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FOX & fuboTV’s UEFA Nations League plans raise concerns

FOX & fuboTV’s UEFA Nations League

World Soccer Talk can reveal FOX and fuboTV’s UEFA Nations League initial coverage plans for the competition that begins June 1, 2022.

First, the UEFA Nations League on U.S. television has changed hands. As part of a brand-new rights deal, FOX Sports (NASDAQ: FOX) are the new rights holders to the competition. For example, that means ESPN are no longer broadcasting games from the highly anticipated competition that begins June 1, 2022.

Second, as part of the deal, FOX and fuboTV’s UEFA Nations League coverage plans include Fubo Sports Network streaming select games. In the meantime, no decision has been made regarding Spanish-language broadcasts.

Concerns about availability of UEFA Nations League games

Without any major men’s soccer tournament this summer, the UEFA Nations League has an ideal opportunity to interest viewers. Among the games scheduled in June, some of the eye-popping matches include:

  1. Italy vs Germany
  2. France vs Croatia
  3. England vs Italy
  4. Germany vs England

In the month of June, there are over 100 UEFA Nations League matches scheduled. Many of the games start at the same time. However, FOX Sports do not have enough channels to broadcast many of the games. For instance, some of the games are on FOX Soccer Plus (yes, that channel still exists). Meanwhile, FOX Sports have cherrypicked one game per day to air on FS1. Similarly, a small number of games air on FS2.

With no OTT streaming service of its own (ESPN has ESPN+, CBS Sports have Paramount+), FOX Sports are only broadcasting a minority of the games. Therefore, it’s no surprise that FOX sub-licensed some of the games to fuboTV (NYSE: FUBO). Subsequently, fuboTV has exclusive rights to stream several games. For example, those include France vs Denmark, Hungary vs England and Portugal vs Switzerland, among others.

Streaming schedule is still being ironed out

Despite the partnership between FOX Sports and fuboTV, there are a large number of games that — as of press time — are not being broadcast. For instance, using just one date as an example (Thursday, June 2), there are concerns. First, out of the ten games scheduled that day, three are of them are televised across FOX Sports. Second, only two of the games are exclusive to fuboTV. Third, there are five games where it hasn’t been decided if and when they’ll be shown. Those matches are important games between
Bulgaria vs North Macedonia, Estonia vs San Marino, Northern Ireland vs Greece, Serbia vs Norway and Israel vs Iceland.

Presumably, FOX Sports will figure out a way to show these games. But as you can see from just this one example, there are a mountain of games to show across very few channels.

In contrast, US rights holder ESPN made sure that coverage was available across ESPN2, ESPN+ and ESPN3.

World Soccer Talk reached out to both FOX Sports and fuboTV spokespersons for comment, but both organizations are tight-lipped about their coverage plans. It appears that both are still working on finalizing their schedules.

Despite this, here’s what we know thus far regarding the schedule of UEFA Nations League games on US TV and streaming.

Analysis

We’re less than a week from the start of the UEFA Nations League, and the viewing schedule is a mess. A Spanish-language broadcaster hasn’t been finalized (even though it looks likely that ViX will get the games). At the same time, despite FOX and fuboTV announcing a deal last November, they’re still finalizing the schedule.

These games should be a major deal for fuboTV. To be specific, it’s an opportunity for fuboTV to position itself as a leading streaming service that broadcasts exclusive games. At the same time, this is the return of FOX Sports covering European soccer. In the past, FOX made similar mistakes with their coverage plans for the Bundesliga. So much so that the Bundesliga CEO publicly shared his displeasure about FOX’s coverage.

The UEFA Nations League is a major competition. It should be treated as such.

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38 Comments

38 Comments

  1. Batman

    June 3, 2022 at 4:13 pm

    I have Direct tv shows F1 & F2. Two mediocre games and good games will be on PPV. Seriously? I kid you not.

  2. Tony

    May 27, 2022 at 1:47 pm

    What is Fubo Sports Network ?

    • Christopher Harris

      May 27, 2022 at 1:50 pm

      Here’s more info about their free version of Fubo Sports Network:
      https://worldsoccertalk.com/channels/fubo-sports-network-2/

      But note that the UEFA Nations League games won’t be available on that free channel. They’ll be behind the Fubo Sports Network channels available via the paid fuboTV service.

      • Tony

        May 27, 2022 at 2:08 pm

        So that means a $69.99 a month subscription to watch the games ?? That is terrible. Fox sure knows how to ruin everything.

