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CONCACAF Champions League

FOX Soccer Acquires US Media Rights to Gold Cup and CCL

The CONCACAF Champions League is taking a step towards it’s UEFA counterpart in it’s United States distribution. For American consumers who have enjoyed free, legal feeds from the Confederation’s site, that convenience should soon go away.

CONCACAF and FOX Soccer, in a press release issued today, announced that they have signed a new multi-year contract for the full United States rights to their two prized commodities, the Gold Cup and the Champions League. The deal will run through the 2015-16 Champions League tournament, and it includes not only television rights but streaming media rights in the US.

On the surface, this seems like a good thing – and it is for the average fan. We should continue to see all Major League Soccer club fixtures in the CCL on FOX Soccer, as well as biannual Gold Cup matches involving the US Men’s National Team. It’s good to see that FOX Soccer is still committed to the domestic game, even with the minor war of words they may be having with MLS.

Additionally, they have the rights to all matches in the Gold Cup and CCL. Any matches that are not shown on FOX Soccer can be streamed, most likely through their FOXSoccer2Go platform. The rights are also present to stream on-demand. While the site was free, you had to watch live. So if you miss a match, you should be able to go in and pull up the full recorded match.

The downside will be the cost, as many have complained about the $19.99 monthly fee (or $169.99 for a single full-year payment) to access FOXSoccer2Go. This represents FOX’s first foray into using a domestic product to sell their online portal. We shouldn’t be surprised by this though. With everything from Major League Soccer to the Premier League coming at a premium for online streaming, you can’t blame both the Confederation and FOX itself for trying to turn a profit from the commodity.

For current subscribers to FOXSoccer2Go, you can now visit the same location for your CONCACAF viewing as you do the EPL, UEFA Champions League, and UEFA Europa League. Obviously it’s important for FOX to line up other content for their paid service, given that they lost the rights to Serie A and Ligue 1. The question will be whether this package will entice people to make the plunge.

In terms of the Gold Cup, the tournament generates a boatload of support from not only USMNT fans, but Mexico and other nationalities. This package represents a chance for American based viewers to view every match in the tournament – albeit at a price.

In the end though, as long as we have FOX Soccer, almost all matches of consequence to supporters of MLS sides will still be on the main channel. For the frugal fan, there should be little change to your viewing experience.

Yet this does represent a turning point for CONCACAF tournaments. What do you think? Will you consider purchasing a FOXSoccer2Go subscription because of this addition? Are there other domestic (or overseas) contests that you’d like to see obtained to make this worth the price? Feel free to comment on this news, and how it will affect you.

In the meantime, starting on August 17th, you can test drive the FOXSoccer2Go medium by signing up at this link. If you obtain an trial account, you should have access to the following:

– Next week’s CONCACAF Champions League fixtures

– The opening weekend of the Barclay’s Premier League

– The first leg of the UEFA Champion’s League Play-off Round next week.

According to our sister EPLTalk website, later this week FOXSoccer2Go will unveil their new Android-based app, in addition to updated iOS products and the web portal. Give it a go and see what you think.

Reader Todd asks about Spanish-language rights. This covers only English language rights. From my cursory searching, Univision appears to hold the Spanish-language rights for both tournaments.

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  1. Wellfed Sounder

    August 17, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Earl- the average soccer fan does not have fox soccer, not only for
    the reasons Charles mentioned but because we have wives- and they
    want to know why we are paying 20 bucks per f-ing game. I know alot
    of soccer super fans who could afford FOX soccer and dont have it.
    I wish the CONCACAF would make an investment in developing fans in
    the us by getting the whole tourney (or at least US market games)
    on a channel with wide viewership. In the long run they would make
    more money. Instead they simply look at each game in isolation and
    say, how much can I make on this game?

  2. Charles

    August 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    “On the surface, this seems like a good thing
    “……………….wrong. This stinks, 100% stinks. FSC is awful
    when it comes to American soccer and I along with many could NOT
    care less about the foreign stuff they are pitching. So where does
    that leave us ? Watching a really bad broadcast and paying through
    the nose for it. How many games do you think someone like me
    watches ? 10, $17 per game for a bad broadcast. That stinks.

  3. CTBlues

    August 15, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Too bad NBC Sports Network didn’t get the rights.

  4. Michael

    August 15, 2012 at 2:32 am

    In other words, the same painful status quo. No, this is not a
    turning point, FSC will continue to be an obscure (for most
    Americans) cable outlet available only with a premium specialty
    package. FoxSoccer2Go will continue to be an even more obscure
    Internet service. When the sport is popular enough that ESPN or NBC
    Sports Network or any other basic cable channel picks these
    tournaments up, or when the sport is so ragingly popular that Fox
    can demand cable/satellite providers put FSC on the basic sports
    tier, THAT will be the turning point.

    • Earl Reed

      August 15, 2012 at 7:00 am

      I wasn’t trying to imply that the “turning point” was necessarily a good one, and I think you have a solid point with this comment. FOX Soccer seems content in the sports tier, and it might be until World Cup 2018 before they can convince the major providers (DirecTV, Dish, Comcast, Time-Warner, etc) to jump it up in stature to where The Golf Channel is in its distribution. I’m hoping that it might happen sooner than that. Then again, I’m guessing soccer fans may represent the primary subscriber to the Sports Tier for these providers. So what kind of impetus would Comcast or DirecTV have for taking a hot-ticket item off the premium rack?

      That’s a good question…

      • Charles

        August 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm

        Don’t you think that FSC have to convince the potential viewship
        that one, US soccer is worth watching ( foreign soccer is not going
        to do it ) and two FSC are the good source for it. Maybe they learn
        from NBC, I am skeptical and think they continue to treat US soccer
        as second rate.

  5. Matt

    August 14, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Now if only CONCACAF would get their act together and assign the
    rights for Concacaf WC2014 qualifiers to both the hosting AND
    VISITING nations in their respective countries…

    • Earl Reed

      August 14, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      Amen, and AMEN!

  6. MrTuktoyaktuk

    August 14, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    I almost cancelled my FoxSoccer2Go sub this week, to save some
    money. I’ll keep it in light of this new coverage. Potential
    drawback – they tend to delay online access to games they have live
    on FSC. Let’s see if they do that with the CCL games. That would
    reduce the value of the service to some extent if that is all
    someone is looking to watch.

    • Earl Reed

      August 14, 2012 at 11:03 pm

      Agreed. I would hope that it’s a similar situation to the UCL matches, which is that they are available shortly after the conclusion of the match. But you never know. Thanks for your input!

  7. Todd

    August 14, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    do you know if this includes the spanish-language rights?

    • Earl Reed

      August 14, 2012 at 10:48 pm

      Ahh, thank you for that. That does NOT include Spanish-language rights.

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