccer is criticized is because of its style. It’s not a soft-spoken or aesthetic BBC network. It’s not a classy or heartwarming ESPN. FOX is FOX. Watch their NFL coverage or other programming, and FOX is in your face, loud and sometimes obnoxious. Their style is inherent.

Over the past couple of years, FOX Soccer has made some big changes, but they’re also made some small changes that you may have missed. At the end of a Premier League or Champions League match, FOX Soccer no longer cuts off the commentator immediately after the final whistle and whisks you away to a TV commercial. FOX Soccer has learned to let the broadcast continue, to breath and let the moments after a match soak in. And sometimes it’s the small things that count most to soccer viewers.

We’re at a very interesting crossroads in the lifecycle of soccer on US television right now. Within the next two weeks, we’ll learn who has won the US media rights to the 2013-2016 seasons of the English Premier League, the crown jewel of international club soccer. We may continue our longtime relationship with FOX Soccer. Or it’s quite possible that the new woman on the street in beIN SPORT will be our new suitor. Whatever happens, I hope the future is a bright one and that no matter who wins the TV rights battle, that the coverage is just as good if not better than what FOX Soccer has achieved.

Now if only FOX’s Premier League coverage could be as good as its Champions League coverage! But that’s another topic for another day.

This entry was posted in FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus, Leagues: EPL. Bookmark the permalink.

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 →

95 Responses to Why Do Some Soccer Fans Dislike FOX Soccer So Much?

  1. KingKev says:

    ROB STONE

    • The Gaffer says:

      So you preferred Christian Miles??

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Guy says:

        Exactly why I don’t get on Stone.

        Everyone is looking for perfection, but I doubt any three of us could agree on who or what that might be.

        • Clampdown says:

          But does it have to be either/or? With all of the talent out there this is the best Fox can offer?

          I know Stone has been at it for a while but he is terrible. The guy can’t even pronounce the names of the cities in England properly.

    • SoccerLimey says:

      Chris Sullivan………

    • Mark says:

      I like Rob Stone with Warren & Eric on Match Day/Goals on… & Euro shows. Certainly better than C Miles. There is no doubt then FSC/FSC+ is part of my every day and I don’t know what I’d be without it. However, in the attempt to upgrade FSR to FSN with Foxoclones they made the day’s main program just about unwatchable. They read the news just a I can from the web, but there’s no edge or depth and critique. I’m no big fan of McMahon either way. What makes it worse is that Fox killed the end of day Sky Sports News at 4pm Pacific, presumably to boost FSN.

      Lastly I don’t get why only on show on FS+ is in HD. EPNs Darke/Macca win the contest hands down.

  2. Harry Cee says:

    Great article. Fox really does need to do something because BEIN just came right in and swooped a lot of good leagues right from under them. While I have yet to see a broadcast to compare, I think I would hate to see fox disappear.

  3. Matt Booher says:

    I think point 3 is the strongest. Soccer fans want an escape (either temporarily or permanently) the jarring, in-your-face culture and style of American sports. FOX Soccer simply fails to deliver in that regard. I think adopting the more aesthetic softness of the BBC would do them well. I cant speak for everyone, but I think fans seek a more European style – in writing, in TV commentary, and in production style.

  4. Rollo T says:

    1) Even though I pay for both FSC and FS+, I still have a hard time getting to see my team play live.

    2) When I wait for a tape-delay of my game, they are usually running behind schedule so the recording starts with the score of the game I was avoiding right there on the screen.

    3) A studio show and analysts that seem like football simpletons that provide nothing at all to a broadcast.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Rollo, my recommendation would be to dump FOX Soccer Plus and get FOX Soccer 2Go instead. With ESPN, FOX Soccer and FOX Soccer 2Go, you can guarantee you’ll be able to watch every single EPL match live.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Rollo T says:

        Gaffer,

        I was pleased with the online option until moving to a rural area where streaming isn’t much of an option anymore.

        I just assume that if someone is asked to pay $30/month you should be able to get most of the games live. Even this weekend, Spurs-Villa is shown on delay on a Sunday when there are only four total games that day. Why is there no option for a Fox Soccer Plus Alternate channel that only shows live games?

