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After Final Nail In Coffin From Gus Johnson, FOX Soccer Will Not Be Missed

With NBC Sports Network announcing their Premier League coverage plans for next season, the end is near for FOX Soccer.

Next season will see the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, CONCACAF Champion’s League and the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup tournaments shown on the new FOX Sports 1FOX Soccer will become FXX, a sister channel to FX.

These remaining weeks in the European season will see the end of FOX Soccer in its current form. And I couldn’t be happier about it.

The channel’s coverage and programming has gone slowly downhill the last few years, just when one would have expected the channel to push on as the sport grew in popularity. Instead, a number of mistakes mean the channel is being outperformed in terms of the quality of coverage by nearly every other soccer channel on the market.

Let’s give credit where it’s due though. FOX Soccer has done a lot to further the popularity of the game in this country. It’s because of FOX Soccer that I am a fan today, and that I have been able to further my education every single weekend.

The channel obviously reached a point not long ago where they felt they needed to enhance their own coverage, and that’s where the mistakes were made. The first mistake was Rob Stone.  The channel brought him over from ESPN to lead their live studio coverage of high profile games. Rob Stone is a good general presenter; he hardly ever fumbles, is never lost on what to say, he always fills the time he needs to. But Rob Stone is not a good soccer presenter. He doesn’t have a good enough tactical understanding of the game to ask the analysts interesting questions. He asks the obvious questions about the simplest parts of the game. His simplicity hinders a lot of what is said in studio. He also doesn’t use the right language and invents his own terminology to tell people about the “second half kick” or other silly terms he coins himself. Each sport has its own lingo, and if the people presenting the game don’t use that lingo, they lose credibility.

This is just part of the general overall problem at FOX Soccer. It’s this idea that the sport needs to be shown and presented through an American perspective for people to understand it. It doesn’t. The game has attracted enough of a niche audience that we don’t need to be talked down to. FOX Soccer has risked alienating the majority of its fans by trying to attract new ones.

It’s not as if the channel doesn’t have smart and unique pundits. Bobby McMahon, who was the staple of the old Fox Soccer Report, was the man the channel should have built their coverage around.  He has an insight unmatched by anyone working at the network, and yet has been relegated to minor appearances on the new FOX Soccer News program.

Also, Brian McBride is growing in confidence and is starting to get more comfortable in getting his analysis across.  The few times he speaks during the studio coverage, his observations are generally well thought out and offer unique analyses on what we’ve just seen.  It’s a shame that he’s been overshadowed by Warren Barton and Eric Wynalda, neither of whom offer anything more than joking with Rob Stone.

Personnel mistakes aside, FOX Soccer has also made mistakes in acquiring rights recently.  The channel has been forced out of existence because they put all their money into getting the rights to the Premier League, Champions League, and World Cup 2018. They were never going to be able to have both the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League for long; and lo and behold, they are outbid at the very next bidding cycle.  And now that other networks have come along (primarily beIN Sport) and scooped up most of the other European rights, FOX Soccer can’t remain a network only showing Champions League games midweek and a World Cup in five years.

The final nail in the coffin was the joke that FOX Soccer has become due to the amateurish soccer commentating by Gus Johnson. FOX Soccer established themselves over 16 years of hard work only for them to ruin their legacy by elevating a joke of an announcer into the most high-profile soccer games of the 2012-13 season. Everything that they had been built has been ruined by one cataclysmic decision.

If the network had tried to stay more continental by buying out GolTV’s contract with the Bundesliga or sub-licensing Bundesliga games, or tried to beat out beIN SPORT for the nPower Championship or tried harder to build a better product when they had MLS games, maybe they would still be around next season. Instead, soccer fans across the country will lose a huge part of why they’ve become fans.  It’s a shame in many ways; but given the downward trajectory the network has taken recently, it’s not entirely unwanted either.

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  1. Monae Smith

    August 28, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    I’m a fan of Fox Soccer,
    I felt so guilty about FXX replacing Fox Soccer Channel next Monday. I’m sad that I like d Fox Soccer so much, I really loved this Soccer channel so much!

