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Fox Soccer Channel Prepares for Champions League Launch


Visit the website and you certainly can’t miss the news that Fox Soccer Channel will begin its Champions League TV coverage on August 18, 2009. The first thing you see on Fox’s website is a landing page featuring a clock counting down the number of days until the first Champions League match on Fox. You’re then faced with the option of going directly to the homepage or visiting the Champions League front page.

Clicking on the Champions League front page link takes you to a page that looks very similar to the homepage except that the photos, videos and news are all focused on the Champions League. There’s nothing too interesting there right now, but I’m sure as soon as the Champions League begins, there’ll be more reasons to return.

In the meantime, it’s interesting to view how Fox builds up to its launch of the Champions League coverage, which is a big deal for them and a big deal for us. It’s crucial that Fox Soccer Channel comes out with a quality package both online and on TV as ESPN has spoiled us the last few years with their quality coverage.

More shall be revealed soon. We still don’t know who’ll be playing in the August 18th Champions League play-off game, but we’ll find out who that’ll be after the third qualifying round for the Champions League ends on August 5.

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  1. MarkB

    August 13, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    On Dish Network, their onscreen guide shows matches on FSC as well as the regional Fox Sports Net channels. Also Setanta is showing some on delay as they have live EPL matches on the first two CL matchdays.

  2. AmplifiedtoRock

    August 13, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Hey Gaffer,

    I’ve just seen the landing page on and it seems to indicate that all five play-off matches will be televised live. Two of the matches have DirecTV logos next to them. Does that indicate those matches are only available on DirecTV? If so, on what channel?


  3. AmplifiedtoRock

    August 3, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Is there any word yet on how FSC is planning to handle live streaming online? ESPN offered select matches for free via ESPN360, but they charged a small fee for most other matches. Setanta did as well. I know that Sky and ITV had provided free live streaming of all Champions League matches online. My hope is that FSC will provide free streaming as well, especially seeing as how they’ll only be showing one live match on Tuesday and Wednesday (with the possible exception of early kick-offs).

    Also, will Setanta US be continuing their live Champions League programming this season? Between ESPN Deportes, ESPN 2 and Setanta there would be times when three matches were available live. It would be nice if there was still a possibility for that kind of variety.

    Cheers for your sleuth work, Gaffer.

  4. Tony

    July 26, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    How is FSC planning to televise the EPL in HD? Are they going to show it on one of their existing HD FoxSport channels or is FSC itself planning to do a SD+HD simulcast? Hoping for the former, given that DirecTV are unlikely to put the HD version of the channel up at launch…

  5. dageeza

    July 26, 2009 at 8:02 am

    “Quality coverage” — Tommy smyth – My arse.

  6. DaveMo

    July 25, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Has FSC said whether they will broadcast the CL matches using the British feed? I don’t mind if they bookend the broadcast with their own studio talent, but for heaven’s sake, they can’t allow those amateurs do the matches themselves.

    And Sam Davis – exactly right! – I keep reading people objecting to FSC getting the CL from ESPN because “FSC won’t be in HD”, but the only match ESPN gave us in HD was the final. Once FSC goes full HD, and assuming they carry the British match commentators, the move from ESPN will be a win win.

    • MarkB

      July 26, 2009 at 2:03 am

      Max Bretos attempting to broadcast any CL match would make the mute button essential equipment.

    • The Gaffer

      July 26, 2009 at 6:06 am

      Fox will definitely be using the international feed for the commentary. They’ll have Champions League games in HD in the Fall. Some Premier League games will begin being shown in HD in January.

      The Gaffer

      • DaveMo

        July 26, 2009 at 3:16 pm

        Gaffer –

        I don’t know if you’ll know the answer to this, but on DirecTV (as I suspect on other providers), they carry channels in SD and HD side-by-side. So, when I’m tuning to my local Fox station for example, I can choose channel 35 or channel 35 HD. I was wondering if FSC will broadcast an SD and an HD signal, and (if so) will it then be up to the provider to choose to carry both signals?

        FSC making the move to HD is highly anticipated, but I’d hate to be held hostage to DirecTV’s eventual decision to carry the HD signal.


        • The Gaffer

          July 26, 2009 at 7:22 pm

          No idea there, Dave. Sorry.

          The Gaffer

      • RaiderRich

        July 27, 2009 at 9:58 am

        So how are we supposed to develop quality American soccer announcers if they keep using the international feeds? I’m sorry, but the fact that most of the announcers (even on ESPN) are British is a barrier to reaching a wider audience.

        P.S. If you have Time Warner, don’t expect them to carry the HD channel. I’ve tried calling them, they’re not giving me a straight answer one way or another, which isn’t a good sign.

  7. Sam Davis

    July 25, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    The only game that you got in HD with ESPN was the final. Change the proprtions of your screen to 4:3 so it makes the picture to a small box on your HDTV and you’ll have what ESPN gave us or every OTHER CL game of the tournament. When FSC actually goes HD in Feb. look for actual FULL HD (the way the recent World Football Challenge games have been broadcast on ESPN) from the knockout stages on.

  8. Chris

    July 25, 2009 at 10:57 am

    efrain, i hear ya…ESPN has also spoiled me with watching football in HD, but i can manage with Standard lol

  9. efrain

    July 25, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Unless I am not up to date, FSC will not broadcast in HD until next year???. ESPN spoiled me with HD, so I am not looking forward to watching Champions games in pathetic SD.


    • The Gaffer

      July 25, 2009 at 3:57 pm

      FSC will begin broadcasting Champions League in HD this Fall. A selection of Premier League games will begin being shown in HD on Fox in January, 2010.

      The Gaffer

  10. Adam Childress

    July 25, 2009 at 9:40 am

    well based on the FSC August Schedule, it appears the Wolves will be on Setanta for the 15th of August, does anyone know if it will be live at 10 or on tape delay?

    • The Gaffer

      July 25, 2009 at 10:14 am

      Hi Adam,

      I don’t see Wolves on the Setanta schedule for August 15. As far as I know, the Setanta schedule hasn’t been released yet. Here’s the most updated schedule for August through September:

      The Gaffer

      • Adam Childress

        July 25, 2009 at 1:40 pm

        Hey Gaffer,

        I thought maybe somone might have the scoop, I did notice the other day that for some of the schedule on FSC they had listed Barclays Premier League instead of team name, well since then they have filled them out, which lead me to believe though not announced that Setanta have made their selections. The FSC schedule for the 15th is now Saturday, Aug 15Aston Villa v Wigan 10:00 AMSaturday, Aug 15Everton v Arsenal 12:30 PMSaturday, Aug 15Stoke City v Burnley 2:30 PM

      • boringarsenal

        July 25, 2009 at 8:17 pm

        Setanta Ireland has posted their Premier League schedule beginning on August, 15th thru November, 28th. Setanta Ireland will feed Setanta USA’s 10:00 A.M. (EDT) / 3:00 P.M. (BST). boringarsenal has Setanta on DirecTV , ch. 621 & ch. 622 (Setanta Xtra).
        Open the link to see the 10:00 A.M. matches….

        • Adam Childress

          July 26, 2009 at 11:08 am

          cool thanks. The great thing is Setanta tape delays most of the other games not carried on FSC, so I should be able to get the Wolves nearly every week.

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