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Fox Soccer Channel AKA My Ex-Girlfriend’s Phone Number

Watching Aston Villa versus Everton today on Fox Soccer Channel, it’s such a troubling admission that I have a problem. I love football. I can’t get enough of it. I sit at work on a Monday afternoon and wonder about the Man City result. On a Thursday morning, instead of paying attention to quality control on the files in front of me, I’m imagining the possible opponents of my beloved Portsmouth in the next round of the Carling Cup. And my weekends are spent in England, Germany, Spain, Italy and maybe even Brazil with thousands of rabid fans, cheering the highs and bemoaning the lows through my television.

But I have to do it with frustration, as my TV is often turned to Fox Soccer Channel, the ex-girlfriend whose number I can’t throw away. I love FSC for one reason – they put on the beautiful game and little else, outside of a guaranteed Proactiv commercial during every break. The feed is of poor quality, as volume levels randomly go up and down. The picture goes choppy or freezes, then returns a few seconds later to taunt me, knowing I’m no longer looking at a live shot of the action.

The picture quality is, quite plainly, atrocious for any sport. After a summer of being treated to HD on the ABC / ESPN family of networks for the World Cup, I endure something that shouldn’t even be called any level of “definition.” It only reminds me of the days when my cable box had a dial on it, and the channel numbers stopped at 36.

I know that Fox is not entirely responsible for Verizon’s FiOS not offering the channel in HD, but can’t they carry some of the blame? I get TLC and ABC Family in HD – why do I need to see reenactments of women who didn’t know they were pregnant in hi-def? Is HD really going to make Sixteen Candles a visual masterpiece? I would like Fox to, quite simply, try harder to get FSC HD on all available providers. No excuses. It’s the beautiful game. Watching football on FSC is essentially what it would be like if the producers of Mad Men had Christina Hendricks wear a beekeeper’s suit every week.

Much has already been said about FSC’s other programming choices, so I won’t rehash all of it. However, I can confirm that I am NOT interested in what Susan Sarandon has to say on Soccer Talk Live tomorrow. Really? Susan Sarandon? I think she’s a very talented actress, but in the first few shows of a supposedly “cutting-edge” football program, this is who they’re booking? Was Dina Lohan not available? Or can we perhaps expect Flavor Flav on an upcoming episode?

I love the sport of football. Nothing else comes close for me. But Fox Soccer Channel certainly presents obstacles in my love affair with the game. Like that ex-girlfriend of mine, there’s a seemingly endless list of bad qualities. However, all the negatives are put up against the one thing  that’s done so well. FSC shows football matches. A lot of them. So, like the ex’s phone number, until a better option comes along or it changes dramatically for the better, I’ll hang on to FSC.

But they should be worried about how I’ll feel tomorrow.

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  1. Todd

    September 12, 2010 at 11:00 am

    It is not verizons fault.

    I am on time Warner cable and found this blog while goggling “why does fox soccer HD look like ****”

    I am on the HD feed but my box will only display at 420p and I cannot force it higher.

    I think it’s fsc that is the problem.

  2. jhay

    September 12, 2010 at 8:51 am

    My ex girlfriend broke up with me cus I cheated on her, I found this great website called , I followed all the instructions on it and it helped me get back with my ex, now we’ve been together for almost 2 years. 🙂

  3. Everton Shark

    September 11, 2010 at 12:10 am

    I have been frustrated with my Verizon Fios transmission of FSC for quite some time. The quality is poor. But now that Fox projects the HD emblem and runs scrollers stating that the channel is available in HD and to contact my local provider, I get even more frustrated looking at that poor signal.

    I swear, the video quality is that of a regular definition signal that is 5%-10% out of focus. I blame Verizon for dumbing down the HD signal being provided by Fox AND I blame Fox for not forcing the issue on their end. Is the only solution to solicit a grass-root campaign of frustrated views? Really?

    If that’s the solution, we won’t have FSC in HD until we figure out the flux capacitor use in high-def television.

  4. faboofour

    August 30, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    I thought was going to have full EPL games on demand starting this week? I see that yesterday’s AstonVilla/Everton game is only 45 minute highlights?

    What’s the deal?

  5. Patrico

    August 30, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Well, it’s good to have perspective, but add me to the List of Whiners. After watching Arsenal-Blackpool in HD, it was tough to be happy watching Tottenham-Wigan — with a particularly poor picture quality — on FSC in SD. Having only 1-2 games in HD a week (not counting MLS and WPS) is disappointing, since I really thought the 2010 World Cup would tip things in favor of lots of games in HD – La Liga and Bundesliga along with EPL and Champions League. I complained to Verizon but didn’t get any hint that things may change anytime soon.

    • PhillySpur

      August 30, 2010 at 10:48 am

      Agreed, it was difficult to watch the Tottenham-Wigan match, but for reasons other than the picture quality. Spurs were rubbish.

  6. eplnfl

    August 30, 2010 at 7:58 am

    The popularity of the EPL in the US has been greatly aided by FSC yet and now with ESPN in the soccer game big time we see more of it’s faults. The lack of a HD presentation on major cable outlets have more to do with the cable market economics than FSC itself. Transmission issues bugged ESPN last year but know of none this year so far, it’s early.

    Do we expect FSC to be a sort of NFL Network for the EPL in the US? I think we do and doing that means we will have have to accept less to have more. The total sports network can do more than the dedicated cult channel. So, we will have complaints but those maybe the price we have to pay.

    • Gaz Hunt

      August 30, 2010 at 8:15 am

      I completely agree with eplnfl.

