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FOX Soccer Plus to Continue Next Season In More Prominent Role

Beginning this August, FOX Soccer Plus will play a prominent role in soccer coverage on US television.

In the past, FOX Soccer Plus was the often neglected sister channel of FOX Soccer. But now that FOX Soccer will be shutting down later this summer, and despite the fact that FOX Sports says that no decision had been made in early June about the future of FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Soccer 2GO, it appears now that both will continue running next season, as FOX Sports execs revealed in a recent interview with industry publication Multichannel News.

FOX Sports COO Eric Shanks said:

“FOX Soccer Plus will continue to feature a wide assortment of terrific soccer and rugby matches from UEFA Euro 2016 and 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, CONCACAF Champions League, Gold Cup, Women’s U17 and U20 tournaments; FA Cup; Hyundai A-League; International Challenge Cup; NWSL; UEFA Europa League; 10 different international rugby tournaments and leagues; plus a variety of related highlight, magazine and original programs.”

FOX Sports COO Randy Freer, meanwhile, discussed the role that FOX Sports Go will play, which is the new app to launch in August in conjunction with FOX Sports 1. Freer revealed more details about whether soccer coverage would be available, too:

“We’ll launch Fox Sports Go, an app for authenticated subscribers, in conjunction with Fox Sports 1 with significant ‘couch rights,’ a one-stop experience.  It will, of course, be your app for scores, highlights, VOD, but also one’s entry point to FOX Soccer Plus and other vehicles we have.  It is a significant move to an aggregated application for TV Everywhere as well as your daily sports habits, like scores, highlights and fantasy.  Through it, we’ll have curated channels around our sports pillars that will provide us a leadership position by delivering massive video content across multiple platforms beyond the big screen.”

Details are sketchy, but FOX Soccer 2Go — FOX’s phone, web and tablet platform, will show soccer coverage next season, too.

Of course, FOX has lost the rights to the Premier League to NBC beginning next season, but FOX Sports still has enough soccer rights to split coverage between three channels — FOX Sports 1, FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Soccer 2Go.

Weekday afternoon UEFA Champions League matches will be featured on FOX Sports 1. Since FOX Sports 1 doesn’t have the channel capacity to show multiple games at once, presumably the other games being played at the same time will be spread across FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Soccer 2Go.

In addition to the UEFA Champions League, FOX Sports still has rights to the UEFA Europa League, World Cup 2018 and 2022, Women’s World Cup 2015, FA Cup, FA Community Shield, Scottish Premier League, England national team home matches, Gold Cup, A-League, International Champions Cup and other tournaments.

Having said all that, the challenge with FOX Soccer Plus (and the reason why FOX Soccer 2GO was so vital in previous years) was that the network isn’t available on many TV providers despite launching in 2010. On top of that, the other challenge for FOX is to convince soccer fans to pay the monthly subscription cost to FOX Soccer Plus now that the channel doesn’t include Premier League matches.

Once the TV schedules are released, we’ll have a much better idea of how many and which matches will be shown on each respective channel.

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  1. Jason Gatties

    July 17, 2013 at 11:34 am

    I told you I had info that Fox Soccer Plus was sticking around under its current format and NOBODY here believed me. I also said that as long as they retain rugby rights, the channel will stick around in some capacity. Nobody is giving that sport much credit for the filler it provides, but its important to Fox.

    I know more than I get credit for.

  2. Tony

    July 17, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Regarding Champions League coverage this season. Will Direct TV still be airing all of the games on the overflow channels like they have in previous years.

    • Christopher Harris

      July 17, 2013 at 11:00 am

      FOX hasn’t announced their Champions League plans yet, so as soon as we know, we’ll post a new article.

  3. TJ

    June 29, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    If Fox Soccer is shutting down, they might as well rename Fox Soccer Plus to fox Soccer.

    Is Fox Soccer Plus or Fox Sports 1 taking over the NCAA soccer package?

  4. Corolla

    June 29, 2013 at 7:37 am

    Without any humor here, what is the status of the SPL coverage on FS+? One might think that this would be a nice piece of weekend football for them to have. No mention of it anywhere. What gives?