        • The Gaffer says:

          Rollo,

          FOX Soccer 2Go is showing Spurs-Villa live at 10am ET on Sunday.

          FOX Soccer 2Go is $19.95/month, not $30/month. The option for a FOX Soccer Plus “alternate channel” is FOX Soccer 2Go, which is far better value for money unless you’re a rugby or Aussie Rules fan.

          Regarding the rural area, they don’t offer broadband service?

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

      • Mark says:

        Only twist is traveling abroad. Slingbox gets me to FS+ anywhere in the world. FS2 Go probably blocked? BTW price of FS+ is actually few dollars more: $180 on DirectTV v F2Go $169 per year. Speaking of which – biggest bugbear for me is not being able to get ESPN3 from Time Warner Cable because I buy my ESPN TV from DirecTV – so tacky. I’m sure this has been raised many times.

  5. Tony Butterworth says:

    “classy or heartwarming ESPN” Huh?

    • The Gaffer says:

      I’ve written extensively before about how ESPN’s coverage of a Saturday morning game is well-produced, classy and how you feel a better connection with Darke-McManaman than you do with other commentators. Watch any broadcast with Ian Darke standing outside a Premier League ground on a cold Saturday morning. It gives me goosebumps almost anytime I watch it.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Tony Butterworth says:

        Ahh, I like those two, I thought you were referring to ESPN as a whole !!!!!

      • Scrumper says:

        Ian Darke giving you goosebumps? Some things should be left unsaid.

      • dano328 says:

        Agree. Those two guys are just coming to a North American audience but their presentation feels more authentic.

      • Todd says:

        I’m glad you clarified that comment to their soccer coverage. I have enjoyed their coverage with Darke-McManaman.
        I would not say that much else on ESPN is classy or heartwarming (if you’ve watched “football-center” lately then you know classy is out the window).
        They do have their heartwarming moments here and there, and especially 30 for 30 which is just excellent.

  6. Gabe C. says:

    Generally, I love Fox Soccer and don’t know what I would do without it for watching EPL matches. However, my three biggest issues with it are:

    (1) My cable service provider, RCN, doesn’t carry its HD channel, therefore, making me always prefer watching matches on ESPN2. I realize this isn’t necessarily an FSC issue but it is worth mentioning.

    (2) When ESPN had the rights to CL, I could watch matches from work, streaming online, for FREE. Fox Soccer 2 Go is too expensive and you cannot even watch the matches that are being broadcasted live on FSC. HUGE issue.

    (3) I used to love Fox Soccer Report. I got used to the Canadian anchors and their attempts to add “good looking” hosts with minimal soccer knowledge and who took a little while to learn to pronounce the names of teams. Fox Soccer News is borderline unwatchable. I DVR it and fast forward through the commentary only watching the clips from the matches unless McMahon is on. I don’t need The Situation and Bow tie McGee giving me “analysis.” I’ll stick to ESPN FC Press Pass and pods like EPL Talk.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Gabe,

      Regarding point number two, FOX Soccer 2Go this season has started showing live matches of Champions League games that are being shown live on FOX Soccer. While ESPN’s coverage of the Champions League was good, FOX Soccer is showing far more Champions League games than ESPN ever did.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Gabe C. says:

        That’s good to know. However, FOX Soccer 2GO is not free and I’m pretty sure I could still watch every CL match on ESPN3 if it wasn’t being aired live. Right?

        • The Gaffer says:

          FOX Soccer 2Go is 65 cents per day. With ESPN3, I don’t believe they showed every Champions League match. If my memory serves me correctly, they only showed 2-3 games per Champions League week.

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

          • PaulF says:

            Gaffer,

            you are speaking from the point of view of somebody able to afford it. Not everybody can or at least, they dont ‘see the point in paying for Foxsoccer2go when they only get 1 league.

          • Nelson says:

            Could we please stop with the “$.65 per day” line. This is EPL Talk, so basically EPL is on for 38 weekends which is $4.50 per weekend.

