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Fox's New Channel to Be Baptized Fox Soccer Plus?


With the exclusive story earlier this week reporting that Fox Soccer Channel is in talks with Setanta Sports to acquire the US company, EPL Talk has found evidence that Fox has trademarked the name Fox Soccer Plus (and also the variation Fox Soccer +) as well as acquired the domain name presumably in preparation for the launch of a new network.

The domain name was registered on December 9, 2009 by the Intellectual Property Department at Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. currently points to no website.

And just one week later on December 16, 2009, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation secured the trademarks Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Soccer + for both television and Internet usages.

As of press time, Fox Soccer Channel is still in negotiations with Setanta Sports to acquire the company. And there’s no evidence to suggest that Fox would rebrand Setanta Sports as Fox Soccer Plus if and when Fox acquired Setanta. But the evidence suggests that there may be  a strong connection between the two and that if Fox acquires Setanta, that you could expect to see a new Fox Soccer Channel added to your satellite or cable provider in the near future.

That’s excellent news and in contradiction to what I posted in an opinion piece yesterday where I wrote that Setanta’s likely demise would be a dark day in soccer for US viewers. I would gladly eat my words on that one if it means that Fox Soccer Plus would keep many of the rights that Setanta owns. However, the name “Fox Soccer Plus” does paint a worrisome picture for fans of other sports that Setanta shows such as rugby and gaelic sports.

In the meantime, Setanta Sports is still scheduled to televise the live broadcast between Arsenal and Bolton Wanderers today at 2:45pm ET. UPDATE: Arsenal v Bolton match has been postponed due to snow, so the game won’t be shown on Setanta today. Looking ahead, though, there are no Premier League games shown on Setanta’s TV listings for this Saturday. Today could possibly be the last Premier League game you can expect to see on Setanta Sports. But right now, we’re taking it on a day by day basis until the negotiations between Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports end, which we expect to happen in the next 36 hours.

Thanks to EPL Talk reader Teddy L for first pointing us in the direction of the trademark filing.

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  1. jenna

    March 24, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Lara Baldesarra on the Fox Soccer Report is awesome!! I love her sooooo much!! She makes the show much more entertaining than the others.

  2. Sandinista

    March 5, 2010 at 1:07 pm


    “ViLLa-real”? Nemanja “Vee-ditch”? Liverpool “DER-bee”? “Did-e-ER” Drogba? Carlos “Poo-hole”? “Javi” Hernandez? Richard “Doone”? Adrian “Muto”? Arjen “Row-BEN”? “Der-BAHN” South Africa?

    We’ve taken the time to put together Lara Baldesarra’s Fantasy XI. We’ll fill in the other players as she continues to butcher names, clubs and cities:

    And more here:

  3. SirJohnTerry83

    January 21, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Cole has been keeping them busy, so ya maybe! might as well save some cassshhhhh

  4. Carlos Sanchez

    January 21, 2010 at 10:36 am

    We like her just fine !! Just a couple wanker wannabe Chelsea fans dont speak for all of us!! By the way, if Joe Cole leaves, will Roman have to lay off a couple of team doctors?? hahaha, just some food for though for ya boys

  5. Upset @ Fox Soccer Report

    January 21, 2010 at 12:01 am

    The new host on Fox Soccer REport, Lara Baldesarra’s favourite team is Chelsea. Even they don’t like her:

    I wonder if she graduated primary school?

  6. BD

    January 8, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    #130 Two FSC HD channels in a $15 package. You would not have to ante up for Dish 250 or DTV Sports Package. What about the the 3rd tier games on a Saturday (Sentanta Extra) – FSN HD maybe.

    Bad weather in England this weekend – looks like I’ll be having a lie in Tomorrow.

  7. Civrock

    January 7, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    This is actually a rather interesting comment (#107) which leads me to an intriguing theory…

    What if Fox DOES want to get out of the sports tiers/packages and jump over to the Setanta channels? If FSC was a stand-alone channel, in addition to FSC+ in place of the second Setanta channel, and no longer part of the usual packages which include other sports channels most soccer fans don’t care about… how many of us would suddenly be willing to pay $15 per month for THAT?

    For me FSC in the sports package was the main reason not to get Setanta, it wasn’t competitively priced for what it delivered (in my opinion). Let’s not even talk about GolTV because their coverage is mediocre at best.

    If FSC as a standalone channel was the only option for good soccer coverage, besides the occasional match on ESPN/GolTV, how many soccer fans would sign up for it? Possibly two soccer channels in HD?

    I would in a heartbeat.

  8. Christopher

    January 7, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    And you’re using that in a broad sweeping statement about the popularity of the sport in this country… and ignoring all other factors that show the sport might just be gaining popularity. There are more ways than ratings to determine that, especially when you consider that so many of those games come on quite early in the morning.

    But that would make it hard to cling to your assumptions.

    • Jonathan

      January 7, 2010 at 7:08 pm

      You might be right that it’s gaining popularity, but unless that is reflected in the ratings why would ESPN or FSC or anyone else take the financial risk?

      This isn’t exactly grassroots type of stuff. It’s dollars and cents

  9. Wake Up

    January 7, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Chris, I find it odd that you have a problem with the truth. My opinions are backed up by the tv ratings for EPL.

  10. Jonathan

    January 7, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Like most of you I wish all the games were available and were in HD. It’s highly unlikely to happen and if it does, it will probably be short-lived. The following isn’t there and as pointed out, will never be there.

    At least here on Comcast, you can’t even get all the NBA games in HD even when you sign up for League Pass.

    I would love to see FSC+ happen and take on the previously sublicensed content from Setanta so I can watch the Arsenal each week, like I have enjoyed up until now for no additional fee. However, I would also love to see my favorite non-local NFL and NBA teams week in week out, but unless I shell out hundreds of dollars that doesn’t happen.

