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Fox Soccer Channel Executive Discusses Soccer Talk Live and Other Shows

In the latest episode of our sister show, the MLS Talk Podcast, host Richard Farley interviews Dermot McQuarrie (pictured, right) of Fox Sports International. Many of you may remember McQuarrie as a regular guest on the EPL Talk Podcast where he has appeared each year to discuss the latest developments regarding Fox Soccer Channel’s programming.

There have been a lot of recent developments at Fox, so Farley had a chance to ask McQuarrie about:

  • Soccer Talk Live, the new weekly soccer entertainment show,
  • The target demographic for the new show,
  • What Kyle Martino brings to the show and the channel,
  • Other new programming on Fox such as Fox Soccer Tonight,
  • How Fox Soccer Plus has done so far this year,
  • What readers and listeners can do to twist the arm of their cable provider to get Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Soccer Channel HD added to their programming lineup,
  • What Fox has learned from last season’s Champions League coverage and what their plans are for this season’s Champions League matches,
  • Whether the 2010-11 Champions League Final will be shown on Fox, the network, next spring,
  • Fox Soccer Channel’s future plans for coverage of Major League Soccer,
  • And much more.
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  1. Cricketlover

    September 17, 2010 at 10:14 am

    When I couldn’t get FS+ I was initially upset that I would miss the EPL matches shown there. However, since the rebirth of I have found it to be a better deal than FS+. For the same price you get a choice of several matches from which to choose on whereas on FS+ you are restricted to watching only what is scheduled there. The only downside of is that the quality of the picture isn’t nearly as good as FS+ on SD or HD. And there are occassional hiccups with . This weekend we will find out just how far has come when it shows the Man United – Liverpool match. Let’s hope they are prepared and there are no problems experienced by subscribers.

  2. Efrain

    September 16, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    It’s a shame the question of “why are we paying $15 for FS+ when it doesnt have 24 hour programming?”

    For this kind of money they should at least have replays of other HD matches that were shown on FS over the weekend or CL games…. something… anything!

    Heck, throw up scenes from that show y’all hate that had Susan Sarandon and her daughter visit! Daughter is eye candy and even Mom is still hot.

  3. wilbur Bishop

    September 16, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    Im not HIDING behind a handle or a made up name. My name is WIlbur Bishop and I havent watched Soccer Talk Live since the first 2 showings. It was crap and I wont waste my time ever again on it.
    I always watched Fox Football Fone-IN and loved almost every minute of it….To say that casual fans want to see STL is laughable. Hardcore fans are the people watching FSC in the first place. Cater to your audience….I just cant believe that their ratings are GROWING….No way!!!!!

    Wilbur Bishop.

  4. He's Tone Deaf

    September 16, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Thankfully I can see most of what FSC offers on ESPN broadband where you do actually get such a more informed product. I’d rather watch Soccer Cam on GolTV than Martino at this point – a complete trainwreck.

  5. Philip

    September 16, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Well done guys, great interview, really enjoyed that. Like it or loathe it, STL was an attempt to bring something different to the market place, the bravery should be commended. Guys also, Live TV is the hardest of them all, FFF had run its course, it was time for something else. I sincerely hope the likes of Fox continue to invest in domestically produced programming, people in the US have so much to offer. The guys that do this site and EPL Talk along with a few others have excellent content however unless people like Fox give it a chance it never goes anywhere.


    Beyond the pitch.

  6. He's Tone Deaf

    September 16, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Who does this guy think he speaks for? The NASL and 1950 are a part of the history of the sport in this country – imagine an American walking into Scotland to tell them what contest or competition mattered. And if anybody thinks that Kyle Martino speaks to the emerging football generation in this country, many of us out here weep for it.

    The broadcasters are stifling the sport in this country, not making it easier to consume. If we wanted “movie stars” and “celebrities” with our football we’d watch TMZ.

  7. Jessica

    September 16, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Soccer Talk Live HAS to be the worst sports show on TV anywhere in the world. What on earth was Fox thinking when they decided on it? It’s an embarrasment to the network that they put out such garbage when they should be trying to lure viewers rather than turn them away.

