EXCLUSIVE — Viewers of One World Sports awoke Saturday morning to the channel being relaunched as Eleven Sports.
By all accounts, this is not merely a name change but has the looks of a complete takeover of the beleaguered network. Reminder, back in November of last year, One World Sports furloughed much of its staff. And the future of the channel was much in doubt. Programming continued but it was filled with reruns of old events and its guide was not updated.
Eleven Sports is a completely separate entity based in the UK with active sports channels in Poland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Singapore and Taiwan. As a matter of fact, the Polish and Singapore channels are well known to IPTV users who enjoy Eleven Sport’s coverage of Serie A, La Liga, FA Cup, NBA and more. It is unclear what changes in properties and coverage we may see in the future but for now we can expect the same coverage that we saw on One World Sports. For soccer fans, that means Arsenal TV, Chelsea TV and Bayern TV.
One big question that remains unanswered is the future of NASL soccer coverage – specifically New York Cosmos home matches, which were a permanent fixture on One World Sports. The matter is made more confusing by the fact that One World Sports is (was?) owned by One Media based in Texas whose chairman is the same Seamus O’Brien who is the previous owner of the Cosmos group. Again, without any official news releases by any parties involved in this matter, it’s hard to determine which direction the channel may take in the future. We do know that Eleven Sports is a global player and certainly brings deeper pockets than One Media did to the table. Now lets hope this brings some soccer coverage that is ignored by the “big boys” in the US TV landscape. A return of Asian Champions League would certainly be welcomed as well as the possibility of some small European leagues.
Eleven Sports is available via DirecTV (#623), Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-Verse (#1665), Cablevision, Mediacom, RCN, Atlantic Broadband and fuboTV.
One World Sports was contacted Saturday regarding the news, but did not respond to our e-mail request.
Ed Perovic is the publisher of soccertvblog.com – a source for schedules and US TV information for major European Leagues and International competitions.