      We all got a little spoiled with the quality of picture (and even in-studio analysis) on ESPN, however, you have to understand that ESPN (or any other total sports network in this country) will never devote as much time as Fox Soccer does to the sport.

      I’ll personally take all the games over one or two games in HD. HD will come to Fox Soccer Channel for all of us at some point. Until then, at least we can at least see all the games.

      • PhillySpur

        August 30, 2010 at 8:54 am

        I also agree. There is way too much whinning going on. We’re lucky that we have FSC. It will continue to get better.

  7. Brad in SoCal

    August 30, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Time Warner Cable has the same problem of no FSC HD, and now they’re battling with Disney/ABC/ESPN and asking viewers to intercede on their behalf on that front. Please. How hard is it for all these smart people to figure out these issues? They’re all richer than Croesus anyway. Let us “little people” watch our soccer in HD. I’d even pay extra, though it doesn’t seem fair, since I’m already paying extra for FSC in the first place (tier pricing, you know…).

  8. Mark

    August 29, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    I often curse and threaten (in my own head) to drop DirecTV and its weather related outages, but I guess I should take solace in FSC and GolTV in HD as well as SpeedTV in HD, which presents widescreen F1 coverage.

  9. Will

    August 29, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    I think FSC is to blame if they have providers out there who are carrying a substandard product. Its up to FSC to make sure all their carriers have HD. I have AT&T U-Verse, I don’t even have FS Plus.

  10. Jacquot

    August 29, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    I enjoy FSC for actually bringing football to my TV, but I really don’t care for a lot of the extra programming on the channel. The new talk show is horrid, and I could go the rest of my life without seeing “The Dream Team” again.

  11. [OPTI]Madschester United

    August 29, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    FSC on Comcast is horrendous… absolutely horrible. I will blame Comcast for focusing on their Xfinity. Dish and DirectTV focused on HD content and got FSC HD. Comcast are thinking about online content (which is nice) but I have cable ONLY because of FSC and to not have it in HD (or to have it in LD) is torture.

    When watching my heroes of Manchester, the video quality is so poor, it looks like we still have Ronaldo. It’s that bad. Same goes for GolTV.

    I agree with the author that at least I get to watch soccer. A lot of soccer.

    Love Football Hate FSC 😉

  12. RIP

    August 29, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    FSC made the mistake of not getting an HD channel together sooner. There isn’t enough bandwidth for more HD channels. Comcast and FiOS are trying to improve their thru-put but currently FSC is the odd man out. This could have been avoided if they were on the forefront of offering HD.

  13. charlestace

    August 29, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    I was just thinking about Susan Sarandon and Soccer Talk. My experience has been that when sports programs — or any other programs — “evolve” to add a celebrity component, it’s tantamount to an admission that the entire premise is on its last legs.

  14. Chris

    August 29, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    It could be much worse and we not even have FSC and be scouring the net for games. I’m watching Real Madrid right now albeit in hd on GolTv.

  15. Norm

    August 29, 2010 at 4:15 pm had a hiccup, at least for myself, just after one of the teams scored during the Liverpool v West Brom match. The picture quality for myself was better for the most part then FSC channel. Still wanting FSC and FSC+ in HD though. The question then becomes, if FIOS ever gets FSC and FSC+ in HD do I stop where I know the games are live and not bad to a delayed game in HD as in the case this game would have been? FYI running FIOS 25up/down

  16. ScottG

    August 29, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    I’m quite angry right now. I was waiting with anticipation the entire week to watch Villa and Everton. I go to watch the match and 2 minutes in, I completely lose FSC. The entire game is completely gone and trying to find out if there are any other ways to watch the match in replay I, of course, find out the score.

    I don’t know what the problem is but almost every match has some kind of technical difficulty. Bolton vs. Birmingham City had a missing 10 minute period as well. All the soccer channels seem to have audio skips every few minutes. It’s ridiculous. It may be DirecTV trying to put these channels under a lower priority service. I don’t know but I’m wondering why I’m paying so much money for this crap.

  17. Phillip Badger

    August 29, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who noticed during around the 20th minute of the Villa-Everton match that the picture cut out for about 30 seconds, and when it came back, it had moved 3 minutes ahead (presumably we were then watching it live).

    Who knows what caused the problem, but again highlights the ridiculousness of showing matches on a 3 minute delay and still telling viewers that it’s “live”.

  18. The Gaffer

    August 29, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    This season thus far, there seems to be far more issues with the audio going in and out, pops, crackles and everything else. I wonder if this is an issue more on Fox’s side or more to do with satellite issues or IMG?

    The Gaffer

    • Phillip Badger

      August 29, 2010 at 3:02 pm

      Don’t think it’s Fox’s problems for once, as we’ve seen the exact same crackling and interrupted picture/audio on ESPN’s games as well. I think it was for Arsenal/Blackburn that the in-game commentators mentioned them also.

    • Jeff

      September 9, 2010 at 7:24 pm

      I have FSN (SD and HD) on Click Cable TV in Washington. And both stations are equally as bad. Terrible audio (pops, clicks, volume increase/decrease) and a blurry screen to match. I think the issue is with FOX as other stations are beautiful.

  19. Nick

    August 29, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I agree with the part about FSC trying harder to get HD picked up on more channels such as verizon and most importantly COMCAST. Also, FSC needs to completely revamp their channel and take a note from the way ESPN presents their programs. FSC’s graphics and presentations look extremely outdated and very 90’s looking.

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