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Superb League Cup Coverage from Setanta Sports

In the last round of the League Cup, Setanta Sports treated us to coverage from Crewe against Manchester United, and Chesterfield versus West Ham United. While both matches were entertaining to watch, I wrote how impressed I was that Setanta showed all of the footage from SkySports.

While soccer fans in America are able to watch more live matches than viewers in the UK, what we don’t get enough of is the pre-match, half-time and post-match analysis and build-up to matches.

So it was with great pleasure yesterday to watch the Southend against Man United League Cup match. Presenter Tim Lovejoy was more tolerable this time, while football analysts Lee Sharpe and Ronnie Whelan provided plenty of insight. Whelan, who was interviewed for a recent EPL Talk Podcast, managed Southend after ending his Liverpool playing career.

And what a match it was. Southend defended superbly not allowing the United forwards many options or much space. In contrast, the Shrimpers looked more dangerous moving forward and had an easier time creating space to allow penetrating runs (and shots) from Southend’s Freddy Eastwood, their goalscoring machine.

After the fans at Roots Hall ran on to the pitch after the final whistle, the only disappointment was that Setanta didn’t show the post-match coverage from SkySports. I would have loved to see and hear the interviews with Steve Tilson and Alex Ferguson, and to savor the atmosphere of what will go down as one of the biggest giantkilling cup matches in the past decade.

Tonight it’s Birmingham City against Liverpool in the League Cup on Setanta Sports. I’ll be watching it via the On Demand service from ITVN tonight. If it’s anything like the previous League Cup coverage from Setanta, you won’t want to miss it.

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  1. Anonymous

    November 13, 2006 at 8:11 pm

    IF you watch the games live on Setanta, you do get to see Pre-Match (usually) and half-time analysis. Sometimes they do post-match if they don’t have something scheduled to begin right after the match.

  2. Anonymous

    November 9, 2006 at 11:21 am

    I also believe they have to pay add’l money to Sky to include their pre, half-time and post game commentary. For a soccer channel that is losing money it’s understandable why they don’t. Does Setanta include pre-game, half-time, etc. for regular EPL matches on the weekend?

  3. The Gaffer

    November 9, 2006 at 7:49 am

    In his interview with the EPL Talk Podcast, Dermott McQuarrie encouraged FSC viewers to send e-mails. They read every one. Contact information is at their web site at

    The Gaffer

  4. tyler

    November 9, 2006 at 12:57 am

    I don’t see them showing the analysis from Sky. American networks don’t know quite what to do with soccer, because it doesn’t have 850,000 commercial breaks automatically built into it. Therefore, they shoot their wad on commercials.

    I don’t get why they just don’t put advertisements on the ticker or something to make money that way. I suppose that would make too much sense

  5. Anonymous

    November 8, 2006 at 11:06 am

    Gaffer, you interviewed an FSC executive and maybe you have access to people with power on FSC. Is there a way for them to learn(maybe an open letter or something like that) that beginning live games 5 minutes after the actual kick-off is UNACCEPTABLE.
    I (and thousands of football fans) will be very disappointed if the Arsenal-Liverpool broadcast begins at 11am on Sunday and they start showing the actual game at 11:05. This is the XXI century.
    Any suggestions?

  6. Anonymous

    November 8, 2006 at 10:54 am

    Haha. Very well said. FSC-already the number 3 soccer channel in America(out of 3 channels, that is).

  7. PK

    November 8, 2006 at 10:09 am

    Why would FSC do that when there are episodes of “FC Fox” and women’s college soccer games to show?

    Who would possibly want to watch EPL and Carling Cup pre-game and post-game presentations instead of the scintillating programming mentioned above?

  8. Anonymous

    November 8, 2006 at 9:57 am

    Maybe Fox Soccer Channel will get a hint and start showing pre-game, half-time and post-game coverage from Sky, instead of spoiling the fun by beginning the games 5 minutes late and having idiots from the LA studios talk nonsense on half-time.

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