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FOX bumps Bundesliga’s biggest game to FOX Soccer Plus

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UPDATE: After public outrage from soccer fans in the US, FOX has decided to make a last-minute U-turn and will now feature the game live on FX. More details here.

If you want to watch Borussia Dortmund against Bayern Munich on live TV this Saturday, you won’t find it on FOX Sports 1. You won’t find it on FOX Sports 2 either. Nor will you find it on FOX Sports Net or any other FOX affiliate. Instead, the only place you can watch the biggest live Bundesliga game of the 2015/16 season is on FOX Soccer Plus, the TV channel that most soccer fans in the United States don’t get.

The reason the match between the teams in first and second can’t be shown on FOX Sports 1 or 2 is because of scheduling conflicts. FOX Sports has bumped Dortmund-Bayern to FOX Soccer Plus because FS1 is showing college basketball while NASCAR is on FS2. Meanwhile, FOX Sports Net is showing a different college basketball game.

To try to make up for the scheduling faux pas, FOX has agreed to put the game on FOX Sports GO, FOX’s less than reliable streaming service, but you’ll need to authenticate your login to prove that you subscribe to FOX Sports 1 through your cable or satellite TV provider. For cord cutters, there is relief. The game will be shown live on FOX Soccer 2GO.

SEE MORE: Updated schedule of Bundesliga games on US TV and live streaming

While FOX Sports hasn’t thrown in the towel yet over the Bundesliga, the latest development is worrying. It underlines how one of the most entertaining leagues in world soccer can’t find room on a network that prioritizes college basketball and NASCAR over soccer. At least when FOX Sports had a FOX Soccer channel, soccer games didn’t get bumped.

With NBC’s coverage of the Premier League, when scheduling conflicts happen, games are shown on CNBC or USA Network. So, it makes me wonder how hard FOX tried to see if a different FOX-affiliated network could show the game instead, such as FX or FXX. In 2012, FOX did something similar for the Premier League when it showed games live across 7 TV networks at the same time. But this time around, FOX had known about the date and kickoff time for Dortmund-Bayern since December 21, so FOX Sports had 2.5 months to come up with a suitable plan. Yet, the outcome was less than desired.

The best that FOX Sports could come up with is agreeing to show the game on FOX Sports Net, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 on tape delay, hours after the game is over.

And here’s how FOX Sports spun the news in their official press release:

“It has been our privilege to give Bundesliga soccer unprecedented exposure in the U.S. this season, and we recognize how important this particular match is, so given its kick-off time we’ve worked very hard to make Der Klassiker available live and on delay as widely as possible given our pre-existing commitments,” said Patrick Crakes, FOX Sports Senior Vice President, Programming, Research and Content Strategy.

Is FOX Sports GO really the best FOX could have come up with as their solution? The Bundesliga and its fans deserve better.

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. R.O

    March 5, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Fox has changed it’s mind, game on FX. YES! Good move Fox.

  2. Tony

    March 3, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Chris, I don’t think a widely distributed Bayern vs Dortmund match (Fox Broadcast, FS1, whatever) would have beaten Watford vs Leicester. At the current moment, all EPL fans are interested in the Leicester story and are following the league leaders. There are no other Premier League games on. I think Watford vs Leicester will get 1 mn viewers on NBC and 800-900k+ on NBCSN. Bayern vs Dortmund would get 400,000 or so max on Fox Sports 1 and about 600,000K on Fox Broadcast.

  3. Rob

    March 2, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Another reason I’m happy that the BPL is no longer on FOX. Just imagine if this incredible BPL season was not on NBC. All of these great BPL and Bundesliga games are not being seen. And they act surprise when the rating are low.

  4. Frill Artist

    March 2, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    And TV execs wonder why people stream matches illegally online…

  5. kevin

    March 2, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    its a joke does nothing to promote the league or games,…I can see why epl fans are happy epl left fox nbc they show every game,…fox bumps Bundesliga for FA cup and then shows epl sides over Bundesliga sides they carry for the season

  6. David

    March 2, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    I don’t understand why Fox can’t put this game on a different channel such as FX. I understand the scheduling conflict, but there are other options besides Fox Soccer Plus.

    • CTBlues

      March 3, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      I bet they would have moved it to FX if the viewing numbers were higher on FS1, but for the numbers to be better Fox to needs to actually advertise the games like they do their other sport properties.

  7. R.O

    March 2, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Re-posting due to mistyping my email in the e-mail field. Sorry.

    Yes very disappointed by this. I know NASCAR and College Basketball (with March Madness coming) is big in the US and BVB vs FCB wouldn’t beat those in rating or viewership. At the very least, Fox should show a replay of the game on FS1 later in the evening. I’d be happy with that (and not on FS2 either)

    Even though I’m not a fan of online/computer viewing of sports (or movies, etc), I will get to see the game 1.5 hrs after it’s over as I subscribe to BVB TV.