            • The Gaffer says:

              Nelson, FOX Soccer 2Go shows mid-week matches as well as FA Cup games. Even at $4.50 a weekend, that’s a bargain in my opinion. We used to pay $20-25 PPV to watch a single game.

              Cheers,
              The Gaffer

  7. Cord4Gooner says:

    I love Fox Soccer. I do not let the pre and post match shows effect my judgment… I love having loads of EPL matches to watch each week. FSC provides me my soccer fix…. Bein is great, but I can care less about La Liga … But I do enjoy watching a bit of PSG and Juve.

  8. Fernando says:

    It took Fox forever to get a decent studio and graphics. Their punditry is still not where it should be. Warren Barton brings nothing in terms of insight and he has not gotten better with each passing year.

    Outside of the matches, there is no quality original programming. The Liverpool doc will end at some point. They don’t show Sky Sports News at 7pm anymore on either channel. There has to be better programming options than J-League highlights to show to the US.

    Continual outsourcing of their own news show to Canada sums up Fox’s effort for originality.

    • Gabe C. says:

      Warren Barton, who I actually don’t mind that much, is always good for one comment regarding a goal scorer’s excellent “body shape” when shooting.

    • The Gaffer says:

      And that’s the point of my article. Things can always be better, but we should stop to think for a minute and realize how good we’ve got it.

      At the end of the day, FOX Soccer is a business that is trying to make money. They need to balance their decisions with this in mind, so while it would be great to have a TV news broadcast out of LA, the more cost-effective solution is to have one done in Toronto.

      Rome wasn’t built in a day. FOX Soccer is making giant strides, but I think it’s time to give them a pat on the back instead of constantly criticizing them. Yes, they have room for improvement, but the point of the story is to consider all of the improvements they’ve made to date.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Gabe C. says:

        I agree. However, I believe the change from Fox Soccer Report to Fox Soccer News was a step back. I may be in the minority.

        • Matt says:

          It’s a sidestep in my book. Having HD graphics and presentations were a must 4 years ago. But the anchors and style are a huge step back from the old Report.

      • Fernando says:

        So Rob Stone can’t host a program in LA with Barton, Wynalda or McBride offering insight?

        They can only work on the weekends?

        FOX has offered us much more football than fans in England can view. I, along with most supporter are grateful, however to criticize means viewers care and want better quality. I see no issue with that demand considering these channels are not free.

        • The Gaffer says:

          FOX Soccer News is a news program not an analysis show. Barton, Wynalda and McBride have to sometimes wake up at 4am PT on a Sunday morning to get ready for the early Sunday kickoff. They can’t be expected to burn the candle at both ends and do a nightly news show and then get up early in the AM for their analysis work.

          Barton, Wynalda and McBride work throughout the week and on weekends, particularly when Champions League coverage is on.

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

          • Fernando says:

            So what does Bobby McMahon do? He sometimes flies to Toronto just to do a few segments.

            FOX is a major media company with vast resources at their disposal. This isn’t GOLTV.

            • The Gaffer says:

              Bobby McMahon is doing the broadcasts via a green screen near where he lives. FOX is a major media company with vast resources, but they still have to make money.

              Cheers,
              The Gaffer

          • Fernando says:

            He’s been in the Toronto studio for the new show. And yes he does remotes from Winnipeg as well.

            Within their rights to make money, also their job to give their paying customers best possible product which by the comments by other users, is something Fox doesn’t get or want to do.

            • The Gaffer says:

              Of course FOX wants to give people the best possible product, but it needs to be within their means.

              Cheers,
              The Gaffer

  9. Frill Artist says:

    “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”.

    Why does she have to be a blonde?

  10. Josh Hanson says:

    For me it’s Wynalda and Barton. Neither of them ever really know what they’re talking about. Embarrassments, both of them.

