FOX Soccer host Rob Stone said today that FOX Sports is interested in expanding its coverage of soccer to include more leagues (after losing the Premier League rights to NBC). Plus, Stone dropped a major hint that FOX may be interested in bidding on US media rights to Major League Soccer, the US men’s national team and Bundesliga games when the rights deals are up for bidding.
In an exclusive interview with the Awful Announcing website, Stone said:
“My gut is telling me, and I honestly have no insight into this, that sooner than later we will have the properties to a [soccer] league [back on FOX Sports], whether that is a year or two down the road. But it’s not like once we got out of the Premier League game, we said ‘That’s it. We’re done with [soccer] leagues.’ The MLS and US men’s national team [rights] deal is coming up momentarily. There’s suddenly a lot of eyes on the Bundesliga for what they achieved in the Champions League last year.
“Leagues come and go. And I think that FOX certainly has their eye on increasing their soccer library.”
Bidding for the US TV rights to Major League Soccer will begin this Fall.
What’s your opinion regarding what Rob Stone says? Would you welcome Major League Soccer returning to FOX’s airwaves, or are you concerned about how FOX would handle MLS given the criticism FOX received the last time they shared the rights to the top flight American league? And if FOX doesn’t bid for the rights to MLS, who will? Given poor TV ratings, do you think ESPN or NBC Sports would be bothered putting in strong bids next time? Have your say in the comments section below.