    I’d be more than happy to keep paying $15 a month to whomever will show the remaining games not shown on regular FSC. I really just want to know if the Arsenal/Everton match will be picked up for this weekend.

  11. Christopher

    January 7, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    “The attitudes expressed here to do not represent probably 99% of the population of the country”

    Ummm.. what? Sounds like you just pulled that percentage out of your bum.

    • Wake Up

      January 7, 2010 at 2:58 pm

      You do the math, ratings of 200-350,000 in a population of over 300m. I suppose there could also be all these people that care so much about EPL that they don’t bother to watch any of the games……

      • Christopher

        January 7, 2010 at 3:13 pm

        Doesn’t even factor attendance at MLS games or the preseason tour this past summer… going by ratings alone means very little. So I stand by my point, you pulled that number out of your bum.

        • Wake Up

          January 7, 2010 at 3:32 pm

          Hey Chris, now your talking about MLS and preseason tours? The name of the website is EPLTalk, we are talking about the EPL!

          NFL can sell out Wembley once a year, that means nothing. Try putting an NFL team in London and see how many times they can sell it out.

          My local MLS team averages 15,000 and falling. Half the people there only go cause it is a cheap family outing.

          • Christopher

            January 7, 2010 at 4:09 pm

            I’m talking EPL, stop making assumptions.. that’s how you get that 99% garbage.

          • Christopher

            January 7, 2010 at 4:10 pm

            ” Half the people there only go cause it is a cheap family outing.”

            You seem to enjoy talking as if you have the inside track on what the vast majority of people think… I find that odd.

  12. Orange County

    January 7, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Oh please, shut up with all this complaining, all you guys want is perfect soccer viewing experience, yet you are the same people that complain that soccer doesn’t get enough audience, blah blah blah. Oh, and to the person “wake up” yeah, i said a revolution, why? because it fu**** is. When was the last time you had this much hype about, lets say FSC going HD, or another FSC channel. You have to wake up boy, Soccer viewership viewing has been rising! Yeah ESPN soccer ratings are really low, maybe because in the west coast, the games are at 4;30 in the morning!!!! I don’t even wake up to see it. You have to understand, soccer will take about 50-60 years to catch up to American football, in terms of viewership, but as of now, its rising to levels that we have never had!
    And why in the world are you comparing the NFL in England with football, you just cant.
    Yeah, some people do think 15$ is too much for a few games.
    Yeah some people would rather watch games in HD.
    Not everyone is going to have the same opinion as you…
    You have to get over it and start supporting the fu** sport. We ALL want soccer to be bigger here, and it will, but people that have your attitude, well makes me think that you are another american football freak, kinda like the guy in the show “Jim Rome is Burning”

    • Matt

      January 7, 2010 at 1:33 pm

      How much bigger can/does soccer need to get? Last time I checked if I’m willing to pay a little extra on my cable bill I can basically watch almost any game in the world that I can possibly want to watch. And I don’t really see any hype for FSC HD outside of soccer nerds(like myself) who would post on blogs such as these.

      • Orange County

        January 7, 2010 at 1:49 pm

        Well, my comment about soccer getting bigger is getting more people to watch it and go out to the stadiums to watch it. Matt, you and i are the best types, we love the sport and would do anything to watch it, but we need more people just to randomly watch it on ESPN and get caught up with it and keep watching it…

    • Wake Up

      January 7, 2010 at 2:11 pm

      First up, I am not American, I just happen to live here. Secondly, this is a football website…. The attitudes expressed here to do not represent probably 99% of the population of the country.

      I have never complained that football doesn’t get enough audience, I know it never will in this country. Your are living in a fantasy world if you think that supposed hype that you experience on some football websites is anything to get carried away with.

  13. calamityjames

    January 7, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Looks like FSC have taken down the HD banner from their website. I wonder if this has any implications?

    • David the Yank

      January 7, 2010 at 12:50 pm

      My view is that it is meaningless to shout “FSC is here in HD!” when there isn’t a single broadcasting outlet actually showing the matches in HD! I checked Time Warner, Dish, DirecTV, RCN, etc. No one has it. The proverbial tree falling in an empty forest…

      • Robert George

        January 7, 2010 at 3:21 pm

        just like BBC America HD no one is showing that.

  14. dabes2

    January 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    I actually had a new tv installed by ATT Uverse last weekend and when I called to schedule the visit, I asked if they had any discounts available. The reply was we can give you Setanta for free in January. I am already a subscriber so I said “ok”.

  15. SFGooner

    January 7, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Am I the only one that prefers watching on Setanta US to FSC?

    Personally, I don’t enjoy the way FSC drops into the match just at the moment of kick-off so they can squeeze a few more commercials in. I like watching the players and mascots come out of the tunnel and the other pre-match rituals. Plus I much prefer a discussion between English commentators prior to the match as opposed to Americans.

    For as long as FSC has been broadcasting, it seems they still lack understanding of the nuances connected with the international game.

    Both FSC and ESPN have a long way to go in terms of presenting cringe-free football commentary.

    • masterblaster

      January 7, 2010 at 11:10 am

      Agree with Setanta’s presentation being better. In fact, one step further, I liked Setanta Xtra the most, where they showed the stadium and warmups with no commentary, just the sound of the pitch, until the feed was picked up before the game started. At halftime, they show highlights and game stats and there is no commentary or halftime show. Once the game ended…that was it.

      In a way, I would love the type of setup that Fox has used for UEFA games. Put the 2-3 best EPL games as they choose on FSC, one on ESPN2, and show the other 6-7 games on DirecTV’s channels.

      • Robert George

        January 7, 2010 at 12:07 pm

        I prefer the games on Setanta, ESPN rather then FSC

  16. Robert George

    January 7, 2010 at 9:09 am

    If FSC is so good then why did they sublease the first choice of games on a Saturday morning to Setanta?

