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Is FOX Soccer for sale, and the lure of relegation

In the NEW episode, number 1410, Christopher Harris is joined by co-host Kartik Krishnaiyer to discuss several topics:

• Speculation in the sports media that FOX Sports may be for sale,
• Who would be the best fit to acquire the rights from FOX Sports,
• What soccer properties FOX Soccer has that are most valuable,
• Why MLS’s reluctance to make changes is biting them,
• The lure of a relegation battle over the Champions League,
• And your questions in the Listener Mailbag segment.

Plus we answer your questions in the Listener Mailbag segment.

Listen to the show via the player above or via this link.

Launched in 2006, the World Soccer Talk Podcast is the longest running podcast on the planet. Every week, we share the latest news about watching soccer on television and streaming, in addition to discussing what we like and dislike, and featuring your questions and feedback in our Listener Mailbag segment.

HEAR MORE: Listen to our archive featuring hundreds of soccer interviews

Send in your questions, comments and feedback via e-mail, via Twitter (@worldsoccertalk) or Facebook. We’ll read them out on-air in the next episode.

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  1. disco george

    April 8, 2022 at 5:48 pm

    I feel like we need a meme that says ‘stop trying to make MLS TV ratings happen, they’re never gonna happen’.

    The league and the broadcasters have created this weird self-perpetuating circle in which 70% of the teams are never on national TV, so their fans never watch national TV matches. It just keeps repeating itself over and over again — even I’ve gotten to the point where I’m tired of watching the same teams constantly, and I’m that weirdo cat lady who will watch a random USL match on a Saturday night just because it’s on.

    I think the regional/local rights are going to be thornier than it might seem. For example, fans in my local market can watch every league match on a digital OTA channel or streaming on a local TV station’s site/app for free — no cable or streaming packages needed. People are going to be very, very unhappy if they have to start paying for an MLS subscription.

    Diehards and season ticket holders will probably pay begrudgingly, but a total paywall does choke off access to casual fans, unless it’s included with something most people already have and is advertised quite heavily.

    Multiply that by 30 for all the different local markets, and MLS has a potential dumpster fire on their hands.

  2. Ra

    April 8, 2022 at 8:58 am

    Libertadores and Sudamericana are among the most exciting competitions. What a weird Olympic goal! It was scored yesterday: https //

  3. Ricco Richardson (CrunkATL)

    April 7, 2022 at 11:06 pm

    CBS And UEFA Champions League!

    I think Eventually CBS will have to address the pre-empting of regular Afternoon Programming like soap operas or Other syndication, and even Local news, for Champions League soccer games! Sure it seems nice to the fans who want to see more CL on TV but it’s gonna piss more people off! Other videos and local affiliates, which compete with other local news ! I think eventually and best wise is for Viacom(now Paramount Global) should place games on thier cable stations like MTV BET maybe Nickelodeon, the Weekday games basically present a unnecessary inconvenience

    • Cpcva

      April 8, 2022 at 4:13 pm

      Some stations may put the games on their sub stations (ME TV antenna TV etc.)

  4. Ricco Richardson (CrunkATL)

    April 7, 2022 at 10:55 pm

    I disagree With you observation of a lure of Relegation, the EPL example Chris made was horrible, no-one in the US would not bother with bottom dweller teams! That Bad Tv ratings, you trying to equate something like struggling and losing which is embraced buy Europeans but it’s th opposite in America, Losers don’t deserve National Tv Audience and it’s no worth showing, why do u think the Winning teams are on national TV a lot! Relegation mainly appeals to smaller lower market teams, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but to say that “relegation six pointers” aka Toilet bowl games are worth watching is ridiculous! 😆 ⚽ 🇺🇸

    • Pete

      April 8, 2022 at 12:16 am

      You obviously are clueless about the structure and the beauty of the tiered football league system enjoyed by the global community. Leave us alone and watch your US sports which reward poorly run teams with draft choices and which make most league games meaningless after midseason!

      • Roberto

        April 8, 2022 at 5:41 pm

        So the concept of relegation makes inept teams relevant? It is just a scam to make people believe these often tenuous games are worth watching.
        For the supporters of clubs, I would agree that all games here and in other countries leagues are important.

  5. Alan Jacobson

    April 7, 2022 at 9:20 pm

    Having Apple TV has made the method of delivery immaterial for me, it’s a game changer. Watching ESPN+ is as easy as watching ESPN or ESPN2 on Fubo.

  6. UnitedFan 3478

    April 7, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    I agree. If Fox does exit soccer, they should sell the FIFA and UEFA rights back to ESPN, the Liga MX rights to Univision, and the Serie B games on Fox Soccer Plus to CBS/Paramount+, to go along with Serie A. Fox Soccer Plus and FS2 should shut down, and FS1 should be rebranded to a channel just called Fox Sports. The Gold Cup and Copa America should probably go to ESPN too so that Disney has all the major summer soccer tournaments. This could mean CBS or ESPN gets the CONCACAF CL.

  7. dave

    April 7, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    Enjoyed the discussion. Thank you especially to Kartik for the education on NWSL production. Very different than I would have guessed. Some reactions:
    1. The label for this tab is “Is FOX Soccer for sale” but the discussion is “Is FOX Sports for sale”. FOX exiting or selling soccer seems higher probability than FOX exiting sports.
    2. I prioritized Burnley-Everton also. WST was very helpful; I do not follow every in and out of EPL so I would not have known. Thanks for the article, comments from readers, and inclusion in “upcoming matches”. I changed my schedule to watch live and am happy I did.
    3. Streaming is a strong net positive for me. I stream many niche sports and teams that are too small for TV. I also enjoy big games on OTA and cable. We all get to customize our sports viewing. ATSC 3.0 may further blur the lines of TV vs. internet/streaming.
    4. The Liga MX format (split season, playoff advantage to better seeds) and EPL relegation battles are enjoyable differences from traditional US sports. I agree MLS lacks a hook like that.

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