Here’s a statement that may send shockwaves throughout the United States soccer-loving community: FOX is not good at covering soccer.
Although FOX has played a major role in the growth of soccer in the States for many years, their coverage has been problematic. Piers Morgan and Michael Strahan trying to explain the difference between football and fútbol before the 2011 Champions League Final, and throwing poor Gus Johnson into the proverbial fire, are prime examples of the misses on FOX’s tote-board.
The situation for FOX only gets worse when the average fan gushes over the quality of ESPN and NBC’s coverage of the game. Despite everything, the soccer public must come to this conclusion: FOX isn’t going anywhere, and we’re just going to have to accept how they choose to cover the game.
It’s a painful pill to swallow, especially after the fact that ESPN will show the best of its abilities in Brazil this summer, and NBC continues to impress with its Premier League coverage. But, foibles and all, FOX is here to stay, and their coverage of soccer is only going to grow over the next few years.
In 2015, FOX will cover the Gold Cup, the Bundesliga, MLS, USMNT friendlies, and will have privilege to air other FIFA events like the Women’s World Cup. It seems inevitable that FOX will certainly make a push for the Premier League coverage when their current contract expires.
FOX has a commitment to the game, which is great for the growth of the sport. However, the double-edged sword has another side, and most of the die-hard fans don’t take too long to notice it.
FOX has always been different when it comes to sports coverage. They have been ever since they got into the sports business, about 20 years ago. It’s not like FOX is beloved by everyone for their coverage of other sports. Ask any hockey fan about the “glowpuck” and watch the chills move up their spines.
Despite all mistakes, as colossal as the “glowpuck,” FOX will always cover sports with its own unique touch no matter what any die-hard fan wants them to do. Soccer is no exception and falls right into this boat.
I agree with everything that has been written about why FOX’s coverage has fallen down. But, I’ve come to accept that FOX will dominate soccer coverage in the future. I recommend to most of the soccer community that still holds a grudge to be wise and do the same. Being mad about the quality of coverage will ruin the enjoyment of what we’re really tuning in for – the game.