  3. KW

    May 27, 2022 at 10:06 am

    Well they finally released their full schedule for June, but it’s still kind of confusing. Doesn’t say which games are available on their free Fubo Sports Network. They just released this press release. Just “FuboTV will also stream select UEFA Nations League™ matches on Fubo Sports Network through its distribution partners including Hisense Smart TVs, LG Channels, Sports on Tubi, Plex, Samsung TV Plus, The Roku Channel, Vizio Channels and XUMO.”

  4. Raksiam

    May 26, 2022 at 11:50 pm

    There is the Fox Sports app. Couldn’t they stream games there?

  5. UnitedFan 3478

    May 26, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    I can’t believe that FS2 and Fox Soccer Plus still exist. Nobody watches those channels.

    If ESPN bought Fox Sports, here’s what should happen:

    FS1 rebrands to ESPN3
    FS2 rebrands to ESPN4
    Fox Soccer Plus should rebrand to ESPN FC channel, with UEFA and FIFA matches on there.
    Most matches move back to ESPN+

    Perhaps those channels will get more viewers.

    • Leo

      May 26, 2022 at 11:26 pm

      That is impossible. Monopolies are not allowed under the US law.

  6. UnitedFan 3478

    May 26, 2022 at 10:25 pm

    Fox is so bad. I hope they terminate their deal with UEFA and it goes back to ESPN. Just like how Turner terminated the UCL and it went to CBS.

    Another option is that Disney buys Fox Sports and merges it with ESPN, bringing UEFA and FIFA back to ESPN.

  7. Deric

    May 26, 2022 at 6:02 pm

    I just dont understand why espn+ could not keep the rights. I am going to have to go the sus streaming route, and I even have a cable package! but fox is streaming a whopping one game a day, and its almost never the one I would want to watch, like france or italy. I am totally bummed about this.

    • jason

      May 26, 2022 at 9:42 pm

      My theory is that they blew so much money on La Liga that they could not afford to renew other things. Which is sad as I have Zero interest in that league.

  8. KW

    May 26, 2022 at 4:16 pm

    It looks like at least a few matches will be on the free to watch Fubo Sports Network which is available on Tubi, Xumo, etc similar to how BeIN Sports Xtra is free to watch and on those free streaming platforms. It certainly is confusing though and I would hope that all matches are available somewhere. I don’t see why Fox doesn’t come up with it’s own free to watch ad supported soccer channel(s) for Tubi. Seems like they could make a lot of money from ads. Also see if there’s enough demand to make something like Tubi Premium so they wouldn’t have to sell games off to Fubo.

  9. Brendan

    May 26, 2022 at 3:24 pm

    No surprise here . I have IPTV so no problems for me . Premier Sports & Channel 4 for the England games

  10. Daniel

    May 26, 2022 at 3:08 pm

    It’s a sh*$show. What was the point of getting this rights package anyway? If you are really not going to do it right? ESPN,Paramount and NBC atleast know how to do it right. Really,the only thing FOX knows how to right is Baseball and American Football. I shudder for when the world cup comes.

  11. jason

    May 26, 2022 at 10:58 am

    I enjoyed watching the smaller UEFA teams play actually thanks for ESPN Plus. Why does Fox seem to be a bunch of horders. Do they bid for stuff just to keep it AWAY from ESPN and nothing else? Cause they sure do nothing with it. Bunch of bastards.

    Soccer content on ESPN Plus this summer looks to be VERY thin beyond MLS and USL.

  12. Nick

    May 26, 2022 at 10:31 am

    Fox is such a disgrace. Went from ESPN streaming every game for UEFA Nations League going back to 2018 to this. Why do they even bid for soccer rights if they won’t put the effort in?

  13. Dano

    May 26, 2022 at 9:23 am

    If you can access DAZN Canada they are showing all the games

    • Soccerballer

      May 27, 2022 at 11:53 am

      Based on their online schedule, not all UEFA Nations League matches will be available through DAZN Canada. Unfortunately, it looks like DAZN Canada is showing “SELECT” matches only.

      • Dano

        May 27, 2022 at 12:14 pm

        You may well be right, it looks like they are missing a few matches featuring Lithuania and Gibraltar, see if they update the schedule I guess. If not I’m assuming these may turn up on the official UEfA app if not being broadcast elsewhere.

