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7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Cancel Your Soccer TV Channels This Summer

The Premier League season is over, the champions of Europe have been crowned and the Championship Playoff Final has decided who will be the third team going up. Now what? Some of you may be wondering what you have to look forward to this summer, if anything, to cure your soccer summertime blues. Or whether it’s worth canceling your TV sports package during the off-season, or keeping it. Here’s our look at what soccer you can catch on television or online this summer and whether it’s worth keeping your sports packages or not.

1. Premier League Archives

I’m surprised by how few people are aware of one of Fox Soccer Channel’s best programs. Most weeknights at 7pm ET, Fox shows highlights of a classic English Premier League game from yesteryear. In the past several weeks I’ve gone back in the time machine to see Arsenal winning the 2002 Premier League title at Old Trafford courtesy of a Sylvain Wiltord goal, Tore Andre Flo scoring for Chelsea on a muddy pitch at Stamford Bridge, Southampton’s Matthew Le Tissier score another wonderful goal and much more.

Whether you want to relive your great memories or study up on ones you’ve missed, the 30-minute Premier League Archives show is one that you shouldn’t miss.

2. Copa America

Now that more Premier League clubs are buying players from South America to play on English soil, the Copa America tournament is even more intriguing than usual. Oftentimes you’ll get to see Premier League footballers such as Carlos Tevez, Javier Hernandez and Hugo Rodallega (just to name a few) plying their trade for their respective countries. But you also get an opportunity to scout teams to see which players will stand out and may help secure themselves a contract with a Premier League club during this summer’s transfer window. Plus, most importantly of all, the soccer on display in most of the games is fantastic. The games are often more open and feature more goals than cagey European Championships.

In the United States, Copa America will be shown exclusively on Univision (both TV and online) from July 1 to July 24.

3. Gold Cup

While the level of football on display in the Gold Cup isn’t nearly as good as Copa America, it’s still a good opportunity to see the United States men’s national team perform in a tournament. Fox Soccer Channel will be showing the first three games featuring the United States (versus Canada on June 7, versus Panama on June 11, versus Guadelope on June 14). Plus, Fox will broadcast the quarter-final, semi-final and final live on its channel. Assuming that the United States can advance from the group stage, you can watch the US team progress through the tournament and hopefully to the final where everyone expects them to play Mexico at the Rose Bowl on June 25.

4. Women’s World Cup

From June 26 to July 17, ESPN will be showing each game of the 2011 Women’s World Cup live and in HD. If you’ve watched the Women’s World Cup before, you know it’s an entertaining tournament where the US has a chance of advancing deep into the competition. Still, there’s no guarantees and the US women’s team struggled to qualify.

Leading the commentating on many of the games will be the familiar voices of Ian Darke and Julie Foudy.

For the complete schedule and TV times (as well as online and mobile coverage), visit this page.

5. Premier League Preseason Friendlies

Throughout this summer, there’ll be plenty of Premier League preseason friendlies on television. For the World Football Challenge alone, most of the games (if not all of them) will be televised. So you’ll get a chance to watch Manchester United vs Barcelona, Manchester City against LA Galaxy, Real Madrid vs LA Galaxy, Manchester City against Club America, Chicago Fire against Man United and many more games. The TV schedules for these games, and the others featuring Premier League teams playing across the United States (and around the world), haven’t been announced yet. But suffice to say that July will be filled with plenty of exhibition games featuring Premier League teams on US television.

6. Major League Soccer

Let us not forget that the 2011 MLS season continues from now until the Autumn with plenty of games on ESPN2, Fox Soccer Channel and other networks. The standard of play in the league is improving and there are bigger crowds and plenty of new teams to add a different dynamic to what you’re accustomed to seeing.

For Major League Soccer coverage, visit our sister site MLS Talk.

7. Toulon Tournament

Since 1974, the annual Toulon Tournament features some of the best under-21 national squads from around the world. The tournament, which runs from June 1 to June 11, will include high-intensity matches between Mexico, Ivory Coast, China, France, Italy, Colombia, Hungary, and Portugal.  The games will feature future soccer stars looking to rise in a competition that delivered breakout performances from Kaka, Ronaldo and Henry.

