Just a few quick hits from around the world of Fox Soccer. First, the television network has inked a deal with CONCACAF to serve as the television home of the Gold Cup and the Champions League for the next four years. At Fox’s discretion, it can also stream the matches over its website. According to Soccer By Ives, the rights last thorough the 2015/16 event. This is big news for a network that has struggled for live content. With NBCSN moving into a prominent position in the soccer broadcast market, the appearance of beIN Sport and the continued presence of GOL TV and ESPN, the soccer television landscape is crowded.
Sticking with Fox, it was revealed that two big names in the world of soccer journalism have been signed by the Fox website to cover the sport. Longtime Revs beat man and Goal.com reporter Kyle McCarthy has added yet another gig while Leander Schaerlaeckens, also of Goal.com and a myriad of other outlets will also join the Fox beat. With Fox increasing its talent base, the increasing relevance of Pro Soccer Talk and the ongoing coverage at MLSSoccer.com, CNNSI.com and ESPN.com, fans have an increasing breadth of sources to get their soccer fix.
Recall that last year, FOX made a big play with its EPL broadcasts. As we have reported, the network saw great ratings from its re-broadcasts of the EPL and the live telecasts promises to generate an even larger audience. FOX’s broadcast of Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat of Chelsea on Nov. 20 delivered a 1.1 household rating, with 1.67 million total viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. Remember also that FOX outbid NBC and ESPN to claim the World Cup rights for approximately $450 million dollars.
Fox is determined to become a major player in the world of soccer and it is well positioned to become the primary resource for fans of the sport in the United States, potentially to the detriment of MLS.
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