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What If Fox Soccer Channel Loses Its EPL TV Rights Deal?

fox-soccer-channel1Within the next two months, we’ll learn who will win the bid for the US TV rights to the Premier League for the 2010-2013 seasons. What if Fox Soccer Channel loses its EPL TV rights deal to ESPN and/or Setanta. What should they do to make up for the massive loss?

If Fox Soccer Channel loses out on the TV rights deal, FSC should make a play for Man United TV, Chelsea TV, Arsenal TV, or Liverpool TV and whatever programming they offer in England. From what I understand they offer replays of games 48 hours after they happen along with a propaganda news program show, classic games, and youth games. Would it make sense for a FSC to go after 2 of the teams rights for their re-airs where they can play them on Tuesday and Wednesday Night, get the filler of classic games, along with youth team games which would be fun to watch if you want to see guys work their way up the reserve team? I could see it as a viable option.

I could see a club love to get as much publicity as possible on a channel like FSC which is in more households than Setanta and/or GOL TV over here in the States. I really think the best that FSC can hope for is the 12pm Saturday Game and either the 2nd or 3rd choice 10am game on Saturday if ESPN is serious about getting the rights to the Prem. With the American influence of ownership groups of Liverpool, United, Villa, as well what ownership Kroenke has in Arsenal they have realize that FSC does reach soccer fans and could use the Club TV shows as a way to push their club/brand in America.

FSC hasn’t shied away from airing Milan TV before and currently air Barca games on delay. I think in a perfect world United would be one of the clubs they would focus on since they just seem to be most friendly with their current and past success to target. I know that they are on Setanta now but I wonder if the money saved on getting all of the packages that FSC before could be used to prise United’s TV shows from Setanta giving the the club more exposure here in the States.

Myself, I am hoping that ESPN2 ends up with the Premier League rights to the 7:45am ET game and the 1st choice game on Saturdays at 10am ET along with the double header on Sunday and Monday Games with FSC getting the 2nd choice game on Saturday and the noon ET kick off here in the States.

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  1. cftv

    April 9, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    Anyone else take the survey over at that FSC has been pimping for the past week or two. One of the cool things they did with the survey is allow you to voice your opinions about questions that weren’t asked during the survey.

    This was my comments on the FSC Survey.

    I would really like for FSC to get some programming on Saturday and Sunday Mornings between the hours of 5am to 9am Eastern. I think its crummy there is no soccer programming that airs in the morning leading up to the EPL Preview show on Saturday Mornings and Serie A at 9am to watch unless I go to a local bar early to watch the 7:30am game. Even if it means getting an SPL Game (non Celtic/Rangers if they are still tied up to their Setanta Pub Deal) English Championship Games even if they are on a day delay from Friday, or a Dutch game that sometimes airs early that would be great. Even better would be to run a series of Classic EPL Review Shows in those hours until the the pregame show airs. It is horrible to wake up and there is no soccer to watch on FSC or GOL TV until 9am especially for early risers on the East Coast like myself that want something to get them pumped for the weekends games. Instead I catch up on ESPN SportsCenter or ESPN News waiting till 9am.

    I would by hook or by crook look to make a deal with TWI the company that produces the EPL Review Show and get the rights of the old programs and air them in Chronological Order if it is all possible If the tapes don’t exist from like 92-93 when the league started go back to 98 or whenever that those tapes can be dusted off and aired in a foreign market like the US where most new fans no idea how the teams over the years got to be where they are today. I really think if your network made a play to get the rights to those old tapes it would really raise the soccer IQ of American’s that are just getting into the Premiership and want to hear about the history of the league. I like the Premiership Classics that do air from time to time but I really think it would be cool to have a snap shot of what was going on in the Premirship on 2/13/98 as United started to slip and Arsenal pipped them at the end of the season to win the league.

    Also I would like to see more shoulder programming that deals with more Soccer from Europe and England. Another idea I have is trying prise 2 of the Big 4 in England’s Club TV shows especially if FSC can get the rights Manchester United TV. If your channel does lose some rights to the Premiership to ESPN who seem to be in the running to get the rights to the league in some capacity I think it would be safe to go after a Manchester United TV and a Chelsea TV which would include Club News Programs, Youth Games in the afternoon, Classic Games and games on Delay 48 hours after they air live over the weekend. I really think FSC could build the brand on non Champions League Nights if Wednesday’s were Manchester United Replay Night and Thursday was Chelsea/Liverpool/Arsenal replay night along with the Club News show and a classic game or a youth game.

    All in all your product has improved since I started watching your network since I got a Dish back in the 2000-2001 season. Your network is the standard of soccer coverage in the US because of how many houses your station is in compared to GOL TV which is on the hispanic tier where I live and especially Setanta that has been slow in trying to get on cable systems and mostly only being available on satellite which because of deed restrictions and such some people can’t have dishes on their homes.

