End Is Near for FOX Soccer With FOX Sports 1 to Begin Broadcasting Soccer In August

UPDATED: FOX’s announcement today that its Speed Channel will be rebranded as FOX Sports 1 this August means that FOX Soccer’s days as a 24/7 soccer network are numbered.

FOX Sports 1 will launch as a 24/7 sports network on August 17, 2013. The long rumored news was made official today in a presentation in New York City. FOX Sports 1 will debut in approximately 90 million homes and will show international soccer games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. The FOX Sports 1 network will also broadcast NASCAR, college basketball, college football and UFC.

In those mid-afternoon slots on FOX Sports 1, the network will take over all of FOX Soccer’s rights packages and will broadcast UEFA Champions League and Europa League games, as well as 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup tournaments. Plus, FOX Sports 1 will broadcast the CONCACAF Champions League, the FA Cup, Gold Cup and FIFA Women’s World Cup.

FOX Sports 1 will also show “delayed matches in prime time; weekly magazine and highlights shows,” according to a FOX Sports statement.

Beginning this August, NBC Sports will be the rights holder to the Premier League on US TV. FOX Soccer lost the rights, which dealt a massive blow to the network that has the Premier League as its anchor programming.

FOX will also be launching a FOX Sports 1 online experience. According to FOX, “Launching together with FOX Sports 1 will be FOX Sports GO – a groundbreaking mobile sports experience for iPhone, iPad, Android devices, and web. FOX Sports Go will offer more than 1,000 live games and events from across FOX Sports, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports’ 22 regional sports networks, as well as scores, highlights, news, stats, and analysis. The live games and events will be available to subscribers of participating cable, satellite, and telco providers at no additional cost.”

FOX added that “In addition to live events and studio programs, FS1 introduces FOX SPORTS LIVE, a 24/7 news franchise providing around-the-clock coverage through regularly scheduled programs, hourly updates and an information-rich ticker.”

The launch of FOX Sports 1 is an attempt by FOX to become the number one sports network in the United States against stiff competition from ESPN, beIN SPORT and NBC.

Co-president of Fox Sports Media Group Randy Freer said in The Wall Street Journal that FOX Soccer will likely be rebranded into another kind of network, with announcement coming as soon as later this year. The company is considering rebranding the niche Fox Soccer channel to an entertainment network, such as a second FX channel.

FOX Soccer launched 17 years ago on November 1, 1997 as FOX Sports World. The network launched with an array of programming including soccer, cricket, darts and rugby before becoming Fox Soccer Channel in 2005 and morphing into FOX Soccer in 2011.

Since the 1998-99 season, FOX Soccer has televised Premier League matches along with ESPN, FOX Deportes and Setanta Sports.

EPL Talk is awaiting comment from FOX Soccer and FOX Sports regarding the news.

26 thoughts on “End Is Near for FOX Soccer With FOX Sports 1 to Begin Broadcasting Soccer In August”

  1. The official announcement also mentions something called FOX SPORTS LIVE, which appears to be an ESPNEWS clone. That’s probably what will replace Fox Soccer in the cable lineup. (There was talk that Fox Soccer would become FX2, with FX focusing on drama and FX2 on comedy, like TNT and TBS do, but having an extra sports channel is probably better for the bottom line.)

  2. I wish one of these days we would get news that one of the big networks actually understands what is going on with sport and technology. I am one of those growing users that chooses internet only entertainment for a variety of reasons. My choice is something I need to live with, but my choice means sports coverage too include my most watched soccer is very low.

    I run xbox for ESPN, but Watch ESPN is not available since I do not have a cable provider. I run Apple TV and there are no sports in sight. I go hulu and netflix for everything outside of sport. I can run iOS apps on airplay. In short, if someone wants to watch soccer without cable or sattelite they are left to pay about as much as they would pay a cable or sattelite company for an “online” experience. The solution sucks and the internet is the future. I can’t wait for a broadcast company to finally…some day…come out with a viable alternative to cable and sattelite because they understand that the money of the future (and the present…google…facebook) is in the internet advertising model. Not too mention, correct me if I am wrong; the fact that Sky and BBC get it across the pond and have very robust internet alternatives for their programming. Maybe someday they will make an offering for north america. Done with the gripe: a long-winded way of saying that what Fox is doing is hardly ground breaking and is definitely not news for me:)

    1. Well said. My main hope is that NBC has a well priced streaming plan that includes ALL the matches and not just the small matches like Fox Soccer2Go. Anywhere between $7.99 and $9.99 sounds good.

      None of that you must have this or that cable provider to be able to stream.

      Unfortunately, most of the big wigs at these entertainment companies are still stuck in the old ways (cable, OTA etc). They need to realize the capabilities of the internet.