    • The Gaffer says:

      But they do know what they’re talking about. Both had accomplished careers in professional soccer and have worked with some top clubs and managers. There are better pundits out there, but like my article said, no one is going to love every pundit. They’re paid to express their opinions. No matter who they have in the studio, people are never going to be happy. And I would argue that Barton and Wynalda have both improved considerably since their debuts on FOX Soccer many years ago.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  11. Simon Burke says:

    I am an Englishman who has been in the US since 1999 and seen the transition from Fox Sports World, to FSC to Fox Soccer. People forget how good they have it now. I used to have Comcast and would have to go at the crack of dawn to my local DC or Arlington pub to watch any games and sometimes pay for games on Setanta at the pub.

    Fast forward 13 years and I have a million games on my TV, ESPN and Fox Soccer are great. There is even FSC Plus and you can get Fox Soccer for web feeds.

    Ultimately the thing people want most is access to the games. If you are that bothered by the pre-match and post-match stuff then don’t watch. I cant stand Piers Morgan and so I don’t bother with him. I find Warren Barton quite bland so I tend not to tune in a half hour before kick off. I tune in for the matches themselves and I have more of that than i could possibly ask for.

    In England people complain about Match of the Day (MotD) but they’d complain FAR more if there wasnt any MotD at all.

    PBS could show the games, Spike TV could show the games – ultimately I don’t care who shows it or how they present it because at the end of the day I will go to whoever is showing my Arsenal game, or whoever is showing United v Liverpool. I am too busy and too old to give a monkeys about whether a game is in High Def today or what Eric Wynalda did or didn’t say. People need to remember how good they have it now compared to a very few years ago.
    Max Bretos anyone…. it wasnt that long ago. Lionel Beinvenu.. those who remember the latter I am sure are breathing a sigh of relief.

    • Guy says:

      Nice post. I couldn’t agree more….but did you have to remind me of Bretos? ;-)

    • Marc says:

      I loved Lional Beinvenu. I can even remember paying $15 for one PPV match back in the late 90′s. I am thankfull for Fox Soccer. They have come a long way. But how long are we going to wait until they finally get it right. Its by 14 years now since I have been watching since Fox Sports World. I think its time for a new provider to step in.

      • Fernando says:

        I wrote Beinvenu an email a few years ago, he works as a sports anchor in Denver now.

        He’s a Chelsea supporter, I knew I liked him.

        He had the first EPL review show on these shores.

        • Simon Burke says:

          I think i saw him on FS net a couple of years ago and immediately missed him. He gave FSW a certain charm…

    • Miichael says:

      You don’t care about hi def? Wow.

      • Simon Burke says:

        I like it but am I going to turn off Arsenal v Southampton if my only option is SD? You might. Good luck to you.

  12. Rollo T says:

    If the article we are commenting on was “Are you happy just to be able to watch EPL games?” or “Has Fox Soccer improved since 2001?” then maybe the responses would be different. But this is asking for specific issues viewers have with the product. And I still think there are many with this company.

    If there are no live games on, I NEVER turn to Fox Soccer during the week. Even worse for FS+, which now shows less games and features both live Sunday games on the main channel if any one of MC, MU, ARS, CHE, or LIV are playing. So I end up paying $15/month to watch the one live Aston Villa game I want to see and then maybe 1-2 other live games that I don’t care much about the rest of the time. Then I cancel as soon as the game is over and wait two months for them to show another live Villa game. That can’t be the best strategy for a company.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Rollo, it all depends what you want. I like to watch as many EPL games as I can, so the only way I can do it is with FOX Soccer 2Go, FOX Soccer and ESPN. For me, FOX Soccer 2Go is the most important part of my EPL viewing experience. If I had it only for one match a month, then it wouldn’t be worth it. But I like to watch as much soccer as time allows.

      FOX Soccer has live games on almost every day of the week — especially during Champions League/Europa League weeks.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  13. dust says:

    Fox from an aired games perspective is nearly there, don’t restrict any games to TV for those that subscribe to fox soccer to go, offer all games to subscribers. do what ESPN does and give access to everything on anything. (even the revenue machine NFL monday night football is available online now) that is step 1.