    • masterblaster

      January 7, 2010 at 12:16 pm

      I have a feeling that was the only way they could get more money for sublicensing games from somewhere else. They already paid for the rights to all of the games, so being able to sublease to Setanta AND ESPN just meant more on a return for their investment than sitting on the games.

      • Robert George

        January 7, 2010 at 3:23 pm

        you would of thought FSC would of got the creme of the creme rather then them subleasing them to Setanta.

        • sucka99

          January 7, 2010 at 4:26 pm

          if Setanta didn’t have the choice matchups, who would pay for $15/mo Setanta? Might be a different equation now that FSC is Nielsen rated and looking to jump off the sports tier.

  17. jilld

    January 7, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Guys — it still seems a mess. But let’s see some definite moves from Fox. these would include trying to recruit Paul Dempsey out of Ireland to front the new, hopefully, improved coverage

  18. man99utd

    January 7, 2010 at 7:01 am

    FSC is making more dosh as part of a sport package than Setanta was as a subscription based service. Why would FSC want to do that. Besides the goal is to grow interest and sub services won’t do that.

  19. tattooedsean

    January 7, 2010 at 4:50 am

    I am curious about the whole thing but in the short term, I just want to know if I will be able to watch any of those matches that had been scheduled for Setanta this weekend.

  20. Transic

    January 7, 2010 at 3:37 am

    I know all this complaining would sound delusional to some people. However, consider the following: After years of being spit upon and mistreated by broadcast channels and fans of other sports, futbol/rugby fans now feel the need to boast and act like the a-holes the fans of the other sports felt entitled to.

    We are, for bad or worse, a society that feels entitled to things. The only reason I couldn’t get Setanta is because I live in an area that makes it difficult to put a dish for D*. Otherwise, I would have sprung for the $15/month. A dinner at a restaurant can cost much more than that. Think about that for a second. I believe that the Championship is the real English football, not this globalized nonsense called the Premiership. Players who play for the love of the game. Real rivalries. Real hopes of getting to the big time. I couldn’t care less about SPL or gaelic games.

    What does piss me off is that I still have to go the PPV route or go to a latino bar if I want to watch Conmebol World Cup Qualifiers. Why haven’t FSC/FSE/GolTV/Univision/Telefutura/Telemundo/ESPN Deportes haven’t figured out a way to bring more of it to wide audiences?! Argentina or Brazil appeal to more than just immigrants. I just don’t get it!

    • Brett

      January 7, 2010 at 8:14 am

      I believe the networks were priced out of the COMNEBOL qualifiers. The home federations had the rights to the games and could sell them at whatever price and to whomever they wanted. Remember the US qualifier that wasn’t available on TV? England had a qualifier available only on the internet.

      This sport in America still doesn’t attract a large enough audience to justify spending a ton of money to televise it.

      • Transic

        January 7, 2010 at 6:31 pm

        Yeah, sometimes I feel that we haven’t yet left the Stone Age when it comes to CONMEBOL Argentina, Brasil or Uruguay WC Qualifiers. I know that’s an overstatement but that’s how I feel sometimes. At least the Spanish-language nets could show them. Then again, they can’t cut into the telenovela schedule too much, unless it’s Mexican football.

        Anyway, I got offtrack. I hope to see a second FSC or a new service so that I can watch the Championship teams.

  21. Wake Up

    January 6, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Losing Setanta will be a sad day for me.

    Football in America probably makes up 1% of New Corp. They don’t rely on football or need football. After a few years they can just decide to walk away if the figures don’t work out for them.

    You have people here going on about a f**king revolution? Some revolution, have you seen the ratings from ESPN? Hardly f**king revolutionary…..

    “$15 is too much”

    “it is not even HD”

    “the commentators suck”

    “I only watch the highlights and would never even pay $1 for a football channel, but I am going to complain about Setanta”

    “bla, bla, bla…….”

    Go over the UK and try to get every NFL game in HD and on basic cable/satellite………..

    • Terry

      January 6, 2010 at 11:39 pm

      The more I think about it… Fox needs a subscription based FSC+ because if ESPN does well in this WC year, who knows if they’ll think about outbidding Fox for the US rights to the Premier League next time and creating a ESPN Soccer channel (sports tier only). Beyond the bidding, there is little additional cost for ESPN to do this since they already have 1/3 of the rights in England and are already producing stuff for it. And this is probably more important for ESPN after losing the UEFA CL rights.

      Am I crazy? Of course, but I think that Fox will have to pay more to keep the EPL rights if ESPN makes a bid and if that’s the case, then Fox needs to make more money. Murdoch is a money man, so in order to pay more, more money needs to be created from somewhere. Thus, the new subscription channel, FSC+. Instead of creating a separate channel and going through the very long process of getting it on all the cable/fios/satellite systems, Fox takes what is already there and then uses their already proven (ask TWCC) leveraging to get these remaining systems to carry FSC+ nationally (that’s you Comcast and Cox). Perhaps increasing their availability will increase old Setanta’s subscriber numbers. Perhaps they still air ads and (I hope not) promotional space. Perhaps they offer FSC+ HD for $20-25. Perhaps…

      All I’m thinking is that FSC needs to come up with a plan to increase revenue to protect its EPL rights otherwise ESPN will grab them and FSC will start to look like dead weight to Fox. Really, this is the only reason I can think of for Fox to buy Setanta since it is certainly not for the rights to what Setanta owns or has been sublicensed.

      • olivert

        January 6, 2010 at 11:51 pm

        ESPN already has a soccer-centric “channel” serving the U.S. market: has over 45 million subscribers (more than FSC).

        Note that FSI has already locked up the EPL video rights in the U.S. market for the next contract cycle: August 2010-May 2013.

        “FSC+”, if it were to launch in some form, will take both time and money in order to be done right.

        I just don’t believe FSI will be able to slap something together in less than a week.

        FSI didn’t repossess the EPL and UEFA CL sublicenses from Setanta until January 4.

