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Fox Soccer Channel Selling Its Soul For Advertising Dollars

fox-soccer-channel1.jpgFox Soccer Channel was featured in Adweek last week, the bible for the advertising industry in the United States. The article focused on Bass Ale’s sponsorship of the Super Sunday Plus show featuring Christian Miles, Gary Richards and Keith Costigan.

The main message in the article is how Fox Soccer Channel is producing branded entertainment for sponsors rather than playing the typical 30 second spots. What Fox and Bass Ale have created on Super Sunday Plus is a package that is relevant. Three blokes sitting in a pub chatting about football with Bass Ale’s name splashed around the pub and across the screen. To me, this isn’t too much of an intrusion in my football watching experience.

The article mentions that Fox is in talks with other advertisers regarding similar branded entertainment opportunities. Here’s where I’m concerned. Other than a pub setting, what other branded entertainment opportunities could Fox create that would be a good fit? I really can’t think of any.

I haven’t watched Fox Football Fone-In this season but in previous seasons the co-hosts and set have been kitted out in so many football shirts and associated gear that it looked the show and the hosts were prostituting themselves for the almighty dollar.

The channel risks turning the network into a joke. Let’s hope that they make the right decision by promoting advertisers in an appropriate and sensible manner that keeps the focus on the content of the show and not the brand names that sponsor the show.

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  1. nate

    November 5, 2008 at 2:20 am

    The problem is not the placement of the brands, but the quality of the analysis and production. FSC's sets and talent are both usually horrible. A few exceptions exist. The backdrop set of Fox Soccer Report makes my eyeballs bleed, and listening to the announcers go on rambling tirades every other night is bemusing at best. Then again, quality is purchased and it takes more expensive sponsoring to bring about an up-tick in talent and quality of production.

  2. odessa steps magazine

    September 2, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    Is this really any different than the Golf Channel having the “The Grey Goose Vodka 18th Hole” where they have a bottle of the stuff sitting right on the table between the chatters?

    As long as the content isn’t affected, advertising is just that.

  3. CFTV

    September 2, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    I don’t let the product placement advertisizing get in my way of enjoyment of watching the game. We are adverised to in all sports and advertising pays the bills along with our small subscription price that we pay to our cable oe dish provider. Hopefully, as the sport grows more attractive advertisers will see soccer matches on TV as a place to advertise that will turn into money for the companies that buy time. The way I think about i it is the better advertisers the more money coming in wich will be mean a better product that will be put on the TV> Regular Euroepean Football has only been beamed to our shores here in the states in the last 10 years or so.

    I will be interested in what kind of treatement ESPN will give full blown soccer coverage if they ever sign up with the Premiership or even La Liga or Seria A as the broeadcasts will be a lot better than FSC, GOL, or even Sentanta.

  4. eplnfl

    September 1, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Do not see the problem here. I’ll take ten more Bass Ale signs as long as FSC programs quality football games and shows.

    Lets face it, FSC has enough football programming. You can complain that you may not see the game each week you want to, but it’s amount is something that is sufficient . What we do need is better pre/post coverage and sponsors make those shows. From the first days of broadcasting sponsorship has driven the media. So, if Bud, Bass Ale, or you name the brand is willing to pay for say a quality show, LET THEM.

  5. Simon Burke

    September 1, 2008 at 11:58 am

    The network is a joke but the content is fine – as long as they leave the product of football alone and dont splash commercials all over the match I can cope with the rest of it.

  6. Anonymous

    September 1, 2008 at 11:58 am

    I think you are worrying too much. As long as they don’t interrupt the games, who cares how else they sell themselves.

  7. Dave's Football Blog

    September 1, 2008 at 11:04 am

    If it means seeing less of those horrifically annoying new ads for O2 Maximum Performance — “Wow! I feel a burst of energy!” — then I’m all for it. Those commercials are bad for your brain.

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