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FOX Sports to Split European Qualifiers With ESPN For Euro 2016 & World Cup 2018

As we exclusively revealed last week, FOX Sports has won the US English-speaking media rights to the European qualifiers for Euro 2016 and FIFA World Cup 2018. But in a new development, announced by FOX Sports today, FOX has a sublicense arrangement with ESPN where both networks will split the games 50/50.

FOX teaming with ESPN is nothing new. In the past, FOX Soccer has sub-licensed Premier League matches to ESPN to allow the ‘Worldwide Leader In Sports’ to show EPL matches on US television.

Qualifying matches for the UEFA EURO 2016 begin in September 2014, while 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers begin in September 2016. FOX Sports and ESPN each have rights to over 270 matches total for both cycles.  Each package includes:

–   129 UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifiers (Sept. 2014 – Nov. 2015)
–   129 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers (Sept. 2016 – Nov. 2017)
–   15 international friendly matches over the term (2014-2018)

ESPN, the UEFA EURO 2016 rights holder, plans to offer its more than 270 qualifying matches across ESPN networks – ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN and ESPN3. ESPN has also attained highlights rights for studio programs including SportsCenter, ESPN’s new daily soccer program ESPN FC on TV and ESPN FC. During the UEFA EURO 2016 qualification cycle, ESPN has first selection from each week’s pool of games leading into its tournament coverage.

Qualifying matches for the UEFA EURO 2016 and 2018 FIFA World Cup are slated for carriage across several FOX Sports platforms, including FOX Sports 1; FOX Sports GO, launching this summer; FOX Soccer Plus; and FOX Soccer 2Go. During the World Cup qualification cycle, FOX Sports has first selection from each week’s game pool leading up to its coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Today’s announcement is good news for soccer fans. What’s your opinion? Have your say in the comments section below.

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  1. Transic

    June 5, 2013 at 2:32 am

    Now this is what I would call “First World Problems” 😀

  2. Matt

    June 4, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Most of these platforms, like NBC’s, are still only available to subscribers of participating cable companies. So plenty of folks are still going to be left out. That’s my main concern with all the changes, is that for all the problems and justified complaints, FS2GO at least provided access (for both soccer and rugby) to EVERYONE. This new/old model sucks.

    • sucka99

      June 4, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      Exactly. But sadly this seems to be where they’re going with online streaming of content. Another FU to cordcutters.

      • Matt

        June 4, 2013 at 10:18 pm

        I have no doubt we’ll have the last laugh. But it sure is frustrating.

  3. Richard Kujay

    June 4, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    The gus channel… All gus all the time. I think I shall vomit.

    • David

      June 7, 2013 at 12:11 am

      I simply will NOT listen to Gus. He destroys every single game. TalkSport commentary + Fox muted is the only way to work around him. He is absolutely dreadful with few redeeming features.

  4. Chris

    June 4, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    My only problem is putting these games on these stupid ass online things. Like Fox Sports GO and ESPN 3 ad Watch ESPN. Put thm on the damn TV and let us watch them. This internet thing is getting out of hand. I mean look at UEFA U21 tournament. ESPN has the right but they are only show 1 game each day on ESPN U. Thats pathetic. Its also not putting importance on the tournament. Dont put them online. UEFA U21 tournament has alot of good players playing and it will be good to see these young guys play. So all I want is for them to put these games on for people to watch on ESPN. I mean you have ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN News, ESPN U nothing of an importance will bon tv during those tmes when the games are on.

  5. sucka99

    June 4, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Yeah the FS+ question is still an unknown, as well as what soccer programming will be on FS2

  6. DMC

    June 4, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    I hope fox sublicense some of the champions league games to ESPN.

    • CTBlues

      June 4, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      They didn’t since they got them why would they start now?

      • Mike D

        June 4, 2013 at 1:15 pm

        Because they don’t have a dedicated soccer channel anymore (unless they keep Fox Soccer Plus around).

  7. Pete Q

    June 4, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    And I guess this means we will all have to endure Gus Johnson some more.

    • Galan

      June 4, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      I’m not sure if I should give this comment the “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”?

      Thumbs down because I don’t like Gus and I don’t want to endure him? Lol.

  8. Pete Q

    June 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    I “paused” my FoxSoccer2Go account. The message I received from FoxSoccer2Go said my subscription would start again once the Champions League picked up again.

    So unless they haven’t made a decision regarding FoxSoccer2Go, or are keeping customers in the dark, they are going to have FoxSoccer2Go in the near future.

  9. CTBlues

    June 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Hopefully this means we get to hear more Ian Darke.

  10. CTBlues

    June 4, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Soccer 2Go are stil going to be around after this summer?

  11. saywhat

    June 4, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    So Fox Soccer Plus will continue as a channel?

    • The Gaffer

      June 4, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      That’s what I wondered, too. But it also lists FOX Soccer 2Go on there, which is a bit bizarre especially if FOX Sports GO is launching this summer, which would be a very similar service (except FOX Sports GO would have a variety of different sports).

      Let me check with FOX to see if I can get a definitive answer regarding FOX Soccer Plus.

      The Gaffer

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