        • Soccerballer

          June 6, 2022 at 1:42 am

          Looks like DAZN Canada has been showing all of the UEFA Nations League matches live (and on demand) with English commentary after all. Pleasant surprise!

  14. David+K.

    May 25, 2022 at 10:39 pm

    Keeping fingers crossed that Univision/Vix airs the matches. They did a great job with the Euros last year.

  15. MarkB

    May 25, 2022 at 9:01 pm

    Once again Fox shows how third rate they are, but is anyone surprised? Maybe they can bring back Gus Johnson and Max Bretos to add to the experience.

  16. Mercator

    May 25, 2022 at 6:53 pm

    We all knew Fox would screw this up. I remember being annoyed you needed a cable subscription for a handful of the ESPN games. Now you need a cable subscription, a SECOND cable subscription with FUBO, and this doesn’t even get you all the games. Insane. Thank god for the IPTV.

  17. Leejacs

    May 25, 2022 at 5:31 pm

    sooo, back to illegal streaming we go. I would gladly pay a decent amount of money to be able to watch all the football I wanted to.

  18. Leo

    May 25, 2022 at 5:29 pm

    FOX did similar to Bundesliga. At least when they had Bundesliga there was FoxSoccerMatchPass to watch all Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga games for $20 a month. Now, they give a chunk of games to Fubo, maybe another chunk to Tubi. UEFA can provide a feed with English commentary. Why is so difficult to put the rest of games, for example, on a dedicated Youtube channel.

  19. Yespage

    May 25, 2022 at 4:00 pm

    Liverpool is on fumes… and our players have to play in this money gouging tournament?!

    Secondly, OMG Estonia vs San Marino won’t be aired?!

    • Nick

      May 26, 2022 at 10:29 am

      Football is bigger than just Liverpool bud. This is a really big competition for countries like Estonia and San Marino, and it also ties into Euro 2024 qualifying.

      • Yespage

        May 26, 2022 at 11:40 am

        Sure, the trouble is the players on these teams don’t get any breaks. There is virtually no off season any more.

    • jason

      May 26, 2022 at 11:00 am

      Whatever…dude I have found League B, C, D level games more of fun watch actually! I wanted to get my taste of watching Norway this year. So much for that…thanks for nothing Fox

  20. Grant

    May 25, 2022 at 3:41 pm

    Depressing. You had a feeling it would wind up being this way, but I was still holding out hope. The fact that this deal goes through Euro 2028 is even more upsetting. Thanks for nothing, UEFA.

  21. Ryan Farnsley

    May 25, 2022 at 3:14 pm

    I heard on a recent media podcast that Fox is leaning towards using TUBI for more streaming. Any chances some games end up there.

  22. JP

    May 25, 2022 at 2:38 pm

    I’ll go out on a limb and say those June 2nd matches without a schedule yet won’t be televised or streamed by Fox or Fubo. Don’t know if the sublicense agreement has a maximum built into it, but Fox probably sees little demand for those matches to show on television, and Fubo (if there is a maximum number they can have exclusive rights to) doesn’t want to waste any of their allotment on them either.

  23. Terrance Wilson

    May 25, 2022 at 2:25 pm

    Totally predictable from Fox.

    Who owns the Spanish rights in the US? Vix has been streaming some UEFA U-17 matches.

    • locofooty

      May 25, 2022 at 2:46 pm

      Univision/TUDN/Vix own the rights. I don’t know why Chris keeps saying spanish lang. rights haven’t been finalized. Univision clearly renewed and they will most likely show all Nations League on Vix in anticipation of going premium at the end of the year.

      • Christopher Harris

        May 25, 2022 at 2:58 pm

        TelevisaUnivision are the ones saying that the Spanish-language rights have not been finalized. The UEFA Nations League deal that begins next week was not part of their previous UEFA deal. That ended.

        • dave

          May 25, 2022 at 4:22 pm

          You and the WST team are very reliable on who owns rights and who plans to broadcast. I just double-checked ViX based on your comment. As of 24-MAY, they listed all June 1-6 UEFA games as “coming soon”. As of right now, none of those are listed anymore
          .
          If FOX and/or UEFA forgot to make a plan for broadcasting European soccer in Spanish in the US, that is a shocking oversight. Hope they scramble and sort it out this week

          • locofooty

            May 25, 2022 at 4:45 pm

            That is kinda shocking. Vix took down all the matches. The UEFA.com article got updated today and it no longer lists Univision as the TV partner.

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