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What Will FOX Soccer’s Legacy Be?

fox soccer rip logo What Will FOX Soccers Legacy Be?

Depending on your allegiances, the last day for FOX Soccer as a network is either (a) May 19, when the 2012-13 Premier League season (and FOX Soccer’s rights to show the EPL) come to an end, (b) August 17, when FOX Sports 1 launches or (c) September 2, when FOX Soccer becomes FXX.

For many of us, FOX Soccer’s demise isn’t a surprise. When FOX Soccer lost the bidding for the US media rights in October, most of us presumed that the channel’s days were numbered after losing its flagship soccer league. Even before FOX lost the rights, newspapers were reporting that FOX was planning a new sports TV network to rival ESPN.

But now that we know that FOX Soccer’s days are numbered with The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and The Guardian reporting that the network will morph into FXX, what will the lasting legacy be for FOX Soccer in the United States? What will we remember it for? And how will the history of the network be perceived in the future?

Have your say in the comments section below. I’ll combine some of the best responses into a future article that will include my opinion.

I’m looking forward to reading your answers. Post away below!

This entry was posted in FOX Soccer, 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 →

43 Responses to What Will FOX Soccer’s Legacy Be?

  1. Roland Frankel says:

    I presume that Fox soccer 2 go will also
    no longer exsist as well.

  2. jeremy says:

    Their days were numbered anyway. NBC is set to take over BPL coverage next year, so why would anyone continue to tune in to Fox Soccer? NBC will have content and programming to match the games, and they’ll likely do it better than Fox ever did.

  3. jeremy says:

    That said, if not for Fox Soccer, I likely wouldn’t have tuned into soccer abroad, because I probably wouldn’t have been exposed to it. So, I’m thankful for that.

  4. Cantona says:

    Their best decisions: choosing British announcers for the champions league… Showing more champions league games… Using Sky Sports News.. Gettin the SPL…

    Their worst decisions: the Gus Johnson experiment , using fox crew for commentating on Serie A, hiring Rob Stone, bad half time and wrap up show, not having a MOTD style show for sat and sun

    I’ll think of more later

    Cantona—

    • Charles Boyer says:

      Add in Eric Wynalda, a contrarian who says things with the sole purpose of stirring it up and your list is perfect.

  5. Dean Stell says:

    I’ll really miss Fox Soccer. It isn’t just their live broadcasts, but having a channel that is showing SOMETHING soccer-related on Tuesday afternoon when I’m running on the treadmill. The live broadcasts will always be there, but the random replays of Champions League games from last year will be hard to find now.

    I’ll also miss the Sky Sports stuff where we learn about dart throwing and other weirdness. Oh yeah….and seeing how the Brits put together an NBA highlight package. :)

  6. MrTuktoyaktuk says:

    I’ll miss Fox Soccer News (not so much the current version but the Winnipeg version). Will miss Sky Sports News.

    I’m afraid a lot of non-marquee content, the U17, U20 WCs, Concacaf Champions League, etc. now won’t have a place to air. If we are lucky, some of that might make it online, but I am skeptical. I was hopeful that Bundesliga would be saved from the purgatory of Gol TV by Fox Soccer, now that won’t happen.

  7. Miike says:

    Letting piers Morgan into the already abysmal collection of halftime collection of “personalities” was the low point. Getting in a fight with comcast so my cable operator relegated them to non-HD status was a disaster.

    English commentators were a huge plus

  8. Fernando says:

    Fox had the EPL market cornered for well over a decade and yet could not make a full network out of the biggest properties they had.

    Their production values were very poor throughout most years and only recently did the step up in class happen.

    Who can remember Andy Gray and Richard Keys sitting in a poorly lit studio in LA talking about World Cup matches without highlights? Terrible.

    Fox Soccer gave us the games we wanted to watch and I guess in the end that’s what will be remembered.

  9. BD says:

    Terri Leigh. OH WAIT, she’s on BeinSport now. Yeah, I won’t remember Fox Soccer.

  10. nickp says:

    Their best decisions British announcers for the champions league and Sky Sports News and wps Their worst decisions the Gus Johnson experiment amd mls

  11. He's Livid says:

    Cheers to FSC for bringing the Prem, Championship, UEFA, SPL, and Australian soccer to US TV.

    I will miss Sky Sports News, especially Olivia Godfrey.

    If it wasn’t for FSC, I would have never seen Kettering Town FC,(a town I lived in for 9 months in the 70′s) play live in the FA cup three years ago.