    Step 2 fix the programming, the current pundits AND format of the pre & post game shows aren’t good, all they have done is use the fox nfl sunday model. What they discuss and the quality of the discussions are not good.

    They have these big games but no access, no interviews, nothing, just rumor and conjecture. No one visits the clubs that are playing, speaks to players and managers to get their thoughts on the game ahead. no profiles. (even the “who’s the boss” feature on at halftime last year on online games is better than anything fox air even now).

    The highlights they pick from the game are terrible and do not tell any story or capture the pulse of the game shown.

    Even when they re-air the games it’s literally a re-airing of the 90 mins with Keith Costigan briefly going over the squads.

    No show that explains the game and its rules in context with analysis of recent and upcoming games.

    Currently fox treats it’s own network a live game only destination. A glorified Pay per view station is all. It needs to be the go to channel for football coverage, it should have historical context, education and real pieces on teams and their stars. and thats just the EPL. what about the MLS? if they want to be the go to soccer destination they need the mls too. Other wise just call it the Fox Premier League Channel. Its not that I think MS is better quality but the segmentation of soccer leagues by media group is more divisive than ever.

    No midweek update shows or team shows. if you can’t cover all football because of loosing the rights then do a better job of what you can cover.

    Have a weekly 30 min show for each club. Analysis and Access to that club and what has happened that past 7 days. thats 10 hours of original programming that could be at 7-9 everyday (4 teams) give people a reason to tune in on days other than for live games.

    Yes it needs investment but that is the key.

    there are many many other ideas and thoughts i have on how they could innovate and really be the go to football channel.. but that is not free.

    • Guy says:

      Call Rupert! Well, maybe you don’t need to. He’s probably already hacked your phone. :-)

    • nicc says:

      “Have a weekly 30 min show for each club. Analysis and Access to that club and what has happened that past 7 days. thats 10 hours of original programming that could be at 7-9 everyday (4 teams) give people a reason to tune in on days other than for live games.”

      ooh, that is a really good idea.

  14. krazymunky says:

    Fox Soccer should hire Gary Neville :D

  15. Rob says:

    “At the end of a Premier League or Champions League match, FOX Soccer no longer cuts off the commentator immediately after the final whistle and whisks you away to a TV commercial. FOX Soccer has learned to let the broadcast continue, to breath and let the moments after a match soak in.”

    That’s a great point to bring up, it alway drove me crazy to go through 90 mins then be suddenly deflated by “host” Christian Miles telling me what the play of the game was. However, seeing the team colours pop up every 10 minutes of a game still rattles me, do they think we’ve forgotten who is who after 70 minutes?
    I agree, the channel has come a long way, but I still mute the pre game, half time and final analysis, like you said it’s just too much volume, especially when they play that 80′s guitar solo in the background, who decided that was OK for a Sunday morning?

  16. Sacto Blues says:

    Fox soccer has been fine. Do people remember back when ” Soccer made in Germany ” was on back in the 70′s ?

    • S04th says:

      It’s why I’m a Schalke fan to this day, and I still find Alan Fountain’s Bundesliga English-feed commentary to be the best in the world.

      But there’s a point to be made here. It was “Soccer Made in Germany” not “Association Football made for Americans”. It’s taken Fox (and MLS) years to realize the difference… and they’re still working on it. The problem was never that soccer coverage (or, gods forbid, play) wasn’t American enough, it was that it simply wasn’t available.

  17. Court says:

    2 things I would like from FOX:

    -Get to the match on time. On time is not as the whistle is blown or in many case after, but as the players come out of the tunnel. They are paying so much for these pictures and these are some the best moments there is to offer. And even when they are ontime talk over the pictures dont cut back to the studio, leave the cameras on the stadium and the pageantry.

    -Replays in 90mins on FS+ like Setanta used to do. If I’m paying $15 per month I don’t want to pay sit through a commercial if I’m re watching a match. Setanta used to do this in their match replays and it was great.

    • Matt says:

      I completely agree. They were talking up the City v Arsenal match so much that they missed the first 90 seconds completely.

