For viewers in the United States, Tottenham’s opening match in the UEFA Champions League scheduled for today has been moved at the last minute from FOX Sports Net to FOX Soccer Plus.
The reason for the change is two-fold. First, yesterday’s postponed match between Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach has been rescheduled for 2:45pm ET today. Instead of keeping with the original TV schedule of Spurs against Monaco on FOX Sports Net, FOX Sports decided to bump the Spurs match to FOX Soccer Plus and show Manchester City against Gladbach on FOX Sports Net instead. As a result, the originally scheduled FOX Soccer Plus match between Brugge and Leicester City has been removed from US television altogether and will only be shown on FOX Soccer 2GO.
Second, FOX Sports is showing amateur golf on FOX Sports 1, so that means the highest profile game today (Real Madrid vs. Sporting Lisbon) is on FOX Sports 2, which limits the amount of TV channels FOX Sports has to show UEFA Champions League matches.
The obstacle for many soccer fans in the United States is that they (1) either don’t have access to FOX Soccer Plus or (2) don’t want to pay $19.95 per month for a channel that has very limited appeal to soccer fans.
To make matters worse, the golf program that FOX Sports is airing on FS1 is a mid-amateur semi-finals, which is a championship for post-college golfers who are not pursuing golf as a career. According to FOX Sports presenter Rob Stone, the network has to broadcast the golf program for contractual reasons.
The best solution for soccer fans is a free 7-day trial to FOX Soccer 2GO, which features every single UEFA Champions League match live and on-demand no matter if there’s any last minute TV programming changes or not. Plus, FOX Soccer 2GO has the Europa League, FA Cup, Bundesliga, Copa Libertadores, MLS and many other leagues/tournaments.
While no one could have expected the Manchester City match to be postponed yesterday, FOX Sports could have done a much better job at communicating the changes yesterday instead of today. Plus, at the same time, the decision to sign a contract to guarantee that an amateur golf tournament would be shown on FS1 didn’t help matters at all.
What a mess.
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