It wasn’t long ago that CONCACAF agreed to a four-year broadcast deal with Fox Soccer to show the Gold Cup and the CONCACAF Champions League in the United States. The 2013 iteration of the CONCACAF Gold Cup is up and running across the United States with matches broadcast live on Fox Soccer. While the network is on its last legs, it will carry 22 games of the tournament with its broadcast network partner FOX televising the other three matches. It stands to reason that the 2015 version of the tournament will be carried with Fox Sports 1.
The network is definitely pouring money into its telecasts with higher production values, live nightly studio shows and smartly produced features about the event. John Strong and Brian McBride hosted the most recent iteration of the studio show (presented by Chevy) which included a sharp looking set and a nice piece about Haiti. One of the big stories of the tournament will be the prominence of Gus Johnson as he continues his transition to the lead position for Fox’s soccer broadcast coverage.
Even the commercials shown during the event are of higher quality than those typically associated with Fox Soccer. Recognizable brands, including Dominoes Pizza, Marines, Cerveza Modelo, Miller Lite, Chevy, AutoZone and Expedia all were among the sponsors.
The use of its main broadcast network is also a large commitment by FOX and executives can only hope that Mexico and the US advance. The network has made some significant signings of soccer personalities (Wahl, Galarcep, McCarthy), and 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.