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Concerns Regarding Fox Soccer Channel Coverage

When is live Premiership coverage not live? Answer: When it’s played on Fox Soccer Channel.

One of the interesting things you’ll notice when you’re online each weekend chatting with football fans from around the world about the live Premiership matches via the EPL Talk online chat is the revelation that what you’re watching is not exactly live, but is in fact slightly delayed.

For example, the 10am ET match from this past weekend featuring Liverpool against Aston Villa on Fox Soccer Channel was delayed by approximately four minutes. The match kicked off at 10am, but Fox’s version kicked off at 10:04am. For some of you wondering, you may think it’s no big deal but let me explain my concern and my recommendation of how to fix it.

For those of us who were watching split-screen with Bolton against Man United on one side of the screen and Liverpool against Villa on the other side, the experience was frustrating. It was frustrating because Setanta would show ‘flash’ scores in the top left corner as goals went in. So although we were supposedly watching a “live” broadcast of the Liverpool match, we would see the score from Anfield appear on the Bolton match. And then approximately four minutes later we would see the goal go in at Anfield.

Obviously this ruins the experience and suspense of watching one of the matches.

Most programming carries a delay so producers can bleep out any profanities. But in the case of Fox, their 10am ET match begins coverage at that time. But, by the time the intro begins, the team lineups are announced and the Fox team switches over to the SkySports/TWI commentators, a few minutes have been “wasted.”

It’s a shame really because the solution would be simple. Prior to the 10am ET match, Fox shows the EPL Preview Show. Instead of starting the Preview Show at 9:30am ET, the show should begin at 9:25am, which would allow the 10am ET coverage to begin at 9:55am and would result in true live coverage with the kick off happening at 10am instead of minutes later.

With all of the coverage available nowadays, it’s more important than ever for Fox to show coverage in real-time. With Sirius satellite radio broadcasting the commentary from many matches, fans find themselves listening to Sirius as they watch coverage from FSC. If there’s a delay, it’s annoying to the consumer.

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  1. tyler

    October 31, 2006 at 9:42 am

    Yeah, that is rather ridiculous. I can see having a slight delay, such as with HDTV where it is a couple seconds. But, five minutes is ridiculous.

    I would highly recommend Setanta, particularly with the new on demand feature.

  2. fox in the box

    October 31, 2006 at 9:33 am

    It’s absurd! I distinctly remember the camera giving us a shot of the digital clock at Anfield which reflected the time of 15:45. (3:45) to unknowing Americans. I then looked at my cable box clock which reflected the time of 10:50 E.S.T.
    The coverage was a full 5 minutes behind real time. Shocking!!!

  3. Johnathan Starling

    October 30, 2006 at 11:29 pm

    Hey TT,

    Most of the games that kickoff here at 10 am are even still roughly 45 seconds to a minute behind during the second half.

    All I know is the Christmas season can’t get here fast enough. Setanta via ITVN is going to be a great gift.

  4. Anonymous

    October 30, 2006 at 9:51 pm

    FSC: quickly becoming the number one channel for women’s college soccer. Amateurs! Setanta and GOL are the leading soccer channels in America.

  5. eplnfl

    October 30, 2006 at 9:42 pm

    This has been complained about for years. Maybe now that FSC has some competition in the market they will work to improve their production quality, which has been poor at best.

  6. Anonymous

    October 30, 2006 at 9:40 am

    I agree. FSC’s coverage of EPL is not nearly close to Setanta’s.
    FSC: number one for women’s college soccer!

  7. Anonymous

    October 30, 2006 at 7:39 am

    Yes, the solution really IS that simple – here in Japan the imbeciles at SkyPerfectv who run the football coverage still manage to put the EPL Preview Show on at 25 mins past the hour so there is no interruption to the live broadcast from the ground(s)…

    Do FSC always ensure that the 2nd half of the games kick-off exactly live? Or do they try to fit in a few more of those demeaning ads before the action re-commences?


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