      Regarding the replays: I understand that they need the revenue generated by the commercials, but the canned halftime highlights are atrocious. I would rather have the exact same telecast as the live version with the jokers in the studio as opposed to the voiceover that sums up the match in 2 minutes and cuts back to commercials.

      • Tim says:

        In all fairness, those first 90 seconds were lost due to technical difficulties, not because they ran over in the studio.

  18. BA14 says:

    Because soccer fans are hard to please. I’ve noticed they do a lot of moaning and groaning; just read the comments above. Since FOX airs most of the matches in the USA that’s who they will complain about. It doesn’t matter who is hosting or who the pundits are they won’t be good enough. If bein gets the contract the complaints will be the same.

  19. Robert Clarke says:

    Wow! Sounds like first world problems and this is coming from a first world man. I watch Fox Soccer for the soccer. That’s it. Tune in or tune out of the pundits. Personally I think they’re fine.

  20. 100% Arsenal says:

    I really don’t understand the negative comments – Fox have made huge steps forward for Football in US!

    As mentioned if you dont like the half time show turn over – the key is Fox bring the games in. I have Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer 2Go – I think Barton and Wynalda are ok, the alternative is listening to the missus talk about Spurs so I rather listen to those guys!

    Fox Soccer 2Go is amazing BTW – airplay enabled on iPad now, this product has taken huge strides forward and if its games fans want then this is perfect.

    Haven’t yet tried Plus though

  21. mark says:

    I appreciate what Fox has done for soccer in this country. I watch a lot of EPL games and couldn’t do without Fox Soccer (I don’t get Fox Soccer Plus).

    That said, I think the negativity is due to their coverage of games and their so-called analysts. That part is poor. Take the game that’s on right now between Panathinaikos and Spurs. They’ve turned the crowd noise down and the commentators are so boring to make the experience even worse.

  22. brn442 says:

    Gaffer – use that girlfriend analogy at your own risk.

    I think that Fox Sports has made huge strides this season but they can always improve. At least they are still around, remember Setanta? Shame they don’t have Serie A this season.

    I would like to see some more structured and original programming.

    It’s baffling, that ever since your nemesis – S. Cohen left, they have not gotten a workable weekly “call in”/ opinion show on air. Perhaps they can license a UK/EPL based show, like a “606 Phone in.

    Does that Fox News host ever get a day off?

  23. Scrumper says:

    Personally I think it’s great the number of games on live, so no complaints there. However, it would serve US soccer fans much better and be much more useful analysis of the game by showing UK studio shows. Listen to Alan Curbishley, Andy Townsend or a Craig Burley and you get ex players who can really read the game. Get rid of the Fox studio and the four empty suits full of “play high tempo” “go to your big time players” nonsense. And the most hilarious of them all is the evening soccer show (can’t remember the name, broadcast from Canada I think) with a kid left over from The Rocky Horror Show and some bizarre looking librarian bloke sporting a ridiculous bowtie. I keep waiting for him to light a pipe and watch the bowtie spin around. Hahahahaha.

  24. cmasia says:

    Today’s Europa League coverage on Fox Soccer is Exhibit A in why the network is so awful.

    THEY HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN THEIR VIEWERS ! ! ! !

    They think we are so stupid, we’d rather listen to 2 idiots in a studio, than the single Brit commentator actually at the event.

    With DirecTV, thankfully, I had different options.

    Time and again, they sacrifice intelligent coverage, preferring to dumb down commentary and programming to the lowest common denominator.

    Both Fox and Sky share ownership. Why not use more of Sky’s studio coverage instead of the 4 Idiot Horsemen they trot out on weekends.

    And yes Stone is better than Miles, but that’s like saying having 8 cents is better than having 7 cents.

    • The Gaffer says:

      It’s not that they have no confidence in their viewers. If anything, it looks like they’re trying to give some of them on-air talent more experience in front of the mic, commentating on games. Giving people like John Strong a chance to commentate, and giving Brian McBride experience. The TV ratings for Europa League games are quite small, so why not give their talent an opportunity to cut their teeth?