  8. nac

    September 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Here’s another question, and maybe it has been debated on this site before and I missed it: Where does the EPL stand on the issue of their television rights? In America television rights are a giant influence on the financial well being of the member clubs. This is very evident in NCAA Football, and it was discussed at length over the summer when the conference system nearly crumbled. The Big 10 has their own network, and does quite well financially. The SEC doesn’t, but they have extremely lucrative contracts with ESPN and CBS which pay off their member schools a hefty sum ($8 million each last year, which by NCAA standards is excellent). I am not well versed in the EPL and their television deals (and more importantly how the teams benefit from the money). But once they tap out the UK market financially, if the teams survey the landscape and see clubs laden with debt in need of income, where do they look? I would think the States, as Europe has competing leagues. The States can’t influence the EPL’s decisions regarding television rights, but the States provides a potentially huge audience and if the EPL wants to boost their bottom line one would think that they would ultimately want to tap into that market more than what they have currently.


    • brn442

      September 16, 2010 at 12:20 pm

      Do you think that we live in some sort of black hole? Or does condescension come naturally to you?

      • nc

        September 16, 2010 at 1:35 pm

        Wow. Lighten up. It’s a short, simple, honest question accompanied by comparison and context from other leagues. It isn’t meant to imply ignorance on any topic.

      • Dave C

        September 16, 2010 at 4:15 pm

        a bit harsh…

        • Dave C

          September 16, 2010 at 4:17 pm

          I was aiming that at BR442, not NC.

          • brn442

            September 16, 2010 at 10:38 pm

            Dave, – bit harsh perhaps but since this a US based site, do I have to hear “In America television rights are a giant influence on the financial well being of the member clubs.” – Ya think?

            Also, for someone well “not well versed with the EPL and their television deals” why does/how could he assume “they [The EPL] can [should] tap into the US market more than they have currently.”

            Maybe I am having a bad day – apologies.

          • NC

            September 17, 2010 at 8:46 am

            brn442 – no hard feelings. my approach is that i don’t know any of you, and the internet isn’t bound by political borders. so if a site is run out of one country or another..I don’t make assumptions about participants based on that. As it pertains to TV deals as a percentage of gross revenues, it’s hard to dispute that the general public cannot truly understand a singular revenue stream’s impact on an entity’s operating abilities without intimate knowledge of 1) that entity, and 2) generally accepted accounting principles (or IFRS in the case of a UK company). This is well illustrated in the deadspin MLB financial statement leaks. The funny part about that is that prior to those leaks il-informed fans took the annual Forbes report on MLB earnings as fact, when there were not fact, but rather projection. The deadspin leak of privately held company’s financial statements really only helped fans with a skillset of understanding those statements better understand the impact of each revenue stream, and expense item. Revenue sharing in MLB is incredibly complex. So it wouldn’t be unreasonable to make arguments on the impact (over/understated) TV may or may not make. TV is a broad spectrum and there’s no one way to approach it. Thought it was something of interest to discuss but if you disagree, thats cool.

        • Dave C

          September 16, 2010 at 4:19 pm

          Sorry, that was aimed at BBR442, not NAC…

    • The Gaffer

      September 16, 2010 at 1:58 pm

      NAC, Asia is much more on the radar of the Premier League than the United States. Each TV deal is done on a country-by-country basis between the Premier League and a broadcaster. Personally, I feel the Premier League has already done a decent job at tapping into the US market by their deal with Fox where all 10 games are shown each week, and whereby ESPN sublicenses some of the rights from Fox.

      The Gaffer

      • VillaPark

        September 16, 2010 at 3:46 pm

        Since Fox does it with DirecTV for Champions League games, is there a reason they cannot do the same with the other games that currently are not shown live on FSC or FS+? Or are they simply keen on showing those games on delay in order to get some ratings from them? It’s not like I’m paying pocket change per month…it’s nearly $30/month for both channels.

