Fox Soccer Channel Wins UEFA Champions League Rights

Remember when ESPN was making a serious run to get soccer into their programming? It wasn’t too long ago there were even talks of turning ESPN Poker Classic into an ESPN 3 with a big focus on covering the beautiful game. Well that seems to have been shot down emphatically. Not only did ESPN not win a single package for rights to the Barclays Premier League, they have LOST the rights to the UEFA Champions League.

Initially the report was broken from Foxsports.com writer Jamie Trecker, who used his twitter account to tell us the news. It has since been taken down (assumingly) upon the request of his employers. The Run of Play provided update after update with conflicting reports. Other blogs said FSC denied the report, they even took down a twitter post from Fox Soccer Report’s Jeremy St. Louis stating they had won the rights.

AT LONG LAST though, Unprofessional Foul came through with the confirmation that Fox Soccer Channel had snatched away Champions League rights beginning in the 2010-11 campaign.

If ESPN had made a push for soccer, then that just ended. What this means is that they can’t touch European club competition at all, because FSC retained their UEFA Europa League rights long ago.

ESPN now only has MLS, FIFA tournaments (like the upcoming Confederations Cup), and Euro 2012 in their grasp as things stand. They had a chance to get the Premier League as well as keep the UEFA CL and instead threw away both.

In all honesty, I really don’t like FSC getting the rights. When they produce any broadcast it is amateurish, the commentators suck, and most of the time they’re commentating from their Los Angeles studios.

Have you ever listened to Max Bretos commentate on a European match? Look at the tape…

Don’t mess this up, FSC. It’s bad enough that I’ll have to go to digital cable to watch most of my European footy, so do the right thing and use ANYONE but your own commentators.

As for ESPN, disappointing, but not surprising. The one event they covered well in the UEFA CL they give away to a channel that have an obsession with airing Proactive commercials. Do you want soccer or not? My impression says now you don’t.

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17 thoughts on “Fox Soccer Channel Wins UEFA Champions League Rights

  1. Randy Moss's Homeboy

    I find it odd that ESPN couldn’t land the rights to Euro soccer. I mean, ESPN Classic is the champion of “barely a sport” coverage, the 1am-5am (when cable news starts their first morning show) market, and “events that are almost as boring as Joe Morgan” coverage; three things that soccer is great at.

    Reply
  2. James Craven

    Bretos does the live MLS telecasts on Staurdays on location with thw WWE’s Todd Grisham as the host on site. I’m hoping that they come to Philly in 2010 (Zolo) so i can give Grisham (or as he’s known at World Wrestling Insanity “Squirrel Boy”) a little bit of grief along with the rest of the Sons of Ben…in a fun way, of course. Bretos did do a backstage interview with one of the entertainers while they were on the lefy coast a year or so ago…

    Reply
    1. Mookie Post author

      I know who Max Bretos is.

      I also know who Christian Miles is.

      I’ve concluded that if they do even 1 minute of commentary next year I’ll drive my head through a brick wall.

      Good luck with Philly’s Sons of Ben!

      Reply
  3. Oklahoma City Livin'

    ESPN is getting pwned. They don’t cover the NHL, they don’t cover soccer, they get (generally) lame NFL games, and (generally) mediocre CFB games, and now they can’t even get the rights to broadcast the most boring sport known to man???

    Reply
  4. Liquid

    Hey Oklahoma City-Living, I couldn’t agree more the NFL is the most boring sport known to man!

    Reply
  5. Los Angeles Dude

    This is terrible news. ESPN does a very good job with Champions League, despite the fact that they don’t use American broadcasters like JP Dellacamera and Seamus Malin. But Derek Rae is excellent, and though Tommy Smythe makes dumb comments, he’s far better than anyone on FSC.
    If Max Bretos does the Champions League Game I simply won’t watch with the volume. Bretos has to be retarded.
    FSC doesn’t broadcast in HD.
    This is an enormous problem for soccer’s development in the United States.

    Reply
    1. Mookie Post author

      Agreed.

      But FSC will be in HD next year and it is unlikely they’ll use Max “YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” Bretos, but the Sky Sports commentators like Martin Tyler.

      Reply
  6. Eodryan

    Todd Grisham just compared the loan of David Beckham to AC Milan, to a scenario such as “Kobe Bryant leaving the Lakers to go play in Czechoslovakia”. Shall we parse this statement? I think so… Czechoslovakia has not been a country for 16 years: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czechoslovakia
    Also, this analogy would only make sense if the Basketball league in said defunct republic was among the best in the world, and if the team that Kobe was loaned to was among the best of the teams in that league, and if, in that highly competitive league, he made an immediate and beneficial impact to an already world class club. Great job, Todd!!!!

    Reply
    1. Mookie Post author

      I stopped watching at halftime. FSC is really public access with their coverage of football.

      Grisham is a horrible host. His jokes stink and his narration over highlights is pretty awkward.

      The problem is there is practically no one over there capable of doing solid football presenting or commentating.

      Reply
  7. Eodryan

    I have no stake in this year’s CL, Spurs are a long way off, but, I still watch. Maybe Derrick Rae and Tommy Smith will come over as well as the coverage. Do they do anything else at ESPN?? I can’t watch/listen to Bretos, he makes me want to find out where he lives, and punch him in the larynx so that he has to find another line of work.

    I have TiVo, so thankfully, I can fast forward through the highlights. Can they even be called highlights when speaking of MLS? I don’t know if Mediocre-lights can even begin to describe the quality of most goals, or the poor defending in many cases.

    Reply
    1. Mookie Post author

      Well Derek Rae and Tommy Smyth are going to be doing La Liga games presumably for international viewers….and probably take part in the 2010 World Cup.

      FSC may just use the Sky Sports feed with Martin Tyler and Alan Parry as examples of their main commentators.

      Reply
      1. Hossein

        is it me or is setanta free now. i didnt have setanta but yesterday i was waching arsenal vs celtic and noticed that i now had setanta

        Reply
  8. jay

    This is terrible. The ESPN coverage of CL was the only thing I watch on TV and Derek and Tommy made it great. FSC is blurry, the commentary is bland and coverage is dull. Guess I need to find a good book.

    Reply
  9. Nick

    FSC is a joke. Commentating is horrible and their choice on selecting which Champions League game to broadcast first is awful. I could be watching the historic rematch of Bayern Munich vs. Manchester United, instead I am watching the dull Lyon vs. Bordeaux. I HATE, HATE FSC. What the hell was ESPN thinking of giving up Champions League rights?!?!

    Reply
    1. Mookie Post author

      Bayern Munich/Man Utd was on Fox Sports Net. All you needed to do was look at the schedule.

      I think they’ve been improving after a pretty bad start months ago.

      Reply

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