  2. stiglet

    May 19, 2013 at 12:39 am

    I take it The Gaffer will not be watching Gus Johnson’s “in depth” look at the UEFA Champions League Franchise before the final (never heard it called a franchise before)…. Will be glad to see the back of Fox Soccer – simple things frustrate me with them – such as advertising the final day of the season as Survival Sunday. They do know that no one can survive, right?

  3. Transic

    May 3, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    OK, we know Fox Soccer is ending in a few months. Let’s see how soccer is handled at Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 before judging.

    • Cantona

      May 3, 2013 at 4:54 pm

      Back are the days when a champions league semifinal will be interrupted for a cheer leading press conference


      • John

        August 3, 2014 at 7:07 am

        Is anyone really complaining about seeing hot girls in cheerleading outfits? I certainly am not.

  4. dills47

    May 3, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    I look forward to EPL games on NBC… if they do the right thing and have British announcer… soccer got huge in America with the doing the broadcast because we enjoy listening to people that understand the game and know the history both short and long term… something FOX doesn’t get with this clown Gus Johnson.. during his Arjen Robben goal call he screamed “Stroke Foot” what does that even mean.. not only do you not know the game I question his ability to even speak English.

    • Pete

      May 3, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      You finally broke me down. I just went to FoxSoccer2Go and replayed the Robben goal. Johnson actually said “stroke foot”….what in the f**k is he talking about?

      And Ian Wright should not be in a commentary booth. His articles in The Sun are entertaining at times. But he can’t broadcast.

      That’s the second time I’ve heard him in the booth and he’s unlistenable.

      How can anyone say that the duo of Johnson/Wright is acceptable for football commentary?

      Come on guys. That broadcast is indescribably poor.

      • Galan

        May 3, 2013 at 4:27 pm


  5. He's Livid

    May 3, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Where is Christain Miles? I actually preferred him over Rob Stone.

  6. John

    May 3, 2013 at 8:09 am

    I’ll miss Rob Stone hosting. Guy was funny and entertaining. Not looking forward to a boring guy who knows all the correct soccer terms.

    This author also hates when babies smile and two puppys play with each other

    • Oliver Tse Productions

      May 3, 2013 at 11:05 am

      Rob Stone will continue to host UEFA Champions League on FOX Sports 1 and 2.

      As for EPL on NBC starting August, Rebecca Lowe will be the host.

      • Cantona

        May 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm

        His days as Fox soccer host are limited


  7. Walter The scout

    May 2, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Totally agree with Luca. Bein is killing soccer. No app is a real letdown. No steaming either.whats left?
    Gaffer should we cancel foxsoccer2go?ate they refund us?any news form the guys at bein?

    • The Gaffer

      May 2, 2013 at 6:57 pm

      I would keep the FS2Go subscription active through the end of this month for UCL final, Europa League and EPL matches.

      beIN Sport released an iOS app last week but there was no live streaming functionality included. I’m unclear what their plans are.

      The Gaffer

  8. Luca Termo

    May 2, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    I will miss foxsoccer and foxsoccer2go. I liked having a place to watch games live streaming. We used to have all ligue 1, serie a, epl, rugby…
    Now BeinSport is amateurish at best with crappy programming. Those morrons have the same game on both networks. Do they understand anything about programming? Money does not buy you smats I guess. Also they played all of us with some rormise of streaming. That has not been done. We got soo screwd since they arrived. Less soccer on TV or streaming. I do not understand bad management.

    • Oliver Tse Productions

      May 2, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      The principals running beIN SPORT LLC can care less, as they make their moneay every time they conduct a “private banking” transaction to buy TV rights to stuff that practically no one watches.

      Imagina U.S., the Miami-based Hispanic-centric video production company under contract to produce beIN SPORT USA (HD and en Espanol) has a “sweat shop” reputation of hiring the cheapest production personnel available.

      One should NOT be surprised that streaming of overflow events at still does not function properly over a year after beIN SPORT LLC started staffing up…

      • Cantona

        May 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm

        Don’t start with your “flooze” conspiracy crap here..


  9. nick

    May 2, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    in yesterday’s game the combination of mssrs johnson & wright made the game unwatchable with the volume on…
    when will be able to have access to the technology that allows us to keep the ambient noise of the game but turn off the commentary?