    Also, a shout out to the forgotten Christain Miles, who did a decent job of carrying the pregame and halftime shows before Rob Stone.

    Overall, a job well done, FSC.

  12. Terry says:

    Remembering the days when I had to watch delayed German soccer on PBS to PPV for FA Cup or a season subscription for 1 game a week on cable, Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus and foxsoccer2go really brought the EPL and Champions League to us live and allowed us a selection that many around the world would be envious of. Every EPL game can be watched live on one of the 3 outlets mentioned above. That’s awesome. Let’s hope NBC follows suit.

    I’ve often complained about Fox’s pre-game, halftime, or post-game shows but one thing I’ve never complained about was the fact that they made available to us live soccer games. Even when I didn’t like the commentators I was thankful that I could watch (with the sound off).

    I think it’s going to be quite sad in a way that Fox Soccer will no longer be around. I suspect those of us who complained a lot about them will also miss having Fox to kick round anymore.

    Say what you will about Fox, for those of us who love the EPL they were family. Whether or not I will miss them will depend in large part to what NBC does with the EPL next season. But to Fox, thanks for your contribution towards soccer coverage in the US. I am grateful.

    • Bob H. says:

      I was going to post a response similar to yours. Your thoughts are the same as mine. For all the poor production values there was nothing poor about being able to watch all EPL matches on one of the Fox platforms. There was always a match to watch at any time during the week. When beIN bought the rights to other leagues there was a distinct void in what I was able to watch. My provider, AT&T uVerse has yet to pick up beIN and I’m fearful that it may not pick up other other NBC, Fox and beIN matches this fall. I too will miss Fox Soccer.

    • David says:

      Agree. For all their faults Fox has done a remarkable job bringing EPL, as well as Italy Serie A before it went to beIN, to soccer fans on this side of the pond.

    • dust says:

      And they did all out of the kindness of their hearts too! (sarcasm) they seized a business opportunity, they didn’t lose money buying up licenses from bankrupt setanta.

      yes its great to watch all games, but they arn’t free and we are not the only ones that get this kind of package, most other developed nations or even developing nations like india get the same options.

      Fox actually just screwed it up, when it came to paying market value they bailed, and NBC took it up, if it was on the cheap I’m sure they would go for it again. they put more money in nascar.

      If they genuinely cared about the sport they wouldn’t have left the pre, HT and post game coverage in the poor state it was, nor would they have kept on with GUS in-spite of an apparent overwhelming show of displeasure at his presence.

      NO Sympathy here, they blew it.

  13. Smokey Bacon says:

    FSC and Fox Sports World before it paved the way for NBC to hopefully take soccer coverage in the US to the next level. No way does NBC pay what it did to get the rights if FSC had not helped popularize the game over here. Even MLS might have struggled to get to where they are had not FSC woken up a generation of Americans to the beautiful game. No doubt ESPNs excellent World Cup coverage has also had an impact but FOX were the pioneers.

    When I arrived in America in 1998, I thought I would struggle to find any EPL on the tv. So I will always have a soft spot for FSC. They didn’t do everything right but they did enough. NBC better not screw it up. So far the signs are good.

    RIP FSC and thanks to the people who made it happen from a grateful viewer.

    • Eplnfl says:

      Smokey I am of the same opinion. FSC accomplished it purposes in 4 star fashion. Despite the poor production values and some less then stellar talent FSC brought the EPL and soccer to America.

      I do not think any of us on this website every imagined that the EPL would take off the way it did. Thank FSC for that which made ESPN get into the game and as they say the rest is history.

      FOX SPORTS and NBCSC are the natural progressions. FSC was soccer TV 1.0 and for that matter it was a classic. Job well done.

    • tom whitehead says:

      Ditto….became a big time ManU fan first with the deal with the NY Yankees and then FSC. Watchd all 15 years and will miss games; some of the post game was good and maybe the pre-game….gus johnson was not.
      Let’s hope NBC stays with british announcers otherwise will have to turn down sound.

  14. Huw Roma says:

    Totally agree with the above. I arrived in the U.S. in 1998 and thought I’d never be able to watch the amount of football I have. They provided a wealth of football that while eroded in the past few years, paved the way for things to come. It’s going to be strange without it after watching Fox Soccer since 2001.