Many of the games will be shown live on GolTV.

So there you have it. Seven ways to cure the summertime soccer blues. Did I miss any leagues or tournaments that you would recommend readers watch? If so, share your suggestions in the comments section below.

PS – As for FoxSoccer.tv, the broadband website will be showing several European Championship qualification games in June.

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36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. skpd

    June 28, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Well, according to my DirecTV schedule not only GolTV does not have the Copa America at all this year (bummer) but Univision seems to not have all matches scheduled. The openeing Argentina-Bolivia match seems to only be on Telefutura not Univision. What the heck is going on? No Copa America in English and on top of it Univision only has the Mexico matches??

    Nice….

  2. Craig

    June 27, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Univision also runs TeleFutura. Most matches with the exception of the 6 or so matches Univision will be airing will be shown on TF. Check your local listings!! TeleFutura is part of the Spanish package available through DirecTV and could run you upwards of $29.99. If that’s a drop in the bucket for you and your intent on watching some of CONMEBOL’s finest, have at it!

  3. Tyler Israel

    June 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    You missed ueaf under 21 and world cup under 17. You can catch these on ESPN Univesity and one or two on ESPN Classic. Toulon matches stunk!

  4. mike

    June 5, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Great stuff. Very busy months ahead.

  5. Sammy

    June 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    7 reasons to save $30 a month. I dumped out as soon as Barca creamed the Red Devils. MLS (Minor League Soccer) Maybe equal to League 1. Friendlys? A big todo about absolutely nothing. Women’s soccer? KMN (Kill Me Now) See you boys in Aug when the real beautiful game begins again.

  6. ExrtaMedium

    June 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    8. Brasileirao (GOLtv)
    9. Copa Sudamericana (Fox Deportes)

    Conmebol’s website sucks.

  7. TL

    June 2, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    I’m not too familiar with Foxsoccer tv, is it any good during the regular season? Is it only live or does it have archives on everything that was on FSC and FS Plus?

  8. Terrence

    June 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Gold Cup coverage is also supposed to be on Univision, Telefutura, and Galavision. There is also usually one MLS game on Galavision on the weekend.

    On the Archives, I’ve always wondered why there isn’t an outlet for pre-Premier League classics? Maybe there isn’t much of a market. I like watching old black and white baseball and am used to the grainy (sp?) picture quality, so it wouldn’t be a problem for me. I mean, why not show old FA cup finals, or European Cups, or even classic NASL?

  9. dominjon

    June 2, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Yeah I was just going to post what Brandon did, I think this may be a huge summer for transfers with City, Chelsea, Utd (they promised Rooney they would) and Liverpool (new owners willing to pay big for players that fit their model) and possibly Arsenal likely to spend big.
    Being able to watch it on Sky Sports News when something big happens is worth the $5 I pay for FSC on its own.

    • nicc

      June 2, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      when did they move Sky Sports News back to FSC?
      it’s been on FS+ instead all year/season.

      • dominjon

        June 2, 2011 at 5:13 pm

        It is on in the middle of the night when I get home from work, actually live I believe. The early morning show for the UK, covers any events that day, news stories etc. I assumed it was on later as well but obviously not.

  10. Jason Gatties

    June 2, 2011 at 11:56 am

    I’m canceling FoxSoccer.tv this month. No plans to cancel anything else. I have Dish Network so no Gol TV for me.

  11. Brandon

    June 2, 2011 at 10:28 am

    You’re forgetting the best part of Fox Soccer Channel: SKY Sports News. I haven’t watched Sportscenter in years and I can’t imagine missing this lil’ taste of england every day after I get home from work.

  12. Thomas

    June 2, 2011 at 2:26 am

    Anyone who has the time to watch a lot of footy, FSTV is well worth the money.

    I just couldn’t justify the expense as I found myself using it far too little.

    PS. Gaffer, I hope they are giving you some coin for this coverage.

    • The Gaffer

      June 2, 2011 at 6:22 am

      Not a dime, Thomas.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  13. Anthony

    June 1, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    Kind of surprised this hasn’t gotten any coverage.

    http://goal.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/26/fox-mothership-hovers-over-champions-league-final/

    “He said that Fox had reached an agreement with Comcast, the nation’s largest cable provider, to launch FSC in HD on select systems. Comcast had been the last cable holdout. The deal means that FSC is now available in HD on all major cable and satellite systems.”