  10. Dust

    May 2, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    The quality of football games between the bottom and 4th is a huge drop off its really unwatchable…

    • The Gaffer

      May 2, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      …in which league?

      The Gaffer

  11. Gus

    May 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Here is an idea. How about you put a banner at the top of EPL Talk that says “WE DISLIKE GUS JOHNSON AS A FOOTBALL/SOCCER ANNOUNCER” and then you can stop writing about him once a week.

    It’s a borderline obsession at this point. Do you have Gus Johnson voodoo dolls at home? The Gaffer is going to turn into Finkle/Einhorn from Ace Venture pretty soon.

    • The American Voice of Soccer

      May 2, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      Someone out there has those dolls. I feel the pain.

      • Oliver Tse Productions

        May 3, 2013 at 11:10 am

        And the viewers will make sure that “Mr. Rise and Fire” continue to feel the pain until he starts preparing for big time soccer assignments seriously.

        Eric Shanks tossed “Mr. Rise and Fire” into the deep end perhaps a year too early, but Shanks didn’t really have a choice as FOX Soccer will disappear at the end of August.

        • The Gaffer

          May 3, 2013 at 11:30 am

          Oliver, I respectfully disagree. FOX Sports has plenty of choices. Gus Johnson was not the only choice they had.

          The Gaffer

          • Oliver Tse Productions

            May 3, 2013 at 12:22 pm

            I meant that Shanks had to toss “Mr. Rise and Fire” into the deep end NOW (instead of a year from now) if he wanted to get Gus some big time “football” matches to call.

            I am well aware that FOX Sports (USA) has in its stable of soccer announcers both John Strong and J.P. DellaCamera, both of whom are well ahead of Gus in terms of “football” knowledge and play-by-play experience at this point in time.

        • Fog

          May 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm

          “Tossing Johnson into the deep end” actually shows how much we have progressed in breaking down the atrocious racial barriers that have existed in our society. For that, Shanks deserves credit. At least Johnson is being judged on his soccer knowledge and his ability to commentate, not his race.

          If Shanks had listened to former Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager Al Campanis’ interview with Ted Kopel, he might not have given Johnson his opportunity. In the interview honoring Jackie Robinson, Campanis said: “blacks are often poor swimmers ‘because they don’t have the buoyancy.'”

          Needless to say, that was Campanis’ last act as the Dodgers GM.

          Here is the Al Campanis interview:

          • Cantona

            May 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm

            What the hell are you talking about?? Racial barriers? It’s got nothing to with race and all about celebrity.. They thought they could package and gimmick Johnson to the masses.. But soccer fans are more intelligent than that and aren’t having it.


          • Tim

            May 3, 2013 at 1:55 pm

            Only a racist would find a racial angle to this.

          • Fog

            May 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm

            WHOA!!! I am sorry. The intent of this post was NOT to play the racial card. In fact, it was intended to point out that the race card IS NOT a factor in using Johnson.

            I obviously did not do a good job in saying that…and as Cantona says, maybe it doesn’t even need to be said.

            @Tim – I do not read anything “racist” in either my or Cantona’s posts.

            Please, let’s not go there!!!

    • Guy

      May 2, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      The only way for consumers to effect the TV marketplace is to make their feelings known. If this means beating a dead horse, so be it.

      EPL Talk is only mirroring the feelings of the vast majority of its readers. The alternative is simply to accept that which is obviously unacceptable.

      Not going to happen.

    • Cantona

      May 3, 2013 at 1:38 pm

      How about you stop being an apologist for this amateur.. Stop, if you are a real soccer fan stop.. You look like a fool defending this idiot.


      • Sammy

        May 4, 2013 at 4:32 am

        What does him defending somebody have to do with whether he is a real soccer fan or not? I fail to see the link here. Are you really calling someone a “fool” and not a “real soccer fan” just because his opinion is different from yours? I think that was a bit overboard. Otherwise, how would you define a real fan?

  12. Ryan S.

    May 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I won’t miss Fox Soccer. Not because of any on air “flubs” or lack of top commentating talent. No, I won’t miss them because the main reason I turned to them was to see EPL matches. Now that NBC has promised a glorious amount of games (and hopefully quality too). I will simply change the channel in order to watch the games I want. Most of the fox soccer guys didn’t get under my skin, not the best, but not as awful as many propose. I was willing to give Gus a shot, but after hearing him say “Ianesta” about 50 times yesterday, it is clear that he isn’t deeply studying the game as he promised. If you don’t know the name of one of the perennial world player of the year nominees, you don’t know soccer.