  15. 88buckaroo says:

    wait… you’re asking what Fox Soccer’s legacy will be? seriously? their legacy is that american networks are crap, american commentators are crap, americans are clueless about football and that anything with ‘Fox’ on it should be avoided at all cost. Thank god for ESPN with Ian and Macca or the US would be voted off the planet. I think Fox Soccer’s legacy should involve lawsuits by people who were injured by having to watch them.
    yup… i think that about covers it.

  16. Transic says:

    The legacy of Fox Soccer will be that they and GolTV, along with Setanta, will be remembered for being one of the first channels dedicated to bringing club association football on a weekly basis to a greater audience of English speakers in the US. BeIN and NBC Sports getting into the act is the confirmation of the belief of those earlier efforts to bring a greater exposure to the masses here.

    They were not on the forefront of HD technology, which helped to hurt them right towards the end. Football in HD is a must if you want to show it on TV. Unfortunately, cable companies resisted offering this fast enough. Certainly, Fox Soccer had to bear some of the brunt of the hostility towards association football on the part of major American media pundits, especially in their early years. There is that still lingering but it has been blunted by the reality that there is a demand for the product offered, even on a niche scale.

    They may not be anyone’s idea of an example but give credit to Fox Soccer for sticking its neck out a bit further when others were still down on the sport. Without the likes of Gol, Setanta and Fox Soccer, adoption of football by the major media players would be much slower, even though it’s still slow by the expectation of the fans.

  17. Yespage says:

    Gave authentic access to the EPL. Don’t care about pre-game / half-time / wrap-up stuff. Give me the games and FSC gave us that.

    They also gave us FS2Go, which offered football fans quite possibly the most frustrating online experience that could be had. An unbelievable amount of content, with sub-par access to it.

    I still miss Setanta.

  18. Ken says:

    Don’t Fox still have the Champions League? Presumably that will become part of Fox Sports One or maybe they’ll sell the rights to beIN SPORT.

  19. Scrumper says:

    I’m eternally grateful to Fox for showing the games. But they missed so much by not broadcasting the UK football shows and instead wasted a boatload of cash by presenting something representing some studio morgue with a bunch of misfits masquerading as pre and post game shows. It’s fitting that Gus Johnson with his inflatable hat and mangled commentary was the final nail in the coffin.

    Just show me the games NBC without the suits and catch phrase hell.

    • NashRambler says:

      Regarding Gus, considering that Fox Sports 1 will have the rights to Big East Conference basketball next year I would guess that Gus will be the number 1 man to do play-by-play commentary for these games.

      What this would mean is that Gus will be tied up calling college football from September to December and calling college basketball from November to March. He probably would not be free to get over to Europe to call Champions League games until the quarterfinal round.

      My hope is that these logistical issues will mean the end of Gus as a soccer commentator. Unless of course they have him call the games from a monitor in a studio in the U.S. which would be horrible but I wouldn’t put it past the decision makers at Fox who made the stupid decision to have him call soccer in the first place.

      • Terry says:

        Gus might still do the latter stages of the Champions League which take place in April and May. Dread the thought.

  20. Transic says:

    Gaffer,

    I apologize if this was brought up before but I would like to see a thread dedicated to speculating about the rumored-launching of Fox Sports 2, said to replace FUEL TV.

    Thanks in advance.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Transic, you can post comments about it here under this threat, if you like, but we’ll only be covering the FOX Sports 2 news if it is relevant to soccer (ie if they’re planning on having soccer coverage on that network, which I don’t believe they will).

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Ch says:

        Presumably, the main events (champions league / World Cup) will be on Fox Sports 1. Other less heralded events such as the u17 / u20 / concacaf will be on Fox Sports 2.

  21. Cant Climb says:

    I’ll miss FSC. FSC is what brought the love of football to me. I’ll miss the full replays during the week and all hours of the night. I don’t think NBC is going to fill in programming with replays. I’ll miss the FA cup, all the U20,U21 tourneys. Will miss the England UEFA matches. And will miss the bad Fox Soccer news. Will miss SKY sports, loved the different perspective. Will miss the SKY coverage of Transfer-Deadline day.

    My fear is NBC is going to do the BPL ‘espn style’ and over produce it and drown out the subtleties. I pray (at least) they use the English commentators.

  22. seth says:

    Putting Piers Morgan in was the equivalent downfall that happened to the Flinstones when that stupid little alien that only Fred could see was introduced.

  23. Carlito says:

    Can’t see Gol TV leaving anytime soon. They have a huge Hispanic market. So unless NBC’s Telemundo of another Spanish language network takes it over, they’ll be around.

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