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  25. Nick Geber says:

    As a former FSC on-air personality, I agree entirely with your article. Many new faces are following FSC these days, viewers who don’t have a clue how far we’ve come or that FSC used to be Fox Sports World…

    Pundits/Talent will always be a topic for the punters (and I am not immune from liking some but not others)but on the whole, FSC is providing much more football than you could watch anywhere else in the world, including the UK.

    Nick Geber

  26. Buddha says:

    Agree Gaffer. My only complaints are for the non-EPL games when I have to hear the American announcers (yuck). But FOX could make me love them long time if they could invest and get “Special 1 TV” back. Can’t tell you how much I miss that show.

  27. Lee Allen says:

    I think the analysis can be too general on the fsc shows. Even the poorer pundits on sky sports point out things that aren’t obvious to the casual viewer. For instance Brian McBride today said udinese equalizing early in the second half was a big deal. really? maybe elaborating on di natale’s impact on the game and precisely what he did to put liverpool under pressure wouldve been better. it seems like they try to combine nfl style punditry with soccer and it doesnt work for me

  28. grudgemaster says:

    wynalda and barton must go! i have to mute them as the are constantly gushing over city and chelsea. cant say ive ever heard them say a positive on my team. be fair and impartial you muppets!

  29. dano328 says:

    What happened to Eoin O’Calahan? I see him on Twitter, but miss his weekly pod with Bobby McMahan.

    Just curious if everyone but Bobby was canned in the transition. I liked most of them.

    The new studio news show is getting more criticism than it deserves. I have watched every night and Brendan Dunlop has had exactly two nights off since launch. This is noticeable because he is one of those made for TV faces. His replacements are obviously producers who were not hired to be on camera. Dunlop is a Villa fan and not clueless as many people are saying. The pundits are not bad. They are all former European players. I actually like bow tie the best.

  30. dano328 says:

    I defended Fox Soccer News but for match coverage, I would prefer that we have analyst and post match commentary straight from the source. Neville’s analysis is hard to beat so why not pump it over?

  31. Matt says:

    Fox Soccer needs to pick up another league, they have nothing to show on Sunday afternoons

    They also need to do a better job selecting with CL matches to show, come December, I don’t want to see Chelsea-Nordsaelland on Fox Soccer of FSN, put a match which will mean something even if it is Spartak-Celtic or Malaga-Milan

  32. Todd says:

    I agree with the article on the whole. Without FOX Soccer what would there be? Would ESPN have picked it up? Doubtful.
    I would say that they have definitely made strides in all areas of their programming and I would say that they will continue to do so as they progress.

    In all honesty I would still rather listen to Rob Stone than Christian Miles, at least Stone’s voice doesn’t grate as much.

    I’m also glad that they got away from having American announcers giving commentary while watching on a monitor and decided to go with the feed broadcasters.

    I don’t really like the pundits all that much and think that many times they get things pretty wrong and have a fairly biased viewpoint for some matches. Then again, this is the same complaint anywhere in the world. If only Gary Neville could be cloned to provide analysis for every network…

  33. gargoyle says:

    They Americanized it and it sucks.

  34. Kobashi says:

    What happened to the M-F 7p to 8p airing of Sky Sports News? Has anyone heard why Fox decided to replace that show with other programming? I hate that I have to wait till 10p to get my soccer news fix living on the East Coast. Airing Sky Sports News at 7p was at the perfect time for me as I was able to get my US Sports News from ESPN from 6p to 7p and at 7p I was able to get my international sports news. I’ve tweeted various Fox Soccer On Air Talent, PR People, and Management and none have ever responded about why they decided to can Sky Sports News in that time period.

    I have to say my interest in soccer is a lot less now than it has been in years past and a lot of that has to do that with not having that hour of highlights and interviews from Sky Sports News daily.

  35. xaviers' says:

    A lot of great points here. I just wanted to add that I’m thankful for Fox Soccer adding coverage for the early morning hours. My work shift ends around 6 am. I LOVE that I get home and able to watch highlights.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Good point. That’s another thing that FOX Soccer has done recently. They’ve replaced their early morning infomercials with soccer programming.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  36. SIXXTTY says:

    Great article Gaffer with quality comment replies!