  13. Matt

    May 2, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I love the Bundesliga, have for many years, but the only way I can watch it is on internet streams as I don’t and have never had GolTV. The “problem” for the Bundesliga is their match schedule is essentially the same as the EPL (using east coast time; Bundesliga is a 9:30 kickoff, EPL is 10:00 kickoff). The only Bundesliga game which doesn’t clash with an EPL match is their weekly Friday evening fixture but these matches rarely feature the top clubs in Germany.

    I agree with Ryan that Fox Soccer made a mistake putting all their eggs in the EPL basket. I understand the other leagues probably don’t get the same ratings but there are people out there who will still watch the other leagues. Fox Soccer these days basically show 3-4 live matches a week (on non-UEFA competition weeks) and they have nothing else to show other than multiple repeats of the big matches or some silly shows like “Football Funnies” or that “My Beautiful Game” nonsense.

    I also can’t stand Fox Soccer’s CL match decisions, the fact that I couldn’t see Bayern Munich play ONCE on Fox Soccer until the Round of 16 says it all. Their CL coverage is my main beef with Fox. They always push the EPL sides, even when they are facing the likes of Cluj, Copenhagen, Braga, Nordsjaelland. The two worst examples was showing Chelsea-Zilina over AC Milan-Real Madrid! And this season they showed Chelsea-Nordsjaelland over the more important Juventus-Shakhtar match. Once again, I understand they are in the ratings business and the EPL clubs will always win out, but to me this is unacceptable as a football fan who isn’t a fan of only one league.

  14. Pete

    May 2, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Ok, boss. I’m whinging. I have no issues with BEIN or ESPN’s coverage. Had no issues with GolTV either. Fox Soccer was amateur.

  15. Fernando

    May 2, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Aside from the live games, Fox Soccer was never a well developed network to begin with. They outsourced their own highlight show to Canada, only recently did they get decent studio and production facilities.

    Fox was ahead of the game for over a decade but did not take advantage of this and now they’ve lost the property that made them.

    Btw, the Bundesliga is not a TV draw in this country. Outside of Madrid-Barcelona, neither is La Liga. Bein Sport is not exactly distinguishing itself from the competition.

  16. Pele

    May 2, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    You have football EVERYWHERE and still with the incessant whinging. Yuck.

    • Huw Roma

      May 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm

      Absolutely couldn’t agree more. Go back some 16 years and see what it was like then. This is a paradise compared to those dismal days before Fox Sports International.

      • Pele

        May 2, 2013 at 1:26 pm

        I have many issues with Johnson and you know what? I’m just happy to have football on the telly. Everything else is details. Finding cup scores hidden in some 90s paper was the worst.

        • The Gaffer

          May 2, 2013 at 1:29 pm

          The 90s were two decades ago. Just having soccer games shown on television shouldn’t be the bar we’re setting.

          The Gaffer

          • Taylor

            May 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm

            Especially it’s not a free programme. We pay for it and we demand a high quality product, including commentator.

          • Huw Roma

            May 3, 2013 at 3:06 pm

            Perhaps it shouldn’t, but some of the moaning verges on redundancy in my opinion. When I remember those days and think of now it’s mind boggling. Some of you probably have no idea what it was like. That’s why we are making those kinds of statements. Yes it’s a different time now with so many channels and the internet, but for lifelong fans like myself it’s easy to think things could go back to the dark ages. Complaining continually about a second rate commentator just seems redundant.

            • The Gaffer

              May 3, 2013 at 5:00 pm

              Huw, we’ve moved on since the 90s. I remember the black hole of the 80s and 90s in America where a single game involving the USMNT was to be cherished, let alone 70-90 that we have in a single weekend now. But times have changed and standards have been raised. Giving a second-rate announcer a free ride isn’t acceptable in today’s age.

