— The launch of a Hollywood-style TV chat show entitled Soccer Talk Live was a flop.
— Canceling FOX Football Fone-In and not replacing it with a caller-driven show was a mistake.
— FOX’s focus on bringing in American talent such as Kyle Martino, Kasey Keller, Rob Stone and Brian McBride was misguided. FOX Soccer “pushed out” their crown jewel of its coverage, veteran pundit Bobby McMahon, which was the best thing the channel had going for them. (The number of ex-pats in front of the camera at FOX Soccer were reduced to Warren Barton and Keith Costigan; far fewer than in the past), and
— The money spent producing “Being: Liverpool” could have been better spent by allocating that towards a larger bid for EPL media rights.
Don’t get me wrong. FOX has made some significant steps to improve its coverage and presentation, but it ultimately lost out to heavyweight competitors NBC and beIN SPORT where it mattered the most — TV rights deals.
In a very short of time in the United States, NBC Sports has displaced FOX while beIN SPORT has displaced GolTV. As a result, the future for both FOX Soccer and GolTV looks bleak as the soccer heavyweights have shuffled the deck and have now dealt us two media companies that we’re not used to dealing with when it comes to top class international soccer. Where FOX Soccer and GolTV go from here, it’s their call. But it’s another fascinating story to watch unfold as the sport of soccer continues to grow by leaps and bounds in this country.
What do you think? Does the future of FOX Soccer look grim, or do you see the network having a new lease of life now that it won’t have to pay the very expensive TV rights for the Premier League for 2013-16? Share your opinions in the comments section below.