    One thing I do hope is that with the acquisition of the Champions League your network will continue to use the international feed with the broadcasters and such and relegate Max and Christopher to doing the 5th choice game that airs on replay if you want to have someone form North America calling the game. That said futbol is something speial and as good as Max and Christopher are they aren’t in Europe and don’t eat live and breath the soccer culture that takes place over there as well as they talk to much and sometimes don’t let the game breath which is one of the cooler things that futbol has over any other sport featured on TV. When I watch European Futbol I want to hear guys spreaking in perfect English from England than our American Boys. The American Boys have their place no doubt especially on MLS games and USL Games but when I am watching a game from Europe I want to hear an English voice as it makes the sport different than any of the other sports that air over here in the States. No offese at Max and Christopher as they do a good job but when I am watching a Premiership or European Champions League Game I want to hear guys with English accents who grew up with the game at the top level behind the microphone

    Speaking of MLS please bring back the Review show that used to air with Sean Wheelock as a host? It was a really good primer for fans like me that hadn’t given MLS much of a thought but has gotten to the point that the clubs and players are much more recognizable to me compared to 5 or 6 seasons ago. The league has gotten a lot better and I would love to see an hour long wrap up show like the EPL Review show, showing all of the highlights and coaching interviews like we see from England but happening MLS. Another idea is trying to get the coaches shows of the different MLS teams that I know that air on the different Fox Sports Regionals as well as other Regional Cable Networks.

    Anyway, thank you for the time reading this response. I am a huge fan of FSC (its the channel that my DVR is set to when I turn my TV on) but there are a few things as I noted above that would make the network better like Classic Premier League Reveiw Shows, Club TV shows, MLS Review, MLS Coaches shows, as well as trying to bring back the Dutch League, Scottish League, or the Portuguese League which I didn’t even mention that can air after the Sunday Serie A game even it is on delay a bit.

    I really think that your network is onto something and I want to congratulate your network on winning the bid for the Champions League the next coming years. I am a bit disappointed that Fox Sports couldn’t get the Wednesday Games on the Regional Cable Network as that is a pretty big loss for me and a couple of co-workers that plan our lunches and breaks to watch the games on ESPN 2 on Tuesdsays and Wednedsays. Our TV in the break room isn’t equipped with Digital Cable so on Wednesdays me and my buddy have to go home and shut ourselves off from the world to watch those Wednesday games that we are going to miss. I also think it would be great if the Champions League Final was moved to the regular Fox Network to really get over what the Champions League means to sports fans throughout the world. Look at NBC who airs all kinds of wacky winter sports in the Winter Months or F1 Races that air on Fox. I really think it is possible that the big boys at the network can fit a 2.5 hour block on 1 Saturday afternoon at the end of May to the Champions League.

    Keep up the great work on the network and please keep tweaking the program schedule especially with the 5am to 9am period on the East Coast as it kills me that there is no futbol to watch since my cable system doesn’t pick up Setanta. and remember CLASSIC EPL REVIEW SHOWS as filler instead of crummy informercials sans the one I watched this morning that had horse jumping which was pretty cool because it wasn’t expected that aired at 7am Eastern.

    What kind of comments do you have that you would like to convey to FSC? Take the survey because it seems that they are really interested in doing the market research to find out what futbol fans want on their FSC.

  2. The Gaffer

    March 11, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Good question Rich. No updates yet, but I’ll be meeting with Fox, Setanta and GolTV next week to do a bit of investigative journalism. Stay tuned to EPL Talk for the latest details.

    The Gaffer

  3. RaiderRich2001

    March 11, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Any updates on this? I tried to do a search for news and came up with nothing except a bunch of stories about how Setanta may be going under.

  4. The Gaffer

    February 19, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    NJ, I think it’s entirely possible that Fox will try to get La Liga, but GolTV has the edge right now. Read more about the latest developments regarding the deal at

    The Gaffer

  5. NJ

    February 19, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    If FSC loses the EPL, do you think they make a run at La Liga? I believe that contract is coming due relatively soon as well. I’m not sure how big the coffers are at Gol TV, but I’m sure they wouldn’t want FSC banging on that door. Without the biggest league in the world, why not go for another of the big 4?

  6. eplnfl

    February 16, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    I suspect that you may have some sort of joint venture between ESPN and FSC. Just look at the shared coverage of the NBA as an example. ESPN is happy to share but will want to file time that best fits it schedule with attractive games. They are not to want a relegation battle or the first meeting between newly promoted sides. A big 4 team must be part of their programming every week.

    They are smart enough to allow FSC to carry other games at times they are not interested in to keep up the interest. I suspect that they may make a play for a regular Monday night game which fits nicely into their schedule. They drew audiences for their afternoon Euro 08 and WC coverages recently. As for FSC how about some Championship coverage to fill in lost Prem games.

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