              It’s not just soccer that’s changed. Finding British programming such as comedies or dramas in the 80s and 90s was incredibly difficult, but nowadays they’re a dime-a-dozen on US television and Internet. But if the British TV show is crap or not as good as it should be, we should be allowed to criticize if we feel it can be improved.

              The Gaffer

      • Cantona

        May 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm

        Wake up!.. this is 2013, the mentality of “dude, at least the game is on tv” is old.. True soccer fans are more intelligent and demand quality broadcasts.. So your argument is foolish.


        • Huw Roma

          May 3, 2013 at 3:10 pm

          Were you around in the days of no soccer on tv? Listen man I gew up in New Zealand where soccer was more hated than anywhere. From 1990-1997 soccer wasn’t on free to air tv AT ALL. If you didn’t have Sky you had no chance. All you saw was the FA Cup Final and the last 8 games of the World Cup. Think you could live with that? I used to bombard the tv stations with complaints. It was like soccer didn’t exist. This was before the internet, so if the tv stations and newspapers weren’t reporting it then you were out of luck. So I thoroughly disagree with your assesmemt. It just sounds like some elitist mentality.

          • Cantona

            May 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm

            No idea how you worked New Zealand into that, as it and your argument is totally irrelevant .. This is not 1994.. Just because its available doesn’t mean we have to suffer sub par quality broadcasts.


          • Huw Roma

            May 3, 2013 at 4:18 pm

            No it’s not irrelevant because that’s how it was when I was growing up and that’s how it was in the U.S. when I moved here as well. You fail to see my point that because soccer had such a lack of tv coverage in these countries for so long that you should be happy with what you have, even if it isn’t up to your lofty standards. You’re obviously a major connisseur of everything related to soccer broadcasts. Maybe you grew up in a place where it was always available. Enlighten me with your wisdom.

          • Cantona

            May 3, 2013 at 4:48 pm

            I don’t give a monkeys about New Zealand’s football broadcasting rights or where you grew up,, it has no relevance on The history of US football broadcasting rights.. Your argument was valid in the 90’s ..there is no excuse for an admitted novice commentating on these matches.. Football fans have been treated with real disrespect in having to deal with this experiment


          • Huw Roma

            May 4, 2013 at 9:47 am

            You’re absolutely right Cantona, how can I argue with such a superior mindset as yours? How dare I speak my opinion? Your tone verges on pompous and arrogant. I guess you must think you are Cantona, except you have zero charisma.

    • Evan Wofford

      May 2, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      No one is complaining about the amount of football shown. It’s everything around the game which is the focus of the incessant whinging.

      Fox soccer is open to criticism the minute they decided to produce their own coverage. That’s where the whinging comes in.

      • Matt

        May 2, 2013 at 2:43 pm

        Completely agree. We even saw the end of the weekday morning infomercials this year!

  17. Pete

    May 2, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I am not going to get all nostalgic about Fox Soccer. The only thing it gave me was a channel I could turn to for football matches. Everything outside of the matches themselves was amateur hour.

    I grew accustom to watching my online feeds before the match and only turning to Fox once the match had started and the in studio hosts at Fox had turned it over to the international feed.

    When they would try and commentate from a studio (most Serie A matches were handled this way), it just took away from the match. The sound of the supporters was muffled and I couldn’t get a feel for the match. And the commentary was hollow.

    I would switch back to my online feeds at halftime and for the post game.

    The only things I watched on Fox Soccer (aside from the matches) were Sky Sports and the EPL Review show. But I even stopped watching that once I found a way to watch Match of the Day online.

    The final nail was hiring Johnson. I understand that people reading this blog are tired of the Gus Johnson threads, but it really was a horrible decision by Fox to bring him in. The only thing worse for me would have been to hire Stephen A Smith as a sideline reporter.

    So Fox Soccer soley became a tool to watch matches on a large screen. When Gus came on board, I couldn’t tolerate it anymore. When presented with an opportunity to watch a match on a huge HD television with Gus Johnson commentating or use my laptop with an international feed…I choose the laptop.

    BEIN has done a good job with their programing and coverage, but it has its flaws (I still don’t know his name…but the guy screaming over Messi’s goal vs Bilbao last week drives me nuts…I turn the sound down on him a lot). Though BEIN’s mistakes are not as glaring as Fox’s flaws.