    Fox is a joke. If they didn’t think they would get viewership/ratings for Bundesliga, they should never have bid for it. I know many providers no longer carry goltv (wish they did), would have been better if goltv would have kept Bundesliga. After they lost that and La Liga before that, everyone thought goltv was done and would be off the air within months. Well, 2 years later goltv is still on air.

    I always felt Fox was anti Bundesliga. That goes way back to the Fox Soccer days. They would only show CL games with Bundesliga teams at 12 mid night or 2 am – delay. The only time they didn’t have a choice was for the semi and finals.

    E-mail or writing Fox does no go. I’ve tried. Heck I’ve been e-mailing Comcast every month for the last 1 year to get them to carry FS2 in my area and they haven’t. Does seem like they will either.

    • axel

      March 2, 2016 at 4:58 pm

      College basketball and nascar are only watched by some people in the US only.
      The rest of the world do not watch or care about it.
      The real Football(Soccer) is the #1 sport in the world!

      • tim

        March 3, 2016 at 7:35 am

        You cant be this dumb. Its simple…Fox will get a better tv rating for NASCAR and College bball. You don’t have to like it and fox does not give a sh** if “soccer”(we are in the USA) is the #1 sport in the world because it does not change the rating. You really need to move out of your parents basement soon.

  8. R.O

    March 2, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Yes very disappointed by this. I know NASCAR and College Basketball (with March Madness coming) is big in the US and BVB vs FCB wouldn’t beat those in rating or viewership. At the very least, Fox should show a replay of the game on FS1 later in the evening. I’d be happy with that (and not on FS2 either)

    Even though I’m not a fan of online/computer viewing of sports (or movies, etc), I will get to see the game 1.5 hrs after it’s over as I subscribe to BVB TV.

    Fox is a joke. If they didn’t think they would get viewership/ratings for Bundesliga, they should never have bid for it. I know many providers no longer carry goltv (wish they did), would have been better if goltv would have kept Bundesliga. After they lost that and La Liga before that, everyone thought goltv was done and would be off the air within months. Well, 2 years later goltv is still on air.

    I always felt Fox was anti Bundesliga. That goes way back to the Fox Soccer days. They would only show CL games with Bundesliga teams at 12 mid night or 2 am – delay. The only time they didn’t have a choice was for the semi and finals.

    E-mail or writing Fox does no go. I’ve tried. Heck I’ve been e-mailing Comcast every month for the last 1 year to get them to carry FS2 in my area and they haven’t. Does seem like they will either.

    • axel

      March 2, 2016 at 4:46 pm

      I agree with you 100%, except that I do not watch college basketball or nascar.
      Contacting Fox is hopeless.

      • R.O

        March 2, 2016 at 5:31 pm

        I don’t watch NASCAR either, nor any College sports, but NASCAR does get high TV ratings and College Basketball, i.e. March Madness is also big in the US.

        The least Fox could do is show the game via tape delay instead of showing endless hours of Sports Talk TV in the evening.

  9. CTBlues

    March 2, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    If this game was live on FS1 you would be writing an article next week about how the viewing numbers of the biggest most important match of the Bundesliga season were crap compared to whatever EPL match was on at the same time.

    • Christopher Harris

      March 2, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      Instead, by putting the game on FOX Soccer Plus, FOX ensures that there’ll be no ratings for the game this Saturday.

      If BVB vs. Bayern was on FOX Sports 1 this Saturday, it would have probably beat Watford vs. Leicester (which will most likely be on NBCSN).

      I enjoy the league, I really do. I just feel that FOX Sports is not giving the league the exposure it deserves.

      • R.O

        March 2, 2016 at 4:45 pm

        With BVB win today and FCB loss, Dortmund now only 5 pts behind. If BVB gets win at home this Sat, they’ll only be 2 points back!

        BVB Forever! 🙂

        • axel

          March 2, 2016 at 4:53 pm

          Dortmund had a good night.
          Great game this Saturday and We will watch it without HD.
          Pathetic FOX!

    • axel

      March 2, 2016 at 4:42 pm

      Is that the NEPL? NO ENGLISH players!
      Lots of Africans and South Americans though.
      That is why the English national team stinks.
      Enjoy watching YaYa stinking Toure!
      NBC is much better covering and advertising
      Soccer than Fox-for sure.
      The Bundesliga is more exciting!
      Bayern Munich 2 Dortmund 1 Final! Champions League Final in LONDON 2013! ha ha!

      • tim

        March 3, 2016 at 7:41 am

        haaha
        hahah
        hahaha
        no one watches the bundesliga
        no one watches soccer in general
        why is this a surprise to you?
        good luck trying to bite your ear!

  10. Tim

    March 2, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Why is this hard to figure out? The ratings are garbage so why bump college basketball or nascar if more people will watch?

    • axel

      March 2, 2016 at 5:01 pm

      Tim is stupid!

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