Fox Trumps ESPN

ESPN just lost the rights for Champions League games in the US to FSC. Frankly there are pros and cons to this development.  With the increased revenue FSC will definitely improve their coverage of the sport.  On ESPN’s side this may force the largest sports channel in the US to focus more on the MLS to fill the soccer hole that now exists in their lineup.  ESPN cannot ignore the growing Hispanic audience in this country and not have soccer somehow on its channel.  Strangely enough ESPN lost out on a bid to televise games in England itself not too long ago.  Wonder if Rupert is putting a full court press on the Bristol outfit.

3 thoughts on “Fox Trumps ESPN”

  1. ***On ESPN’s side this may force the largest sports channel in the US to focus more on the MLS to fill the soccer hole that now exists in their lineup.***

    Are you sure about that? Couldn’t that just be a “bad for soccer” move that says ESPN doesn’t care about it that much, and great, now we can use that extra money to put poker re-runs on the air?

    And what about ESPN Desportes? Do they have any soccer?

  2. Deportes will continue their coverage in Spanish, from what I understand. Hopefully, this is not the harbinger of ESPN raising its bid for BPL, which has been rumored for quite a while. Having to suffer through closeups of Julie Foudy’s horsehead and more onionbag comments while getting one or two live games per week will kill any momentum that the FSC/Setanta pairing have created.

    As for the Champions League coverage, this is bad unless Rupert frees up some of the other Fox brands to cover multiple concurrent games live. At least ESPN can offer espn2, classic, deportes, the ocho and whatever else they’ve got to try and run multiple live games.

    The NYT makes mention of a lack of HD on FSC, but until the events are shot in HD, it doesn’t matter, and that’s a long way off. They’re not getting HD cameras into rural Turkey or Greece, and they’re not risking the theft of them at Anfield, until the ad revenue justifies it.

  3. ESPN cares VERY much about soccer. They recently tried to bid for the rights for games in England taking on traditional powerhouses Sky Sports. Sky Sports owned by Rupert “I’m the face of everything that is unholy” Murdoch. Rupert Murdoch of the Fox Corp., that runs Fox News and yes FSC. You have to ask yourself how does a third rate cable channel out muscle ESPN? And Deportes does have games, but it won’t be able to broadcast games with traditional big clubs.

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