    I’m looking forward to NBC’s coverage next year of the EPL. I’m sure I won’t be 100% happy, but they have shown that they will take steps to win hardcore fans approval already.

    • The American Voice of Soccer

      May 2, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      The “screamer” is my pal Ray Hudson. I wish I could be paired with him. We’d show you how a real soccer game should be called!!

      • LiquidFootball

        May 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm

        Ray Hudson is the absolute worst, IMO. Pretty much as bad as Tommy Smith.

        Both of them are actually pretty similar. They just seem like novelty-accented attention seekers (i.e. contriving stupid turns of phrase, shouting over their colleagues, etc etc), and never really add anything to the game.

    • Oliver Tse Productions

      May 2, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      You mean you don’t like this Ray Hudson call?

      “Ohhhh! Ohhhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Waaaaaaaaahhhhhh! Are you kidding me? This man is absolutely mainlined to pure footballing magic that belongs in a different galaxy altogether than we are living in! Absolute astonishing jaw-dropping genius from Lionel… ”

      “…He emasculates them individually, collectively. He literally disperses his atoms inside of his body on one side of this defender and then collects them on the other. Magisterial, Lionel!..Magnifiico! Extraordinario!…”

      • Pete

        May 3, 2013 at 8:22 am

        Yea, I think that’s a tad over the top.

        • Oliver Tse Productions

          May 3, 2013 at 11:14 am

          I wish Ray Hudson would have done the “Magnifico!” call a week earlier so I could have borrowed it for “RoboGames 2013”:

          (See if you recognize the male and female voices who called the only goal of the Robot Soccer gold medal match. Hint: the female announcer is an Olympic and World Cup goal medalist who lives in Silicon Valley.)

          I will have to save this new Ray Hudson call for the next “RoboGames” video.

          • Pete

            May 3, 2013 at 11:29 am


          • Cantona

            May 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm

            Please stop your robot crap..


    • Bobby

      May 19, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      I would love to know how you get MOTD. It’s far better than the review show we get.

  18. Marc

    May 2, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Will the FA CUP & SPL still be shown on Fox Sports 1?

    • Oliver Tse Productions

      May 2, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      FA Cup – will be on FOX Sports 1 and/or 2 (with streaming at through May 2018

      Scottish Premier League – most likely headed for for the 2013-2014 season. Contract with SportFive International will expire in May 2014. SPL matches draw well under 10,000 viewers per match now that Rangers are NOT part of SPL.

      (FOX Soccer drew 85,000 viewers for an old firm derby in March 2012, on Sunday morning at 8:30am Eastern/5:30am Pacific.)

      • Marc

        May 2, 2013 at 1:00 pm

        Thanks Oliver. The hell with the Huns. Glad we won’t see the Newco for at least 3 more years in the SPL

        • Oliver Tse Productions

          May 2, 2013 at 10:01 pm

          This is where we disagree.

          I spoke with current BT Sport chief Simon Green many years ago in Los Angeles when he was the VP and GM of FOX Sports World.

          Green’s point: the big teams all need rivals in their leagues in order for their businesses to thrive.

          Scottish Football basically wounded (if not killed) itself when it put Rangers into the 4th division.

          That means Celtic will beat up little teams for 3 seasons, turning the SPL into nothing more than a glorified exhibition in the meantime, with no one having a chance of beating Celtic for the SPL title.

          La Liga in Spain is suffering for the same reason: with no revenue sharing and no collective selling of media rights, Barcelona and Real Madrid are able to turn La Liga into a 2-tier competition: the “clasico” twins, and a bunch of “nin~os” with no chance.

          • Marc

            May 3, 2013 at 8:18 am

            Motherwell played well this year. Beating Celtic twice in “Paradise.” With the Europe money coming maybe they will strengthen their squad to make a run next season.

          • Myrtle Beach Bawdeep CSC

            May 19, 2013 at 8:15 pm

            ANYTHING that my club might lose because R*ngers died, I’m willing to do without.

            No Sevco 5088 this year and Celtic become the first Scottish team to make the last 16 in the new UCL format.

            End of!

            Plus, get your facts straight. Sevco are a new club with no audited accounts and we’re lucky to even get a provisional SFL membership therefore were not allowed to bypass the other teams in the SFL.