    I have DirecTV. I get Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, BeIn Sport, Gol, ESPN, ESPN2 all in HD. I greatly appreciate having my HD DVR record all the amazing matches from so many wonderful leagues. I cannot come close to keeping up with all that I want to watch now. I remember not so many years ago when I was subscribing to Setanta through a service called IPTV that was nothing more than a Roku-like video streamer broadcasting in SD quality in the best of times with no DVR. The quality of the stream was often far worse than SD quality. Now I have ~10 times more options of matches to watch and all in great HD quality going from my 1080p video projector to a 92″ screen; heaven! I do wish that one of the football channels would offer MUTV and Sky post-match shows to be replayed late at night. In the end for me personally, it is about the quality of the broadcast moving from SD to HD that is what I appreciate most with all the has happened in recent years. Top marks to all the various football channels for broadcasting in HD.

  37. dust says:

    I have been critique of Fox Soccer channels none live game programming, its lack of original programming, pundit talent etc.. etc.. while working @ home on the comp yesterday with Fox Soccer on in the background i stopped to watch the “we live soccer” program. i have to say for original programming it was good, Im not sure why it is only on @ 4 on the west coast, but hey.

    This episode was focused on Chicago and one segment in particular about the UNO soccer school… lucky lucky Chicago what a great idea. poignant to speak about especially with FA center launch in Burton.

    http://t.co/czh3MURA

    above is what i have found online Im not sure why fox soccer doesn’t have pages on their website for their programming. Not sure what their marketing dept is doing but someone needs to shake that tree and get it together…a waste of a platform and opportunity.

  38. BORINGARSENAL says:

    What drives me nuts are the banner ads splashed across the screen; it cheapens the product. One other bit of stick; I could easily dispense all the American-produced wraparound shows. I’d take the straight uninterrupted Sky TV feed.

  39. Robinphx says:

    I just wish they would give a heads up if they are going to reveal scores of games they are about to replay. Give us a tick or two to flip the channel if you’re going to tell us the score. That’s all I’m asking. I don’t like watching games I for which I already know the outcome. I’m sure there are others that feel the same way.

  40. Recobenzo says:

    I miss Serie A…very much. They would show actual games of teams not named Juventus or AC Milan. BeIn is a total suck up to only the big clubs…… Fine, I get it that in futbol…people only care about the big teams and nothing more. It’s like if baseball only allowed Red Sox or Yankees games to be shown….and only they could sign the best players or trade for them while everyone else was a farm team for them.

  41. Stevie G says:

    FSC needs to clear out all American commentators/pundits. The pundits lack of knowledge regarding the game is appalling, they focus far too intently on American players, and they make some of the most inane and irrelevant comments I’ve ever heard. The commentators, as well, simply don’t have a voice for the game. Ian Wright said it best- it just sounds wrong when an American is yelling “head ball!” and “great hustle!” for the entirety of a football match. Not to mention when a player is about to strike the ball they scream the player’s name like a hockey announcer. They need to bring in people who have lived and breathed the game since the day they were born, not a man who commentates not only NFL games but also PBA Tournament Bowling (Rob Stone). Their grasp on the game is tenuous at best and it really shows. The worst part is that the producers of the show must think they’re doing a good job or else they would have shit-canned them after their first comparison of football with baseball. In other countries, football is a religion. In America, football is one of those laughably absurd cults. I only watch FSC for the games and if I could get the English broadcast I would pay through the nose to do so. As for the analysis, I honestly think I would do better trying to interpret star signs in the sky.

    -An American

  42. Dreaming pain says:

    You guys need let the commentary team does the halftime shows, and get them on air 5 mins before and after the game so that we the viewers can get more attract he’d the game instead of just sitting there waiting for the game to come on screen seconds into the match after a long discussion of crap all the way across the Atlantic. Coverage is great though, thumbs up for that but the pundits are a disgrace to football who just sits and thinks that footballers are poppets on strings and only the clubs with money should play in the leagues.

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