  5. rkujay

    June 28, 2013 at 10:20 am

    One wonders how the Champions League will be available on Directv? I was able to watch virtually all the matches on Directv last season. Although some were broadcast without any commentary, and some only in the language of the local broadcast. Some might have found this unacceptable, but as a student of language, I find it interesting. Still I have problems with Portugese and Eastern European languages.

  6. usarsenalfan

    June 28, 2013 at 9:29 am

    “Weekday afternoon UEFA Champions League matches will be featured on FOX Sports 1.”

    Well, at the very least, I can look forward to the prospect of Erin Andrews presenting Champions League highlights, right?

  7. Eplnfl

    June 28, 2013 at 6:09 am

    Having to think that FOX Soccer to Go will become the Fox equivalent of ESPN3 while Fox Soccer Plus will one day be day become Fox Sports 2. Prices will be interesting to see. Since ESPN3 is free Fox will need really something special for people to pay for the service. Stay tuned for more as they say.

  8. Cantona

    June 27, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Add the newly rebranded Dutch league to Fox Soccer plus ..the Fox Sports Eredivsie …as it will now be known..

    Sure Fox Sports 1 will “start out” wilth footy coverage..but as but as soon as there is a day baseball game or some mundane college basketball game.. All footy will be sent to Fox Soccer Plus…. Sure they will keep the jewels on Fox Sports 1, Fa Cup final and UEFA CL final but all else of note will be relabeled to Fox Soccer Plus. And of course we will have to endure their 5 year training project of Gus Johnson on Fox Sports1… But at least it will be limited to just a handful of matches. They won’t use him for a Fox Soccer Plus match.. They want to get their money’s worth from their pet celebrity. I will probably keep Fox Soccer Plus just so I can watch some good matches that aren’t tainted being played on Fox Sports 1.


    • The Gaffer

      June 28, 2013 at 7:37 am

      I verified that the Eredivisie will not be on FOX next season. ESPN has the rights for one year or more.

      The deal that FOX struck with the Eredivisie to purchase (or become part owners) Eredivisie Live does not preclude media rights deals that are already in place.

      The Gaffer

      • Cantona

        June 28, 2013 at 7:49 am

        Are you sure that’s not just Spanish language rights?


        • The Gaffer

          June 28, 2013 at 8:18 am

          ESPN has English-language rights to Eredivisie according to a FOX spokesperson.

          The Gaffer

          • rkujay

            June 28, 2013 at 10:16 am

            Since fox has labeled the EPL as a secondary league, I guess this means the Eredivisie is now a premier option. That or the insufferable rugby that plus shows. Nothing I see in fox’s footy lineup is of great interest to me save the Champions League. But having to suffer gus won’t make it any more palatable.

  9. Yespage

    June 27, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    So Fox is hoping nicher programming will help a niche channel survive? They have to be certifiable to think that somehow the channel is worth its price that is charged on several providers.

  10. Dan

    June 27, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    FOX Soccer+ is a part of my sports package on cable. I guess it depends on who your provider is. Not sure if you should blame FOX for requesting a high fee or your provider for offering it as a standalone channel.

    • Guy

      June 27, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      Definitely the provider’s fault. FS+ is just another channel in TimeWarner’s $9 Sports Pack. If your provider is charging you a monthly subscription fee for it, it’s not Fox’s doing.

  11. Ivan

    June 27, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Ditto on Evan’s comment: I will NOT pay $15/month for FS Plus. If they make it a part of the sports package on Direct TV for which I am already paying, sure, I will catch an extra game or two.

    Otherwise, Fox must be joking…

  12. Evan

    June 27, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    I’m not going to pay for FS+.

    I can always find a stream online for a game I want to see.

  13. Stacy Richardson

    June 27, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    “Since FOX Sports 1 doesn’t have the channel capacity to show multiple games at once, presumably the other games being played at the same time will be spread across FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Soccer 2Go.”

    Well, technically, yeah, but Fox has the over-the-air Fox network, FSN, and FX, to name three of their various entities which could be used to air Champions League matches (and which have been used for that purpose as recently as last season). Does the advent of Fox Sports 1 mean those channels will no longer show the UEFA Champions League at all?

  14. Sam

    June 27, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    It seems that because fox lost the prem league rights and shut down FSC, many games I could see last year I won’t be able to see next year b/c I won’t pay for FS+.

    Why would fox further alienate themselves from their audience instead of expanding their existing competitions?

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