  19. Oliver Tse Productions

    May 2, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Please stop perpetuating the “myth” that FOX Soccer could have survived by sublicensing the Bundesliga from GOLTV, Inc.

    1. The Bundesliga on GOLTV (USA) draws well under 10,000 viewers per match.

    2. GOLTV (USA) rejected a proposal from ESPN, Inc. to sublicense both German Bundesliga and Brazilian league matches, preferring to keep both products for itself through 2015. GOLTV has reduced its production overhead enough to operate in “survival mode” for the forseeable future (i.e. through 2022, when the Emir of Qatar would no longer have a need to keep beIN SPORT LLC in operation.)

    3. If FOX thought that the U.S. rights to the Dutch Eredivisie (new 12-year deal starting this August) was going be enough to keep FOX Soccer and FOX Soccer Plus going, FOX Soccer would still be around come September. The fact that FOX Soccer would be converted into FXX (instead of FOX Sports 3) and will be converted to should tell you what David Hill and co. are thinking. (No word yet on what will happen to FOX Soccer Plus, but we all see the writing on the wall…)

    • The Gaffer

      May 2, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      Oliver, the Bundesliga is rising in popularity (not just this year, but over the last few years), and there are many reasons why it could quickly increase the number of viewers if given the exposure it deserves. No wonder the viewing audience was so small for the Bundesliga when it’s on GolTV and on

      The Gaffer

    • Pete

      May 2, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      ^^^ good stuff ^^^

      • Pete

        May 2, 2013 at 12:59 pm

        The “good stuff” was meant for Oliver…no disrespect to the Gaffer’s comments. He has a good point too.

  20. Pele

    May 2, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Again, this website should just be renamed Gus Johnson Talk.

    • The American Voice of Soccer

      May 2, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      Now you’re talking!!

      • Cantona

        May 3, 2013 at 1:15 pm

        Your still going on with this shtick ..really… Old very old…


    • Chris

      May 2, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      Yep, beating a dead horse.

      • Cantona

        May 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm

        No .. Looking for a quality announcer.. Please take your novice basketball guy back.. He’s obviously yours


  21. Ryan

    May 2, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Fox Soccer became too EPL-centric. I remember watching the original Ronaldo with Inter Milan on Fox Sports World. I also remember watching the Bundesliga back in the day. Eventually they became an EPL propaganda channel putting down every other league. Ironic that the EPL dumped them for NBC and killed them off. They got what they deserved for neglecting other leagues. It was a Soccer channel not an EPL channel.

    • Oliver Tse Productions

      May 2, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      FOX Soccer didn’t have a choice but to be EPL-centric because the other leagues drew under 60,000 viewers per game. FOX overpaid for Serie A in the past two cycles (and lost money on Serie A during both cycles) before beIN SPORT LLC blew FOX away with an outrageous bid that NewsCorp, as a publicly-traded entity, simply cannot match.

      Reminder: beIN SPORT LLC is more of a “private banking” operation than a real media business, as beIN SPORT LLC only buys rights to off-the-beaten-path products, in “private” transactions from agencies at outrageous prices, for a reason that should have been obvious to you by now.

      I understand that neither beIN SPORT LLC nor Al-Jazeera bid for the U.S. or MENA rights to EPL or Bundesliga. In MENA, the agency MP & Silva was the only bidder.

      I am still amazed that ESPN, Inc. would choose to stay partnered with FOX when the 2nd round of bids for the U.S. rights to EPL were tendered last October.

      After losing to FOX for the U.S. rights to the UEFA Champions League in 2009, ESPN, Inc. switched from a “primary bidder” model to a “sublicense” model in order to have access to information to all primary bidders before deciding which primary bidder to bid. ESPN, Inc. had to have known with 100% certainty that NBC Sports Group (Comcast) was planning to bid big.

