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Who Benefits Most From ESPN2 EPL Coverage?


Who may have the biggest smile because of ESPN2’s Premier League coverage? It’s Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports.

With more Americans being introduced to the EPL via the very accessible ESPN2, newly adopted football supporters will be clamoring for more of the quality Premier League football on display. With ESPN2, Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports smartly promoting the kickoff times for matches on all three networks, new EPL fans in the United States will be calling up their cable or satellite operator asking how they can receive those two English football networks.

This will take time and although Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports may not yet see residual effects of ESPN2’s coverage yet, it will. The key will be to bring in major new sponsors to both ESPN2 and Fox Soccer Channel for these games (Setanta has a subscription model so it doesn’t typically feature advertising). That’s why it’s up to us to get as many of our friends and family members interested in the league so we can get the viewing numbers up. Plus, these prospective new advertisers will only have to do a quick Google search to see what a loyal and passionate audience we are — as well as being one of most desirable advertising demographics: males who are 18-34 years-old.

It’ll be interesting to see if Fox Soccer Channel’s Nielsen ratings improve this season after their average of 90,000 viewers per Premier League match last season. As soon as we get those numbers, we’ll share them with you here.

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  1. Sam

    September 22, 2009 at 1:20 am

    I’ll get excited about the coverage when I hear that it’s outperforming the previous programming in that timeslot.

  2. edgar

    September 21, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    I agree. I do not like to see the scores of other games while i am watching one. Real football fans like to watch multiple games and feel the live emotion while watching it. That’s ruined when you are shown the score. I was telling coworkers this morning how i have been so spoiled over the weekend. Sunday morning, i had the privilege of watching the Manchester Derby, via free preview through setanta. This is the list of the games i watched in consecutive order: First: Manchester United vs Manchester City, then Chelsea vs Tottenham, Real Madrid vs Xerez, Valencia vs Athletico Guijon, and Everton vs Blackburn. Wow! Its great to be a football fan right now in the States!


    September 21, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    I coudln’t care what network broadcasts the game…i just want the games to be in HD!

  4. Adebayor

    September 21, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    u are so right after espn started showing epl games my dad call up our cable system now we have fsc and setanta

  5. Joe in Indianapolis

    September 21, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Once FSC has HD and Setanta dies, the Premier League will have finally arrived in full in the U.S., i.m.o. Champion’s League is already here. Also, Real Madrid looked fantastic in HD on Sunday.

  6. Chris

    September 21, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Well, only big city cable companys carry Setanta, I live in a small town in Kentucky and I am so thankful this cable company i have has FSC…So Id rather see ESPN2 get all the preimer league rights here in the USA and have them sub lincesed to FSC to be honest with you. I wish Setanta would go down in the hole and get it out of the way. FSC is acutally not a bad channel…its quite nice…you will be in your chair from 8 central time till maybe 9 central of watching games if you want to. it couldnt get no better than that.

  7. nikesb

    September 21, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Simple…ESPN will show scores for other games they are not airing.
    ESPN will not show scores for other games they are airing.

  8. Jayoh

    September 21, 2009 at 11:12 am

    I’d be interested to see how many people on the west coast tune in to the saturday games…being on at 4:30am I can’t imagine many are tuning in. I wish espn would cover one of the 10am (7am west coast) games, especially as the love for the game grows out here, I’d love to see more options.

    • Zola612

      September 21, 2009 at 1:55 pm

      I’m in Minneapolis (2 hours later than you) and I can’t be bothered to get up in time for the morning matches. I TiVo ’em and enjoy them at a reasonable hour with friends, food and drinks.

      A DVR (Tivo or other) makes watching sports so much better. I never miss a match, I watch them with friends, I can take the daughter to her weekend soccer matches, I can take the Dog for her walk, the wife doesn’t resent me for abandoning her all weekend. It is a wonderful world.

      Plus, I can’t really pull off a pint at 7am, but maybe I am just getting old.

  9. AJ

    September 21, 2009 at 10:22 am

    I heard that Setanta has to sell there rights back to FOX who’s going to almost have to sublicense them to ESPN even further. I realy don’t think there’s any benefit for these two non-cable channels. HELLO ECONOMIC DOWNTURN! I’m not going to pay extra money for games shown on a channel that supplies some of the worst commentators.

    • The Gaffer

      September 21, 2009 at 11:39 am

      I checked with Setanta and they said that the rumor is complete BS.

      The Gaffer

  10. CFTV

    September 21, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Guys you live in America in the age of information and its impossible to tell a broadcasting company to play dumb and act like games that have been played or in the process of being played exist in a vacuum and the results can’t be shown or talked about till the game actually airs 6 hours after the game has been played. For every person that doesn’t want to know the scores from around the league there are people that do want to know when goals are scored and how it affects the table in current form as well as wanting to know how their fantasy players are doing.

    The more the sport has become mainstream the one thing that has gone away is that fans have a hard time living in the soccer bubble that existed up until the last 5 or 6 years or so.

    • jmansor

      September 21, 2009 at 10:55 am

      I understand your point. But Fox didn’t have any problem not showing the results of the Everton game they were showing later in the day. There is just some common sense that could be used to accommodate fans of Fulham. This isn’t like the NFL where most likely the fans have the game being shown live. I basically brought this up because the article was discussing the coordination being shown by the networks.

  11. Morgan

    September 21, 2009 at 10:14 am

    I like the ESPN2 coverage, especially because it is in hi-def. I agree with not wanting to see the other scores because FSC and Setanta play most of the games on a delay. My biggest complaint as an Arsenal fan is that FSC rarely carries their matches and Setanta is only available via satellite in pretty much every U.S. market.

    I would like to see Setanta sell their rights, ESPN to pick up more games, and FSC to get into the 21st century with hi-def. I would also love for FSC to drop the boring ass Serie A games.

  12. jmansor

    September 21, 2009 at 8:36 am

    I was frustrated yesterday watching the Chelsea game when they showed the Wolves-Fulham score even though it hadn’t been show on Setanta yet. It would have been nice to see the Setanta emblem instead of the score.

    • Gaz

      September 21, 2009 at 10:01 am

      Yeah, that’s my complaint too.

      It’s hard to explain this to other sports fans, but we don’t like to know the scores from around the league usually. I’d prefer to have no reference to other games when watching actually. Leave the scores for the highlights show.

  13. CFTV

    September 21, 2009 at 7:58 am

    What I wonder if with the growth of the Premiership in the US if we will see ESPN bid for one of the 10am games on Saturday and/or either of the Sunday Games at 8:30am or the 11am game squeezing out Setanta even more who just seems like a losing property since they just don’t have the penetration that ESPN 2 and FSC have in this country when they are subscription based and there are cable companies that don’t offer it?

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