    • Brett

      January 6, 2010 at 11:47 pm

      “Go over the UK and try to get every NFL game in HD and on basic cable/satellite………..”

      You can’t even get all of the EPL matches live or in HD in the UK no matter how good of a satellite/cable package you have!

      NFL Sunday ticket with HD would cost me $415 for next season. That’s 16 weeks work of games. That’s about $1.62 per game. Currently with Setanta/FSC/ESPN, EPL matches cost me less than $.50 per game.

  22. olivert

    January 6, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Sorry, guys. You jumped to conclusions without making some phone calls.

    The “big surprise” on FOX Soccer Report on Wednesday will be the introduction of a new female anchor hired out of Toronto according to

    I still maintain that the “acquisition” of Setanta Sports USA by FSI makes no sense to me from a business or financial perspective because FSI has already repossessed 2 out of 3 U.S. video sublicenses FSI had granted Setanta. The only U.S. video sublicense Setanta still holds from FSI is for the English FA Cup/English National Team package.

    • ovalball

      January 6, 2010 at 8:59 pm

      Let the teeth gnashing continue! 😀

    • Simon Burke

      January 6, 2010 at 10:24 pm

      Was that the blonde girl i just saw?? The pic on the rogers link is of a brunette?

      • olivert

        January 6, 2010 at 10:45 pm

        The “blonde” is Terri Leigh, who has been anchoring FSR for about a year.

        No sign of Lara yet on FSR as of 10:44pm ET.

  23. Jeff

    January 6, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    I can’t believe how many people are complaining about spending $15 a month to pay for Setanta. It is seriously the best $15 I spend each month. It’s only $15 freakin bucks.

    When I just had FSC last year I couldn’t watch every Manchester United game which is the team I support. Since I purchased the Setanta Broadband package I have been able to watch all of their games this year including the Carling Cup games. I also get to watch any other games I might be interested in. As a fan of the game I don’t mind having to pay $15 to watch even more matches. Now if I had to pay for all matches than maybe I would not be happy. But paying money to watch even more games is fine with me.

    • nikesb

      January 6, 2010 at 10:12 pm

      some of us are still students w/o full time jobs

      • boo hoo

        January 6, 2010 at 10:35 pm

        What you think HBO & Showtime should be free also?

        What $150/year for the number one league is too much, after all you can get MLS season pass for only $80/year…..

  24. Chris

    January 6, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Do they really think we care about who is on the FSR….?…idiots…thanks for getting us all excited over nothing.

  25. Orange County

    January 6, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Ugh, im not watching the show then… I seriously thought they were going to announce something about the HD or Setanta situation. Bah-humbug!

  26. Brett

    January 6, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    The “big surprise” on the Fox Soccer Report will be the introduction of a new presenter, Lara Baldesarra

    And from “If you’re searching “Fox Soccer Report” here on Twitter for the big surprise, just know that it’s “Lara” not “Lisa”.”

    • Civrock

      January 6, 2010 at 7:05 pm


      There goes the hope for something about FSC HD or Setanta tonight… but at least that announcement is just around the corner as well.

      As for the new co-anchor, I could care less about more eyecandy (other than HD!) as long as they have good soccer knowledge and more importantly, pronounce names properely (which most US commentators/anchors fail at terribly, heh).

      • Brett

        January 6, 2010 at 7:09 pm

        Yeah, it’s a bit of a let down to find this out. I was always a bit skeptical of FSR announcing anything related to FSC HD or Setanta as it is a Canadian produced program by Fox Sport World Canada. The Canadian networks are not affected by what’s happening south of the border.

  27. ehhh

    January 6, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    I am a fan of both Rugby and Soccer. I am pretty dissapointed about this news…

  28. Fulham Dave

    January 6, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    When I think of Fox+, I think of Setanta Xtra, channel 622 on Directv, which floated up on Saturday mornings and occasionally for weekday games.

    When you purchase a company’s assets, you have (roughly speaking) your pick of assets you want to purchase. Setanta’s assets include: a) the sublicense from, er, Fox, to show EPL games; b) licenses or sublicenses to show rugby, SPL, RPL, etc.; c) contracts with Directv, Dish, and cable companies to carry their products; d) contracts for subscriptions with individuals and businesses (not sure if that 65K includes businesses, by the way – that might be just individuals).

    So why would any agreement to buy Setanta include assets b, c, and d, but not a (especially when all a) is really is a right of reversion back to Fox)?

    If I were a rugby or SPL fan, I might worry about what happens to their product, if, as I imagine, that is the least profitable/marketable product to Fox. But all in all, a cheap agreement that carries on the status quo for now (with perhaps a name change to Setanta but perhaps not for the rest of this year before the World Cup), and then a brand/marketing change with the end of subscriptions by July and a new soccer push post World Cup makes the most sense to me.

  29. RobGS

    January 6, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    I’m sitting at the pub right now watching Stoke v Fulham replay on Setanta in tyhe time slot that says Arsenal v Bolton. Even the DirecTV on screen guide says it should be the Arsenal match. Looks like no more live matches on Setanta (or it could be snowed out I guess). Probably the latter.

    • Brett

      January 6, 2010 at 5:08 pm

      snowed out.

  30. Robert George

    January 6, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Its still bad news I still belive that its bad news FOX (Murdoch) could be getting its hand on Setanta.

    It reminds me of BSB merger with SKY in the early 90s when it became B SKY B and BSB was just dropped.

    SKY is such a monoply in England that it was forced by the EU to have the rights to less premier league packages. Hence the break down of Setanta in the UK and ESPN coming in.

    Murdoch wants us to pay to read news online.

    Im gonna miss Setanta.

