During every transfer window, soccer fans in the United States are reminded how much they miss FOX Soccer’s coverage of Sky Sports News. What FOX probably initially envisioned as filler programming, the show quickly became must-see TV for many soccer fans. They were able to get their fill of the latest news, transfer rumors as well as in-depth pieces on clubs or players that you would never otherwise see on US television.
For many soccer fans, Sky Sports News wasn’t all about the transfer window coverage. Sure, those days were the most memorable, but Sky Sports News offered Americans a source they could turn to at most moments throughout the day for breaking soccer news.
It’s been two and a half years since FOX pulled the plug on Sky Sports News, and there’s still no replacement for breaking soccer news on US television. FOX tried their best with FOX Soccer Daily, but that failed. ESPN has their daily ESPN FC show, but it’s only on for 30 minutes every day. And NBCSN still has a gaping hole in its coverage (particularly on weekdays when there are no Premier League games).
Unfortunately, I don’t expect anything will change anytime soon. It feels like soccer is being treated like a second class sport in this country when it comes to breaking news. If a major soccer story breaks, most US TV outlets won’t carry it live. Sure, if a FIFA scandal erupts, the sports networks may report on it, but it’s the day-to-day soccer news that matters most to fans that isn’t being covered in a timely manner.
The most logical platform for Sky Sports News is FOX Soccer Plus, but that channel is continually treated like the red-headed stepchild and lacks a clear vision of what it wants to be.
Other than FOX, it’s extremely unlikely that any sports network in the US would mount a serious commitment to a soccer news channel given the resources and financial investment that would be required.
So for soccer fans in the United States who are craving Sky Sports News or a similar equivalent where they can stay updated on the most popular English-language soccer league in the United States, Sky Sports News is the only relevant option.
If you live in the US, you can either watch Sky Sports News via an illegal stream (which we don’t recommend given the pop-up ads, malware infections, privacy concerns and illegality), or you can sign up for a free trial to a smart DNS service where you can watch your favorite British channels (BBC, ITV, Channel 4, etc). But if you want to watch Sky Sports News, you still need to subscribe to the Sky Go service, but that can cost £32 per month (an equivalent of $45 per month). Ugh.
So, we’re stuck. Thankfully, the Web and social media as well as online radio streams can help fill the void, but it isn’t the same. The only logical solution could be if NBC Sports decided to add more programming from Premier League Productions in the future, but there’s no sign of that happening anytime soon. Until then, the clock continues to run based on the number of days without Sky Sports News or an equivalent. We’re at 933 and counting.
Editor’s note: Read the comments in the following article to get a good perspective on how much Sky Sports News was missed on US TV.