FoxSoccer acquires 500+ UEFA qualifiers
FOX SOCCER acquires Euro 2016 and FIFA 2018 qualifiers
UPDATE: June 4, 2013: FoxSports has sublicensed 1/2 of the matches to ESPN!! That’s 129 qualifiers for Euro 2016 for each network and the same number of FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers for the networks as well.
Based on UEFA documents released today, FoxSoccer have acquired the exclusive rights to 258 Euro 2016 qualifiers as well as 258 FIFA World Cup 2018 European qualifiers. Last week I posted the news about SportsNet acquiring the same rights in Canada as UEFA have taken a new approach in selling rights to the above qualifiers.
UEFA documents specifically list “Fox Soccer Channel LLC” as the new rightsholder in the USA but as its been widely publicized, FoxSoccer Channel will no longer be in service after September 2nd, 2013 when it gets converted to the new drama/comedy channel FXX. Sports programming will be shifted to the new FoxSports-1 (and eventually a FoxSports-2) channels which will rival ESPN as national sports outlets. The fate of a la carte channel FoxSoccer-Plus is unknown but now would make some sense to keep in operations since so many qualifiers have been acquired by FoxSports.
A vast majority of Euro and World Cup qualifiers in the past and currently are owned by ESPN which provided extensive coverage on their espn3.com streaming service. The entry of FoxSports, which until now only handled England qualifying home matches, begs the question of how many of the 500+ qualifiers will be available to us footy fans in the US?