FOX Sports Engages In Revisionism To Paint Itself As First Home For Soccer In America
FOX Sports launched their new daily TV show earlier this week on FOX Sports 1. While the reviews for FOX Soccer Daily have been disappointing, one aspect of their show that has been overlooked so far has been something they slipped in to the intro.
Watch the following video:
The glaring line from the video that caught my attention was the following claim made by FOX:
“We were the first home for soccer in America.”
In my opinion, that’s quite a bold claim and an incorrect and misleading one at that. FOX Sports World launched on November 1, 1997. The sports network was renamed as Fox Soccer Channel in 2005, and then renamed to FOX Soccer in 2011. While it’s true that FOX launched before GolTV and well before beIN SPORT, it’s quite a stretch to say that FOX was the first home for soccer in America.
In fact, Setanta Sports launched their first channel two years prior to FOX Sports World. Beginning in 1995, Setanta beamed live Premier League matches into pubs throughout North America, allowing soccer fans to watch live matches from Europe. Or you could go further back to plenty of other homes of soccer — either PBS for Soccer Made In Germany, ESPN for its coverage of soccer in the 80s and beyond, Prime Network, SportsChannel America and so on. As a back story, here’s the history of English soccer on US television from 1980 to 2007.
The history of soccer on television in the United States did not begin in 1997 when FOX Sports World launched. There’s no doubt that FOX Sports has had a massive impact on the growth of the sport in North America, but to say it was the first home for soccer in America is an exaggeration. Perhaps it was an over exuberant copywriter that was hired to punch up the copy? Or FOX rewriting history?