In a massive U-turn, FOX Sports has decided not to stream the 2018 FIFA World Cup on the FOX Soccer Match Pass streaming service after all.
The news comes just one week after FOX Sports announced in a press release that its live coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup schedule would be streamed across the FOX Soccer Match Pass streaming service and apps.
No explanation for the U-turn has been given, and we were unable to reach FOX Sports for comment.
No cable or satellite subscription is required to stream games on FOX Soccer Match Pass, so it’s quite possible that the decision may have been reached after a rethink of FOX’s World Cup streaming strategy. By not allowing the games to be streamed on FOX Soccer Match Pass, it encourages consumers to watch the games on the FOX and FS1 networks thereby increasing viewership and satisfying advertisers who are paying millions to have their brand featured during commercials on the FOX television networks.
FOX Sports has amended last week’s press release to remove mentions of FOX Soccer Match Pass. Instead, the release says that viewers can stream the World Cup via FOX Sports GO, FOXSports.com website and the FOX Sports App.
However, currently, both the FOX Sports GO and FOX Sports App require authentication in order for sports fans to watch the live broadcasts. And there’s no indication yet whether streams via the FOXSports.com website will be behind a paywall or not.
What we do know for sure is that FOX Soccer Match Pass won’t be streaming the games, which is disappointing news given that the World Cup coverage is a unique selling point for the streaming service.
While FOX Soccer Match Pass is no longer an option for cord cutters who want to stream the World Cup, other legal third-party streaming services are available that will stream every game such as Sling TV, fuboTV, DIRECTV NOW, YouTube TV and PlayStation. Each of the services offer free trials.