What FOX Soccer 2Go Could Have Been: Looking at MLB.TV
A topic that seems to crop up a few times every season is the technical issues that FOX Soccer 2Go subscribers experience. I am a former subscriber, and one of the many problems I have had with the site is their conduct and accessibility when these issues occurred. The lack of any sort of response from FOX Soccer 2Go concerned me. Couple this with the price hike that occurred last fall with the new app, I made the decision to walk away from my monthly subscription last October. When I attempted to take part in the free trial week in February, they made me pay $20 up front, and I never saw my money returned after I ended my trial after only 4 days.
I decided to subscribe to mlb.tv last July to follow my Milwaukee Brewers in their pennant race, when I returned to college in Minnesota. If you’re unfamiliar with the service, subscribers buy packages that bring every out-of-market game (that isn’t nationally televised) to apps on computers, tablets, smartphones, as well as the PS3 and XBOX360. Additionally, subscribers receive local radio broadcasts for both home and away teams to every game (regardless of location) via smartphone, tablet and computer apps. Subscriptions are bought for the remainder of the season that vary depending on amount of content and features you desire. Additionally, returning customers get renewal price discounts. I payed a renewal rate for the Premium service back in January for the 2012 season, which averages to just shy of $14 per month during the season. I use the app on my phone daily, and I watch many games on my PS3 or my laptop despite the fact that I am back in Milwaukee and the Brewers are blacked out.
Before one baseball game last season, I never experienced any technical issues with the service in more than a year as a subscriber. I was at Miller Park watching the Brewers play the Pirates, and I tried to stream the Cincinnati Reds game between innings, but I received an error screen. I chalked it up to relatively poor 3G signal inside the ballpark. It wasn’t until later that day that I learned that a hardware malfunction occurred at the mlb.tv headquarters that knocked out the video streaming services for every game that night. That afternoon I received an email from their customer service department. Long story short, they apologized multiple times, explained their efforts to rectify the problem, and offered me a code for a significant discount off an entire order on MLB.com’s store.
FOX Soccer has come a long way from where they were, even as recent as two years ago. I love the content that they provide to their television channel. But if FOX Soccer was to continue as a network, which it isn’t, they would need to step up their efforts if they ever wanted me to come back to their product despite my feverish love for the Premier League, FA Cup and the Champions League. It’s sad to see the lengths that similar platforms go to when an isolated technical incident arises compared to disinterested outlook FOX Soccer 2Go portrayed. Mlb.tv is far from perfect, but they seem to genuinely care about me as a consumer of a product that they are proud to provide. I have access to live video for 12 games today, which is more than I can say for a normal week at FOX Soccer 2Go. Obviously that is due, in large part, to the nature of soccer as a weekly or biweekly sport due to the increased wear and tear on the body. Even still, a price per game comparison would be laughable. Or depressing. I guess that depends on your point of view.
While the future of FOX Soccer 2Go looks like it’ll change into FOX Sports GO, the new app from FOX Sports 1 scheduled to be released this summer, there are still enough Premier League and Champions League matches on FOX Soccer 2Go to make it worthwhile to consider for the remaining of this season.