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.