      • Ryan

        May 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm

        Fox absolutely had the option of not becoming so EPL-Centric. Instead of treating Serie A like a second class citizen maybe they could have done something called marketing! I don’t recall Fox Soccer ever even attempting to market Serie A in the USA. Unlike the Premier League they never licensed out games to ESPN to get more viewers hooked. They never put games on regular Fox and they rarely showed Serie A highlights/news except for on Sundays. Which is idiotic considering that the Serie A time-slot for big matches was usually Saturday and Sunday afternoons when the EPL was already over with for the day. It was complete mismanagement! Especially when you own the rights to the Milan Derby, Rome Derby and Juve, Milan and Inter. Then they want to complain about low ratings? Actually, Serie A had the highest ratings of any league in the USA that was not on ESPN. They averaged 54.000 a game on FSC La Liga only averaged 27.000 a game on GOLTV. The Bundesliga ratings were so bad they were not measurable in English. There was plenty of room on Fox Soccer for the EPL and Serie A and they squandered the opportunity.

        • Oliver Tse Productions

          May 2, 2013 at 4:37 pm

          There is a big difference between the clasico twins and the rest of “La Liga”.

          The clasico sells.

          The rest of La Liga does not.

          Serie A has never done well on U.S. TV of any form in the past 18 years, going back to the mid-1990s when Serie A clubs were splashing the big money (some of which came from the drug trade) on stars.

          Serie A has been in decline since the 1990s, and hasn’t bottomed yet…

          Building a TV network around the Serie A in any language other than Italian would be suicidal…

        • Bobby

          May 19, 2013 at 9:34 pm

          You can’t make the public watch the Italian league. The fact is you put on what gets the most viewers. NBC will not pick the Italian or German league over the EPL. The Italian league is corrupt and most of their games has smaller crowds than you see in Championship. ESPN has never beefs serious about showing soccer, not when they had the Champions League or the World Cup. They did a better job on the EPL but they wanted the early games because they considered other live sports more valuable. Being on the west coast it was very hard to get up and watch their telecasts.

      • Cantona

        May 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm

        Still amazed? But you were an insider.. Oh yeah, your NOT.


  22. BA14

    May 2, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    I will miss FOX soccer and I really don’t have many issues with them.

    • The American Voice of Soccer

      May 2, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      Twice a month I agree with you…BIG time!!

      They’ve shown me the money. 🙂

    • John Culea

      May 2, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      Evan Wofford’s column was woefully inadequate. A lot of words without much substance.
      Agree 100% that Gus Johnson was and still is an unmitigated disaster as an announcer.
      One of the “must-see” part of Fox Soccer was the Fox Soccer Report. However, the departure of some people and the show being built around Brendon Dun-flop made the program go from “must-see” to “impossible to watch.”
      He is a total air head, in love with himself and completely without a clue in on air presentation. His writing is cliched, his delivery forced and his knowledge questionable. Then they had the illustrated street walker with him–Kara? Not sure what her name was.
      Bobby McMahon was the best part of the program and then was relegated to a minor role and looked ill at ease around a group of amateurs.
      I don’t know what NBC will do, but I am hoping they keep all of the great British announcers for the games except Martin Tyler whose nasal-infected mumbling drives me nuts. Give me Jon Champion, Alan Parry, Peter Drury, Tony Mobray,etc. Ian Darke with ESPN is the best.
      As far as I am concerned, if the announcer does not have a British accent, do not apply.

    • John Culea

      May 6, 2013 at 12:07 am

      After watching and listening to Gus Johnson do the Man Utd-Chelsea, can you honestly say you don’t have many issues with them?
      Besides not realizing that it was an Own Goal by Phil Jones and not a goal by Juan Mata, Johnson showed his ignorance on the Fernando Torres transfer, seemingly not knowing the difference between 70 million dollars and 70 million pounds. His screaming “Fires!” “Ba in the area!” (wherever the area is) and other shouting descriptions are like fingernails on the chalkboard.
      I turn the volume down about halfway, but still cannot escape his blithering incompetence.

    • peat moss

      June 24, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      Being a Expat and having to send much time working and educating (continuing education) in the States I see where 99.5% of the comments are coming from. My issue is I do not like the helpless feeling of “the wait and see”. To be fair the Cyber boarders should be dropped and we should be able to purchase and watch what we CHOSE TO, no matter of our physical location at the time. If I had a pound for every time the pop up said ” I can not view this in my location” I’d be Baby Roo some money. Well onto next Season. If my contract has me continues hopefully it will be better TV coverage for all us fans. Cheers to all.

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