  31. Craig

    January 6, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    If Fox are successful in picking up exactly the same programming Setanta were due to pick up over the remainder of the season then this deal should be a sound alternative to Setanta for all EPL supporters. The fear is that Fox will only pick up a portion of these matches leaving many to be untelevised. I’m not sure what the plans are for Setanta beyond this takeover, I couldn’t much care. Fox must do their best in being able to acquire the rights to both FA Cup and Carling Cup fixtures as well. And oh yeah, this needs to happen fast.

    • ovalball

      January 6, 2010 at 4:24 pm

      They don’t have to “pick up” anything. Remember, Fox are simply getting back what they already owned. It was ALL theirs. They just subleased it to Setanta, just as they subleased some matches to ESPN.

      What they do with everything now that it’s all back in their lap is another story.

  32. Orange County

    January 6, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Like i said yesterday, this is the beginning of a soccer revolution in this country. Fox is the leader, and we will enjoy a lot more soccer now.

  33. Matt

    January 6, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    All of the 10am Sat games U.K time are not even shown live on tv in the UK in order to make sure that people still go out to support their local sides and watch matches in person, and hence they aren’t filmed in HD either.

  34. Jeff

    January 6, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Hey Gaffer, sounds like you are on the money…

  35. Unbelievable

    January 6, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Interesting that so many Americans think $15/month is a lot to see more EPL games than you would get to see in the UK (you would also pay a lot more in the UK to see less)

    Also the people that keep screaming about HD need to realize that only the games shown in the UK are produced in HD. That means that 242 of the 380 games are not available in HD!

    Funny that a sport that gets around 200,000 viewers, that has limited commercials, expects to get treated better than sports like NFL or NBA that have millions of viewers and non-stop commercials. I never hear people complaining about paying for NFL Sunday Ticket or NHL Center Ice.

    • bluefanmd

      January 6, 2010 at 3:16 pm

      How do you get your numbers? SkySports has HD, ESPN has HD. Please enlighten me. Please!

      • Unbelievable

        January 6, 2010 at 3:26 pm

        There is only 6 packages of 23 games available in the UK. Sky has 4 of them and ESPN has the other 2.

        So only 138 games are shown live in the UK.

        • john

          January 6, 2010 at 7:03 pm

          Thats horrible.

          They dont have like what Direct TV does……nothing like Sunday Ticket which shows all football, or NBA League Pass or Extra Innings?

          • Unbelievable

            January 6, 2010 at 7:16 pm

            No, all 10am games are subject to a blackout rule to make sure people go out and see the teams play.

    • StephenLucey

      January 6, 2010 at 5:50 pm

      Will globalization of EPL broadcasts lead to these games being filmed in HD for overseas markets?

      • Unbelievable

        January 6, 2010 at 10:54 pm

        Ireland has a population of around 4.5million (compared to 60 million in Britain)

        In N. America they average 250k viewers in US & 100k views in Canada (approximate – and that is on a channel like ESPN or TSN)

        Africa is poor

        Asia has been slow to roll out HD

        Don’t know about the other parts of the world but if I was to take a guess I would say that they are far behind.

  36. Joe in Indianapolis

    January 6, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Excellent work Gaffer!!

  37. b

    January 6, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Not sure if anyone’s mentioned this yet, but I noticed last night that the Arsenal match showed up on my cable as being on Comcast Sports Net here in Chicago. Never seen a Premier game there before.

    • ovalball

      January 6, 2010 at 12:55 pm

      None of us have to worry about it. Postponed.

      • b

        January 6, 2010 at 12:59 pm

        yeah, i saw that it was postponed. just never seen it on comcast sports net.

    • Brett

      January 6, 2010 at 12:57 pm

      You sure it wasn’t a replay of a previous match? FSN and CSN networks have been showing week old replays of EPL matches for year.

      If it was going to be today’s match that’s very interesting.

      • b

        January 6, 2010 at 1:01 pm

        pretty sure it was arsenal v. bolton, so not a replay. but i guess i could be mistaken.

        i seem to remember seeing a couple of champion’s league early round games on comcast sports net, but never a premier league game.

    • Jonathan

      January 6, 2010 at 1:01 pm

      CSN shows an old EPL game each Wed in that time slot, with a review show right before. Even before the Arsenal/Bolton match was postponed this morning, I don’t think they had any intention on showing that game like.

      It would be great if they somehow picked up more games though, at least it’s HD (even though the game isn’t in broadcast in HD it’s still better than FSC’s signal)

      • b

        January 6, 2010 at 1:02 pm

        yeah, wish i was at home to check, because i’m almost positive it was arsenal v. bolton. but that could;ve been wishful thinking on my part.

    • Jeff

      January 6, 2010 at 1:22 pm

      Fox Regional Sports Networks (FSN) have taken FSC matches and shown them on replay for the least few years randomly on their channels. Comcast SportsNet subs FSN content if there is not an FSN channel in an area so that it still gets coverage.

      I have NEVER seen a live EPL match on an FSN channel, its always a reply.

      • b

        January 6, 2010 at 1:41 pm

        well, like i said, might’ve been wishful thinking on my part. i’ll be interested to see what the listing says when i get home, because i set it to record that time slot.

        • masterblaster

          January 6, 2010 at 1:49 pm

          This is last week’s game between Arsenal-Portsmouth. As stated before, this is the norm on FSN on Wednesdays…

          • b

            January 6, 2010 at 1:55 pm

            All right, all right. I’m stupid and can’t read.

        • man99utd

          January 6, 2010 at 2:52 pm


          Easy mistake to make, I’ve done it myself. The excitement is starting to make us all a bit barmy….

          • ovalball

            January 6, 2010 at 3:14 pm

            Yeah, this is reminding me of our little feeding frenzy when The Gaffer broke the ESPN2 story. Can’t wait till the dust settles…..then we can all whine/moan together.

            Great job Gaffer!