        • The Gaffer

          September 16, 2010 at 4:15 pm

          VillaPark, I don’t follow? Whether Fox could sublicense some of the Champions League games to ESPN?? They have a deal with DirecTV where that satellite provider shows some of the games. There are so many games to show and only limited capacity, so live games go on FSC, FS+,, FSN and DirecTV.

          The Gaffer

          • VillaPark

            September 16, 2010 at 8:32 pm


            I meant the weekend EPL games. Similar to how Setanta had a Xtra channel that allowed them to show two games at the same time a few years ago. Fox owns the rights to the live Premier League games each weekend but only show two of them live om Saturday and show the rest on replay. I’m ultimately wondering if they choose to show them on replay in hopes that viewers like me will also tune in for those games since I couldn’t have seen them elsewhere instead of providing me, the paying customer, with a chance to choose the games I want to watch live.

            I’m willing and AM currently paying for both of their channels, yet I still don’t get the chance to watch my game of choice live.

            • The Gaffer

              September 16, 2010 at 8:54 pm

              They’ve only got two TV channels to show them live – FSC and FS+. Setanta had the luxury of an overflow channel, Setanta Xtra. All of the other live games are shown on Between FSC and (and ESPN), you’ll get to see all of the games of your choice live.

              The Gaffer

  9. nc

    September 16, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Fans of the big four leagues in the states all have packages available that broadcast all games live. The most popular being the NFL Sunday Ticket, and MLB Extra Innings. Does the EPL offer a similar package in the UK? If not, that has to happen first before anyone in North America can think about a television package that shows every game live. Secondly, are the aforementioned North American sports packages available in Europe? North American professional sports can learn something from the UK in the way the product is conveyed to the consumer. Take the NFL for example. There are so many channels and so many people that are given platforms to convey their opinions about teams, their practices, their acquisitions, and the games to the point where it has fostered a lot of anger over those talking heads and their opinions. Chris Berman is a good example. 20 years ago people were interested in his content, but now due to over exposure he is more of a punching bag than a quality journalist. I feel like Soccer talk live is trying to take the EPL and cram it into a North American style show to entertain the fans. It doesn’t work because it is a bad idea regardless of whether it is soccer, football, or baseball. Give me highlights, give me game analysis, and give it to me in an organized fashion. The FSC 30 minute preview show is perfect. Take 30 minutes, run through the matchups for the week, inform the viewers, and get out. Done.

    • Dave C

      September 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm

      As far as I know, there is no way for a UK resident to watch all matches live. There is some kind of rule which severely limits Sky’s ability to broadcast ANY Saturday games, although they sometimes make an exception for this if it’s something like Man U vs Liverpool/Chelsea (usually on the condition that the game is kicked-off unusually early). The reason for this is supposedly so that fans still go to watch games live and in person at stadiums (especially for smaller local teams). So generally, it’s quite common in England that NO games will be shown live on Saturdays.

      Note, all of the above was the best of my knowledge up to about 2006. Things may have changed since then.

  10. patrick

    September 16, 2010 at 10:38 am

    This guy doesn’t get it. Look on the FSC facebook page, no one is hiding behind a screen name or a handle as he put it… The show is bad. period.

    Clearly its Kyle Martino’s connections to Hollywood that made this show happen in the first place. No one really cares that Kyle dates Susan Sarandon’s daughter. No one cares that he is out on the scene in LA. Well when I say no one I mean no one who cares about soccer. funny thing is at 7pm on my TV there are about 5 shows at that time providing celebrity news. They need to make it more about what happened over the weekend and less about some over her head girl mispronouncing words asking guests questions. More about the sort of things talked about here.

    Dermot McQuarrie has been at FSC since what 2004? Back when it was Fox Sports World. Well a lot has changed in the football landscape. The network has served one thing, a avenue to show matches. Every other venture has been very un Fox/Sky/ News Co like. Meaning lack of production value, underfunded and one can only assume that they live off the fox island.

