UPDATED: Despite regularly having some of the best TV ratings in the country for soccer programming, as well as all the hype from David Beckham romancing investors and politicians in hopes of finding a stadium for his Miami MLS team, the City of Miami won’t be televising the live FA Cup match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at Noon ET.
The match, which is being shown live on the over-the-air FOX network across the United States, will not be seen by viewers in Miami because FOX affiliate WSVN has decided it’s better to show infomercials for the Hurricane Mop and Nutribullet.
Instead, WSVN will air the game on Sunday night from midnight to 2:30am ET.
Not only is Miami impacted, but there are reports of several other FOX affiliates around the country who have decided to show other programming.
According to @bubbaprog, here are the other FOX affiliates impacted around the country:
— Amarillo, TX FOX affiliate is airing an infomercial for “DermaWand”
— Augusta GA FOX affiliate is airing Pitt-NC State game instead of FA Cup.
— Chico, CA is airing something called “The Coolest Places On Earth”
— Clarksburg, WV Fox affiliate is airing “Friends.”
— WFXP in Erie PA is airing “Larry King Special Report.”
— Iowa City is airing something called “Middle.”
— Joplin, MO FOX affiliate is airing “Friends.”
This isn’t the first time that Miami’s WSVN has thumbed its nose at soccer coverage. In January 2013, WSVN — owned by Sunbeam Television — decided to air local programming instead of the West Ham United-Manchester United Third Round FA Cup game. However, WSVN showed the game live on its D2 station, but WSVN-D2 is not scheduled to show Arsenal-Spurs today. Plus, in January 2012, FOX affiliate WSVN aired religious programming instead of Chelsea against Manchester United.
If you do live in WSVN’s coverage area of Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, one alternative is to drive 60 miles north to West Palm Beach to find a bar that’s showing the game on FOX affiliate WFLX. Or you can $20 and watch the game live on FOX Soccer 2Go. Or you can watch the game on FOX Deportes with Spanish-language commentary.
Unfortunately, the issue with FOX affiliates not showing particular FA Cup games is not uncommon. For the 2013 FA Cup Final between Wigan and Manchester City, TV networks in Hartford and Indianapolis showed the game on delay, for example.
For soccer fans who live outside the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, check your local listings to make sure that your local FOX affiliate is showing the game. Schedules are always subject to change.
Don’t forget that in addition to FA Cup rights, FOX also has US TV rights to World Cup 2018 and World Cup 2014 as well as the UEFA Champions League and other competitions. Whenever games are shown on the free-to-air FOX network, there’s always the risk that some of the affiliates won’t show games.
Meanwhile, someone should tell David Beckham that the team he supported as a kid is not being televised live on English-language television in the city he plans on investing in.