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:
- Italy vs Germany
- France vs Croatia
- England vs Italy
- 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.
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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