Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Major Changes to English Premier League TV Presentation in US

Bad enough that Setanta are showing the Austria Vienna-Benfica Champions League qualifier today and not the Dynamo Zagreb-Arsenal one, but then I come across this kick in the nuts:

2006-2007 English Premier League (EPL)

Updated August 4, 2005

FOX Sports International (FSI) has sublicensed US and Canadian TV rights to an average of approximately 4 2006-2007 English Premier League (EPL) matches each week to Setanta Sports North America.

In the United States, FOX Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports USA will divide the 2006-2007 EPL season as follows:

  • Saturdays at 7:30am ET: Setanta Sports USA
  • Saturdays at 10am ET: Setanta Sports USA has the 1st and 3rd picks, FOX Soccer Channel has the 2nd and 4th picks
  • Saturdays at 12noon ET: FOX Soccer Channel
  • Sundays at 8:30am ET: Setanta Sports USA
  • Sundays at 11am ET: FOX Soccer Channel
  • Mondays at 3pm ET: FOX Soccer Channel
  • Tuesdays-Fridays: Setanta Sports USA has the 1st pick, FOX Soccer Channel has the 2nd pick

The EPL will no longer air via pay-per-view in the US.

Kanu in stripes, Fox/Setanata in their road green.

Well that sucks. Actually, it really sucks if like me (thanks to my landlord) you have Comcast rather than a dish. That Setanta Sports USA channel is not available on Comcast, and now they have first choice of matches? This means that every big Arsenal match (Chelsea, ManUtd, Liverpool, Spurs, etc) will be on SSUSA and not FSC, which sucks on multiple levels. First, I don't really watch TV, and as it stands I am already paying a bunch of money just to have the silver tier bullshit that allows me to then pay more for the digital sports tier thingy so that I can get FSC in the first place. Basically I pay for 300 channels of cable to get about 3, this being the most important. Now it looks like my return on that investment has just been cut significantly - now I'll be getting 1/2 to 2/3 of the matches but still paying full price. 2) These matches are not the most convenient things in the world to watch outside your couch when you live in PST. Sure, if I was in ATL then no big deal - I love going down to the Brewhouse, eating brunch and watching the matches. Out here it's either 7 a.m. or 4.30 a.m. Going down the pub at that hour is not quite as... fun shall we say. 3) The pub next to work has FSC, which is beautiful for the weekday matches - hello long lunch. The closest place with SSUSA is like 20 minutes away. Shit.

Total bollocks, the whole thing.

Those of you with DirecTV or Dish might actually like it. I think you can get the SSUSA channel for $10 a month. You also might like that as part of this deal there will be no more PPV matches, which used to cost $19.95 each, so this actually might work out for y'all.

However it will affect you, heads up. You have officially been put on notice.


Thistle71 said...

it makes a difference to me as i find fewer and fewer reasons to watch FSC these days.

when it was FSW they had a wider array of leagues (including the scottish!), didn't repeat games with annoying frequency, showed live rugby.

last season, i spent most of my time complaining about the calibur of games being shown (a lot of bottom feeding EPL). now, i have to take a light rail rapid transit to my nearest place to watch a top level EPL game live.

add this to their crappy line-up of cheap home productions (Fox FC) and it makes me less and less interested.

plus i live in a place where i can only have comcast, no dish, no setanta, not top tier EPL live, no tri-nations live, no SPL. sh*tty.

btw partick thistle beat dundee 3-1 in the Scottish CIS Cup, why no mention? jealous of a meaningful victory? :P

DC Trojan said...

He didn't mention the Jags because a team composed of you and your nieces with me in goal could beat Dundee. (Note to other readers, my daughters / Thistle's nieces are 4 yrs old and 19 months old, respectively).

I hadn't heard this. It sucks. I actually got a lot of mileage out of the early Saturday game especially, although last spring I ditched the morning premiere league games for the GolTv live Spanish games -- plenty of Barca games to be watched while kids were napping.

But regardless, and back on topic, this change with Setanta sucks... I can get Dish network through the trees, I think, but that buggers up the high-speed interweb access picture... oh the humanity.

OMAA said...


2 options for you:

1. Find a guy with a dish and hook him up with a sling box and watch on your PC. Seems you liked that pretty well during the WC.

2. Cancel Comcast and point a dish through your window, if you can get the right angle. Shouldn't make a difference to the landlord.

Will Mahoney said...

Once again it seems that the EPL dangled the carrot in front of us only to pull it away RIGHT at the beginning of the season. Given the popularity of the World Cup, it seems that they would consider going out of their way to more conveniently cater to the world audience. No matter how lucrative the cash and quick (and dirty) the deal with Sh*tenta might be, it seems to me that the long-term logic (speaking in terms of profitability and gaining worldwide interest) would be to make the games more readily available in order to garner a broader audience.

They are really giving the old in-out in-out to the rest of the world viewers. They're missing the bus on this one.

Russ said...

Check out ITVN. If you have broadband you can stream Setanta for about $15/mo. Not a great option in addition to Comcast, but if you just want one big soccer channel on TV it works pretty well. ITVN is terrible with DVR, and the quality can be a bit less than desirable at times, but for the most part it is working extremely well for me.

rashid1891 said...

Those of you with DirecTV or Dish might actually like it. I think you can get the SSUSA channel for $10 a month. You also might like that as part of this deal there will be no more PPV matches,