    I’ve watched four of the Soccer Talk (Taped) live shows… I finally gave up when they jumped the shark on the 3rd show. How do you bring the host’s girlfriend and mother onto a sports show to talk soccer…. how? isn’t there some sort of line? or am I expecting too much or one of those on the interwebs moaning? actually Mr. McQuarrie would do well to listen.

  11. jackhammer

    September 16, 2010 at 10:25 am

    i agree that soccer talk live is not particularly sophisticated, but on sunday i was forced to seek out some online streams of NFL games. i watched the giants/panthers game via a UK stream on ‘sky sports’. the quality of the halftime show set & commentary was far worse than anything i’ve seen on FSC. in both cases, i think it’s just a byproduct of it still being a somewhat limited viewing audience for sports that are being played in another country. i actually kinda like soccer talk live. it’s bargain basement programming, but the host is charming & comfortable enough to make it work. it may not look particularly impressive, but i’ve found much of the actual football conversation to be pretty intelligent & informative.

  12. VillaPark

    September 16, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Not sure where to place this comment but it relates to FSC so here goes:

    I am frustrated that as a fan paying $15/month for FS+ and another $12/month for the package that includes FSC, that I cannot watch live games of the team I support. With other professional sports in the US, if I pay for the NFL, NHL, or NBA…that means I get to watch any game I want when it is live. FSC does not provide that option for the Premier League. Instead I have to work around their schedule and watch the game I want 6-8 hours later on a delay, which is just too difficult to do.

    I don’t get this. I’m basically paying $27/month for two channels and that means I can get 6 of the 10 games live (with ESPN showing 2 of the 6 games). That’s about the same amount of money per year as the NFL package, which is considered to be the most expensive of the packages, but that provides the ability to watch every game.

    Now, if I want to watch Aston Villa live, I would ALSO have to pay for Fox soccer’s online version too? Another $15/month? No way. Shouldn’t they at least make the online service available to subscribers?

    • The Gaffer

      September 16, 2010 at 10:06 am

      I would recommend ditching Fox Soccer Plus and signing up for instead. That way, between the online service, Fox Soccer Channel and ESPN, you’re guaranteed to be able to see your team live each week, no matter what.

      The Gaffer

  13. nick

    September 16, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Soccer Talk Live is horrific…………

  14. olivert

    September 16, 2010 at 2:12 am

    Because broadcasting is a very “political” industry and senior execs cannot be explicit, one has to listen to the interview and learn to “read between the lines” to look for tells.


    One should have been able to infer from the interview that there are issues between FSI and MLS.

    As for “Soccer Talk Live”: remember that Monday evening is “garbage time” on FSC. Trying something different is relatively low risk.

  15. brn442

    September 16, 2010 at 1:13 am

    I’ve watched soccer talk live again, this time for more than 5 minutes, it’s not a bad as I thought it was but It needs 1) a better set. 2) a live audience.

  16. Mike

    September 16, 2010 at 12:33 am

    I have FSC available from my provider, just at a package level far above what I am willing to pay. I wish it could be provided in a lower priced package. *sigh*

  17. dlink09

    September 15, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    same old bull shit call the cable/dish companies for HD channels.

  18. Matt

    September 15, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    A lot of “freshening up” with no particular justification.

  19. Red20

    September 15, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Someone should post a recap of all the good parts for those readers who are either deaf, or too lazy to listen to it.

    • The Gaffer

      September 15, 2010 at 8:06 pm

      It’s only 38 minutes. I’d encourage you to listen to it. It’s free, easily accessible and straight to the point.

      The Gaffer

      • Stacy Richardson

        September 16, 2010 at 7:09 am

        (1) Mr. Gaffer 😉 , may I say that even though seemingly I have all the time in the world, 38 minutes is a lot of time to spend on something that promises little payoff. If it can be summarized in a few paragraphs, please summarize it for us in a few paragraphs.

        (2) I watched Soccer Talk Live for a few minutes Monday night, and thought it was probably the worst television program — of any type — that I have seen in years. It’s a mistake. It just doesn’t work.

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