            Iechyd da

  38. man99utd

    January 6, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Setanta’s business model ($15 a month) has failed. Why would FSC try to maintain it? They can make more money with 20-40 million subscribers for far less per. As far as a monopoly, they’ve had it more or less for years and the price hasn’t changed much. Maybe they saw the ratings of the top 4 on ESPN2 HD and decided this would be a good chance to make a little dosh of their sublet EPL rights.

  39. Rob Usry

    January 6, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    I hope Fox would be able to get this channel on more cable providers (in my area) unlike Setanta was able to do.

  40. Patrick

    January 6, 2010 at 11:37 am

    I am perfectly content to continue paying. I have been paying for Setanta for several years (starting with the ill fated ITVN) and have been happy with the product. I could care less about the Russian Premier League, SPL, or any of the Gaelic sports (Gaelic football is just silly). But, the rugby, Lique 1, UEFA, and EPL coverage are what keeps me coming back. The studio coverage means nothing to me either as half time is for peeing/getting beverages. What I do NOT want is to continue paying and then to start seeing those damned ProActive ads as well (you people are ugly with or without clear skin).

    • MNUfan1991

      January 6, 2010 at 12:46 pm

      “What I do NOT want is to continue paying and then to start seeing those damned ProActive ads as well (you people are ugly with or without clear skin).”

      Totally OT, but am I the only one thinking Dr Katie Rotan is the hottest of them all?

    • CA_backpacker

      January 6, 2010 at 5:54 pm

      “What I do NOT want is to continue paying and then to start seeing those damned ProActive ads as well (you people are ugly with or without clear skin).”

      Too damn true. Thank God I rarely watch the matches live and just record them on my DVR, then I can fast forward through them. And ProActive ads in HD?

  41. Gaz

    January 6, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Said this in a previous post but I’m so sure of it I want to make the point again. This recent development just reinforces the idea.

    If you’re a fan on football (especially football with an English slant), FSC buying Setanta is not going to be a negative thing at all.

    Firstly, why would FSC acquire Setanta without at least taking the best content? It would be silly.

    FSC will show everything that matters to the typical FSC viewer (EPL, Champion’s League, etc). No question. Lesser games (Championship, SPL, Carling Cup, etc) may get shitty delay times but will be shown (maybe on FSC or maybe on this supposed new channel).

    The only thing that is in trouble is the other leagues and competitions (Russian for instance) and all the other rubbish sports. 🙂

    Having said that, FSC is not stupid. If they have the rights to some rugby and the Russian league (and they are unable to sell them off to someone), they will put it somewhere. Online, at 3AM in the morning, this supposed new channel, or somewhere!

    I guess my overall point is, if they can’t sell some of the lesser assets they are purchasing they will at least get something out of it by showing it somewhere.

    The only negative is the fact that FSC would have a monopoly and could raise prises. I’m not sure about prices around the county, but I was paying around $15 / month for Setanta and at least $5 / month for FSC already – so as long as it’s in the $20 / month range we’re breaking even.

    • Jason Gatties

      January 6, 2010 at 11:30 am

      The United States is full of “rubbish” sports. Rugby on a world scale is certainly not one of them. Remember, most Americans feel SOCCER is rubbish.

      • Gaz

        January 6, 2010 at 12:09 pm

        It’s going to be hard to prove to one another that our justified opinions are either right or wrong.

        I come from a family of rugby players – my Dad even played in the RAF. I understand it’s a well respected and popular sport – just as baseball, cricket, and American football are to some people. Hell, I’ve even watched it with family.

        I still think they’re all rubbish, though. 🙂

        Like I said, I think rugby and things like the Russian league will be played somewhere (internet site, 3AM delay, new channel, etc) if it isn’t bought up by ESPN. I just don’t think it matters enough to the typical FSC viewer to warrant any preferred treatment.

  42. Jason Gatties

    January 6, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I’m ok with this as long as FSC+ is part of my current sports pack (on DirecTV). In order for me to justify paying $15 per month (or less…or more), I would need rugby options as well. If they charge for the new channel WITHOUT rugby, no way I pay for it unless they televise EVERY Fulham fixture.

    • john

      January 6, 2010 at 11:56 am

      Thats what bugged me about Setanta

      I have Direct TV and already pay 15 bucks for the “sports pak” to get alot of sports channels. To pay an additional amount of money for ONE CHANNEL (setanta) is kind of ridiculous if you ask me.

      FSC+ should be part of the sports pack……..just like Setanta should have been.

  43. Gedo

    January 6, 2010 at 10:40 am

    I highly doubt the costs will go down to have full access to all of the games. While the Setanta revenue streams of $15/mo. from 65k households is not a lot inthe grand scheme of things, it’s not going to be given-up by Fox, in my opinion. I hope the quality improves but I think it will still cost more than $15/mo. for this “new” channel to be in HD. The immediate question is, can a partial solution be put in place Arsenal/Everton this weekend?

  44. Tim

    January 6, 2010 at 10:27 am

    I would be amazed if FoxSoccer Plus (if it happens) would be part of a sports package (how FSC comes on cable) as that wouldn’t cover the cost of the EPL rights as the main reason Fox sold games to Setanta was because they couldn’t make a profit if they kept all the games. I would expect FSC+ would be pay channel like Setanta is.

    • sucka99

      January 6, 2010 at 2:57 pm

      what i don’t understand is why Fox would think they could make it work where Setanta failed. Unless they plan to remove content from/bastardize FSC to put there

  45. JR

    January 6, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Anyone who thinks that giving Fox a virtual soccer monopoly (I know, I know, there’s one game a week on the 4-letter) is a good thing, doesn’t understand Rupert Murdoch.

    The chances of a long-term lowering of prices are nil. Go learn some basic economics before you start cheering this kind of deal.

    • JK

      January 6, 2010 at 3:25 pm

      Um, JR. You know that Fox owns all the EPL rights and sublicensed those games to Setanta (i.e., they had a “monopoly” before, and they have one now).