      1. And you need to understand the ways of corporations. They want the subscriber fees. That is the cash cow.

        It isn’t as if they are unaware of the Internet. They just don’t want people to pay for their service like Fox Soccer 2 Go. They want everyone to pay for their service, including those that don’t watch the channel but have to subscribe to it anyway!

    2. ” run xbox for ESPN, but Watch ESPN is not available since I do not have a cable provider.”

      Exactly. Do you expect them to provide their content to you for free while simultaneously charging others?

      And despite the fact that the segment of those who have “cut the cable cord” is growing, it’s still a tiny piece of the overall population. Cuban wrote a great article on the topic at blogmaverick

      1. Kody, do you even know what Watch ESPN is??? Watch ESPN and the Xbox app are basically the ESPN3 website.

        To access the ESPN 3 website, you need to have one of their cable providers. Same with the Xbox app and Watch ESPN app on Android and iPhone.

        Why is it that I can watch it on my Xbox app, on ESPN 3 website but not on Watch ESPN because they cut deals with certain providers?

        1. The provider list for Watch ESPN and ESPN3 are different. I can’t use the WatchESPN app on my phone/tablet but I can watch ESPN3.com in my mobile browser. Makes absolutely no sense especially since the website works on Wifi and 4G.

        2. “Why is it that I can watch it on my Xbox app, on ESPN 3 website but not on Watch ESPN because they cut deals with certain providers?”

          because they cut deals with certain providers.

  3. From what I’ve read FOX Sports 1 will have a nightly 11p sportscasts. I hope FOX Sports 2 will air the FOX Socer Report when the 11p sportscast is airing. It would be horrible to lose an hour long daily soccer news show since it seems the days of Sky Sports News in early evening fringe won’t happen again.

    Has FOX commented on what they’re planning to do w/FOX Soccer Plus?

  4. Don’t understand why they don’t pick up the Bundesliga (whose rights with GolTV are expiring in the summer I think), it sucks I can’t watch the Bundesliga in this country and have to stream all the matches.

    1. They may do and stick it on FS+ or use it for filler morning programming. Heavy doses of Bayern and Dortmund. It’s never dull for soccer fans here trying to find out where our games will be next season.

  5. End of an era. What will happen to FS News and Sky Sports News? Deadline day Jim White marathons? Will that move over to Fox Soccer Plus? Will Fox Soccer Plus even exist?

    Sad that all the official online experiences seem to be hooked into a cable subscription. NBC’s, ESPN’s, and this new Fox offering. The TV cartel is strong – especially with cable companies like Comcast having so much power over the networks.

  6. I’m wondering about if Fox Soccer 2 Go is actually just being expanded and redone. Fox Sports also announced today it will launch in August Fox Sports 2 Go, which will be an authenticated internet streaming service (like Watch ESPN) with content from both the national Fox Sports networks AND the regional ones as well. It could be that’s all integrated into the next platform

  7. This sucks. This is the first I’ve jheard of it…guess I’m under a rock. Fox Soccer has a lot of flaws, but at least we get Sky Sports News, Premier League World and Preview/Review, and lots of match reruns. How the heck is BeIn Sport or NBC or whatever going to handle the content? And I’m not adept at finding these match streams…and if one does find them, are they in HD? But that all may be moot since my provider doesn’t even have BeIn Sport yet.

    1. Some streams are in HD…but rarely, depends on what video stream service it is. I don’t know if you’re allowed to say their name on this site so I will stop there 😀

  8. I hope Fox will eventually fade into oblivion. This seems to be a good first good step. Their pre and post match coverage is sub par and now that they’ve brought in Gus Johnson, watching their games make me wince more than hearing nails grind down a chalkboard. The fact that the man has commentated on five huge Champions League and Premier League games is an absolute farce. How could anyone think he could do a better job than Martin Tyler or ANY single one of the TWI commentators? I wouldn’t want him commentating on my local MLS team to be honest. His knowledge of the game and his effectiveness as a soccer commentator are atrocious. As a 12 year old I knew more than he does now.

    Hopefully NBC takes a page out of ESPN’s book and learns how to cover the sport properly.

    Even better, why don’t they just stream Sky Sports straight to my TV?

    1. Good post. I completely agree. Ever since the hiring of Gus Johnson, I’ve become anti Fox. That has to be one of the dumbest moves in recent times. Gus Johnson is so terrible. What is extremely annoying is his yelling any time a player is in or near the box.

      I have high hopes for NBC. My fingers are crossed they don’t follow in the footsteps of Fox.

  9. Without the EPL, FS+ is hurting for content. It’d be nice if they kept the channel around, pressed for more rugby and reduced the price to $5 or something. It would give them spillover room for FA Cup games.

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