  14. Justin

    June 1, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    But “quality” typically relates to entertainment value, no? Almost every goal I see in MLS comes from a defensive error. The skills aren’t there…so what am I supposed to be watching? I can go watch guys in the park or HS ball if I just want to see a competitive game…nothing personal to MLS, it’s the same reason I don’t watch much Mexican, Colombian or even Serie A…the entertainment value simply isn’t there compared with Premiership. It really is difficult to watch MLS, and the constant, artificial hyping up by the American announcers makes it even worse.

    • Dave C

      June 2, 2011 at 12:03 pm

      I kind of agree with you and disagree with you about MLS. You’re right that in terms of quality, it is far, far behind the top leagues, and I can understand why a neutral fan who is only interested in watching games of the highest quality and entertaimnent value might not be interested. And MLS doesn’t have the sort of cultural appeal the pulls in fans the way other “low quality” leagues like European 2nd divs do.

      But at the same time, I can enjoy any old game, even if it’s not of the highest quality – school kids, amateurs in the local park, women – although to be fair I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch any of them.

      But I totally agree with you about the commentators. I hate it when I watch something sloppy or flukey or just plain average, and the commentator tries to tell the audience that what we’ve just seen was a “world class moment of skill” or whatever.

  15. MG

    June 1, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    I will never understand people who sh*t on Major League Soccer. Never. I don’t see what’s so hard about enjoying both European soccer/football and American soccer/football, even when the talent and quality are CLEARLY years apart. That shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.

  16. fsquid

    June 1, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    I thought GolTV has the Copa America?

    Premier League Archives is all repeats if you,ve watched any of them in the last 3 years.

    • Dave C

      June 2, 2011 at 11:55 am

      errrr….aren’t Premier League Archives ALL repeats by definition?

  17. Tuttle

    June 1, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    There’s also Copa Libertadores still ongoing (Cero Porteno hosts Santos tonight for a place in the final). Lots of leagues play through the summer as well (better often) as MLS; Russia, Japan, Scandinavia, etc. and US Open Cup opening rounds (finally, a team closer than 500 miles away from me is competing!).

    That said, I don’t have a sports package. Just basic cable and a fat fiber pipe.

  18. Yamz

    June 1, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    What about the Euro U21

    • Mekias

      June 1, 2011 at 2:04 pm

      Anyone know which channel will carry the Euro U21 starting on June 11th? I want to see England/Spain on the 12th but am about to get rid of FS+ from my package. I’ll be keeping FSC and GolTV since those are fairly cheap on DirecTV.

      • bradjmoore48

        June 1, 2011 at 3:49 pm

        Euro U21s will be on ESPN3.

  19. Dan

    June 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    It’s funny that this blog was posted today, because this morning I dumped the sports package which includes FS+ and GolTV. Fox Soccer Channel is a part of the regular digital package here, so I’ll still have that at least.

  20. King Eric

    June 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    only the premier league archives are worth watching, the rest are garbage except potential classic match-ups in the copa america.

  21. nicc

    June 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    so, no reason to keep FS+ in the summer as nothing you listed was on FS+.
    (the only soccer channel on FiOS that is not part of the basic package )

    • satan

      June 1, 2011 at 5:40 pm

      well said… I did not know that fios carries univision but just found out that it is available !

      • BD

        June 2, 2011 at 11:40 am

        Hey Satan,

        What Premier League team do you follow? Could you tell me which footballers have sold their soul to you in exchange for prestige and supermodels? I’m guessing Giggs and Terry, but you are the all-knowing….please expound….

  22. jmansor

    June 1, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    It would have been nice if Copa America was on GolTV. Not sure if you convinced me about FoxSoccer.tv though. Seems like it is going to be a slow summer for that website.

  23. Justin

    June 1, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Great article, agree with all except for points 4 and 6.

    • MG

      June 1, 2011 at 9:18 pm

      Nothing wrong with WWC and especially MLS.

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