      • JR

        January 7, 2010 at 10:45 am

        I know that — but it’s a real big difference if there is another company to sublicense the games. This gives at least a little bit of “competition” because they are willing to pay to give greater prominence to soccer than the Murdochians would give it otherwise. The more people and channels involved, the better for us.

    • Panda

      January 6, 2010 at 7:52 pm

      Murdoch already has a football monopoly. News Corp networks all around the world are the major broadcasters of football (both American and soccer).

  46. Ed P.

    January 6, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Lets assume for the moment that Setanta USA gets rebranded FSC+. Here are my hopes and concerns:

    Concern: If the Setanta USA model is left in place ($15/month), FOX will be tempted to direct the high profile matches to FSC+. The current number of subscribers (65k) is too low to maintain a profitable entity. We may end up with a situation where the “good” games go to the premium channel and “regular FSC” ends up showing the matches very few are interested in. Worse, more EPL matches move to FSC+ while Ligue 1 and Russian Premier League matches go to FSC as fillers. It’s a logical solution if FOX wish to retain the $15/month service as it needs to be made more desireable to increase the subscription base.

    Hope: FSC+ is simply added to the same tier as FSC (or a la carte for a reduced rate). Still a lot of pitfalls remain here such as providers making room for a new channel (simply taking over Setanta USA’s slot is not necessarily an option as satellite providers – as well as cable – view a la carte programming completely differently than basic/sports channels as the pay structure is different). It could mean not having FSC+ available on some platforms. Still, the prospect of having continued coverage that Setanta had in the past available at more affordable rates is still a very good thing. I believe the scenario will be become clearer as we approach the weekend.

    • Ryan

      January 6, 2010 at 11:49 am

      Actually, I wouldn’t mind if they moved the big games to the FSC+ channel, if for no other reason than it would make sure that as viewers we still have access to pretty much every match, live, every weekend.

      I’m not wealthy or anything, but $15 a month seems like a pittance to pay to make sure you can watch most every EPL match live- I’ll defer to any English around here, but I think to get the same type of access on Sky in england costs closer to $50 or $60 per month.

      We’re actually a bit spoiled in the USA when it comes to EPL matches, so anything Fox wants to do (short of making FSC+ a full pay-per-match channel), as long as I can still see all the matches, is fine with me.

      • Brett

        January 6, 2010 at 12:33 pm

        I agree we are really spoiled here. I’m pretty sure that the 10am (3pm UK) Saturday games are not televised live. Also, every big 4 match is shown live on some station here in the US but that’s not the case across the pond. For example, the Arsenal match that was supposed to be today was not going to be shown live in the UK.

        That being said, I don’t want to see us lose any coverage here.

        • Ryan

          January 6, 2010 at 2:07 pm

          That’s my only point- As an Arsenal fan, I’ll probably be able to catch most every match on live tv or a decent stream, even if Setanta goes under.

          That said, fans of less well-known clubs (in the US) such as Villa, Fulham, etc. will suffer the most, I think, as their matches are more likely to be bumped if there is a lack of broadcast time.

          Then again, when I came back to the states 10 years ago after falling ass-backwards into being an Arsenal fan, there were almost no live options to watch games. I just don’t want a backslide, at this point.

      • MNUfan1991

        January 6, 2010 at 12:41 pm

        Agreed, Ryan.
        I typically watch 6-8 matches on Setanta-i every month. That works out to about $2-3 for each game.
        Did anyone notice movie tickets are over $10?

    • Panda

      January 6, 2010 at 7:48 pm

      FSC would never do that. No company would have two entities and shoot itself in the foot to build up the other one.

      The system in place will remain the same. FSC will get its fair share of tasty matchups. FSC will get Leeds/Man U while FSC+ gets a London derby like how it was this past weeked in the FA Cup. In the end, yes, FSC will have more “fillers” but it’ll beat having an abundance of match rebroadcasts.

  47. Fsquid

    January 6, 2010 at 9:53 am

    I just hope they will keep the rugby on there until at least the end of the Guiness Permiership final and the Super 14.

  48. GK

    January 6, 2010 at 9:00 am

    A tangential comment here since “super sunday plus” was brought up…I’ve always been annoyed that super sunday plus and fox soccer report show so little highlights. Out of an hour long program on fox soccer report it seems like:

    10 minutes actual highlights
    20 mintutes talking
    10 minutes re-showing the same highlights
    20 minutes commercials

    Why can’t FSC show more actual highlights? Is this a rights issue? Surely, they know we don’t tune in to listen to them talk.

    • MNUfan1991

      January 6, 2010 at 9:10 am

      And I also hate how they always sprinkle the EPL stuff throughout the entire show, intermixed with MLS and other stuff.
      No offense to MLS, but I really don’t care about the NY Red Bulls or the Real Madrid ripoff. Seeing Warren Barton feigning interest in MLS is painful.
      Thank god for PL Review Show.

  49. Joel

    January 6, 2010 at 8:20 am

    I personally think Fox Soccer Plus will be comprised solely of the gang from “Super Sunday Plus” inanely jabbering on for 12 hours a day. The other 12 hours will be paid programming. Talk about a real money spinner.

  50. Civrock

    January 6, 2010 at 8:15 am

    The main change I’m hoping for in connection to Fox acquiring Setanta is the removal or AT LEAST lowering of the $15 monthly fee. That’s just too much for some additional soccer, in my opinion anyway, especially when you’re not specifically following something only available on Setanta or NEED to see all games available (of a certain club).

