UPDATE: Due to Liverpool against West Ham United needing a replay in the FA Cup, the Premier League have switched around the schedule so that West Ham’s game against Southampton will be played on February 6 at 12:30pm ET instead of the Monday, which means the Bundesliga will *after all* face Premier League competition in the same time window as Leverkusen-Bayern Munich.
When the dates were announced in October for the 8 Bundesliga games FOX Sports would air live on over-the-air TV, the biggest concern was which Premier League games the Bundesliga would clash against in those time slots.
The first live match on FOX’s over-the-air broadcast network will be Stuttgart versus Hamburg on Saturday, January 30 from 12:30pm ET. Typically that date and time slot would feature a high-profile FA Cup 4th Round game, which it does — Liverpool against West Ham United. But due to FOX Sports giving priority to the Bundesliga, college basketball and motor racing, it means that the Liverpool-West Ham game will only be available on FOX Sports 2 and FOX Soccer 2GO. Most soccer fans (and a portion of mainstream America) will be watching the German game instead given that FOX Sports 2 is in SD (standard definition) as well as not being available to many Comcast cable subscribers. Interestingly, as of press time, 62% of World Soccer Talk readers said they’ll be watching the Liverpool-West Ham game instead.
And with the news that the Premier League has decided which games in February will have their kickoff times moved to be featured on UK television, we now know that the February 6th game between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich (the two most-watched Bundesliga teams on US television) will be shown when no Premier League matches will be played (the league has decided not to schedule a 12:30pm ET/5:30pm GMT game that Saturday). That’s a huge plus for the Bundesliga and FOX Sports given the growing popularity of Leverkusen thanks to the signing and continued success of Chicharito. The number of viewers for that game could beat all of the Premier League TV records if (and it’s a big IF) FOX Sports does an A+ job at marketing the game to soccer fans.