    Also hoping that it’s not going to be some type of PPV soccer channel, that’s the last thing we need in the US where the beautiful game still needs to gain more viewership that it deserves. Pay models (outside of the usual sports packages) are counter-productive to promote a sport with lower viewer percentages in comparison to the classic US favorites like NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB…

    With the World Cup and the knockout stages of the Champions League coming up, I’m sure Fox can offset a $15 monthly fee like Setanta has by having a much higher amount of viewers and therefore advertising revenue. Sometimes (or most of the time, rather) making something more available to a larger audience is better than having a very restrictive model which most carriers aren’t even going for.
    Setanta still isn’t available on most cable cable providers and where it’s available (cable or satellite), most think it’s too expensive and simply an unnecessary additional expense, especially for the average soccer fan without loyalty to a specific club (which is easily the highest percentage of viewers). Most just want to watch good soccer and you can get that on FSC (which is the most widely available soccer channel in the US; ESPN doesn’t offer enough soccer to count and GolTV isn’t in most cable packages, or even on DiSH).

    • Civrock

      January 6, 2010 at 8:56 am

      Also hoping that the new channel, if it indeed turns out to be like that, is going to be in HD. Somewhat contrary to my statement above, I wouldn’t mind paying extra for an additional soccer channel if the quality justifies the expense.

      $5 for ‘another’ soccer channel in HD? Sure.

      $15 for a soccer channel in SD? No, thanks.

      And $15 for ‘another’ soccer channel in HD? That’s a very tempting one but I don’t think I could justify it unless the programming is just fantactic (which is unlikely due to FSC, and its viewer percentage, being their main interest).

  51. Brett

    January 6, 2010 at 8:13 am

    If this Fox Soccer+ is part of the Setanta takeover, the easiest and probably cheapest thing would be to rebrand Setanta as Fox Soccer+. That would mean that they wouldn’t need to get cable and satellite providers to carry an additional channel. Fox would only have to change logos and names. While Setanta only has about 6,5000 subscribers, I think about 20-30M people have access to it and could have it if they wanted to pay for it. Fox could then work on getting more carriers and revamping the subscription price, etc.

    • Dave

      January 6, 2010 at 8:50 am

      20M * $0.05 monthly carrier fee > 65,000 * $15 monthly subscriber fee.

      Basic economics, this.

      • sucka99

        January 6, 2010 at 2:55 pm

        why would cable carriers want to shell out $.05/sub for a channel that perviously only 65,000 people were willing to spend $15/mo for?

        • kevin

          January 6, 2010 at 4:03 pm

          When you factor in outrageous amounts of new advertising that will hit the channel, all bets are out the window. Setanta doesn’t have advertments and the money involved.

  52. masterblaster

    January 6, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Anyone care to speculate or predict what this would entail? My thinking for the Premier League is that this means they show both Sunday morning games, two games at once on Saturday morning, any midweek games, plus two Champions League games at the same time during the week…and multiple FA Cup games on those gamedays.

    Will the FSC+ simply replace Setanta or will Setanta also exist?

    The only thing I can think of that this change brings would be the loss of an overflow channel like Setanta Xtra that could show a third game on Saturday morning live.

  53. Kid Slumber

    January 6, 2010 at 7:45 am

    HoohoohooHaaahaahaaa. I love it when a plan comes together!

    Nice work Gaffer!

  54. Norm

    January 6, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Anytime I hear or see Plus (especially in the UK) I think it as being a PPV type channel.

  55. CFTV

    January 6, 2010 at 7:40 am

    I remember the names Fox Soccer Premium, Fox Soccer Gold, and Fox Soccer Platinum being choices in that survey too, Andy……………………

  56. Matthew N

    January 6, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Oh my god this is the greatest news I’ve heard in awhile! I’m so excited.. hope this is true!!

  57. Jonathan

    January 6, 2010 at 7:32 am

    The name is interesting “Fox Soccer Plus”. Thinking about that name and your point that it is worrisome for rugby fans that used to watch their sport on Setanta, I would think the name “Fox Soccer 2” would have been the natural choice, as ESPN & ESPN2, but the choice of the word “plus” could possibly have been chosen because the channel will run soccer plus other sports.

    • David the Yank

      January 6, 2010 at 1:49 pm

      In New York, they run MSG (madison square garden) and added MSG+, so no surprises in FS+. Sometimes there are 3 matches simultaneously, so they use MSG-extra

  58. Andy

    January 6, 2010 at 7:27 am sent out a survey last month asking which names readers/viewers preferred for another channel. The options were Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer Extra and two others I can’t recall. This all makes sense now.

  59. man99utd

    January 6, 2010 at 6:52 am

    This is brilliant as already stated. Hopefully they just add it to the current package rather than try something clever.

    • eplnfl

      January 6, 2010 at 7:24 am

      That would be great and very good for US viewers. Also, Gaffer thanks for staying up, literally, to get the story for us.

  60. sucka99

    January 6, 2010 at 6:49 am

    this is … strange

  61. Richard The Red (Devil)

    January 6, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Oh man, this would be brilliant news. I was thinking about switching to Directv to get Setanta but I knew it was in the shitter. I hope they expand to an extra football channel.


    January 6, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Unreal. I knew there was a reason to check EPL Talk at 5:30am for the latest news. Spot on, Gaffer!

  63. Civrock

    January 6, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Nice one!

    • Civrock

      January 6, 2010 at 6:37 am

      Wonder if the tweet by Derek Taylor of Fox Soccer Report about a “big surprise” on tonight’s FSR is about the rumors of the past couple days…

      “Big surprise on Wednesday’s Fox Soccer Report. Must be tuning in.”

      • The Gaffer

        January 6, 2010 at 8:19 am

        Civrock, my guess is that it would be HD news, not FSC+ news. Reason being is the latter would be a press release. Just my two cents.

        The Gaffer

        • Civrock

          January 6, 2010 at 8:25 am

          Well, he’s been saying repeatedly that Fox Soccer Report specifically won’t be available in HD quality for at least another 1-2 years. We’ll see. 🙂

        • Civrock

          January 6, 2010 at 8:46 am

          Well, he’s been saying repeatedly that Fox Soccer Report specifically won’t be broadcasting in HD for at least another 1-2 years. But maybe the producers changed their mind or it’s just about FSC HD in general… we’ll see tonight. 🙂

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