Tuesday, August 27, 2013

On Cable, the end of Fox Soccer ... RIP ... by gimleteye

On some level, I did not want to accept what would happen to my television viewing, after the curtain was pulled down by Fox on its channel, Fox Soccer. Now I'm wondering, WTF happened.

Fox Soccer was a grudging antidote for the network's miserable Fox News. From 1997 (!) to August 16, 2013, the channel was a quirky centerpiece of my TV viewing habits.

Last year, NBC outbid Fox for broadcast of games in the British Premier League. I didn't realize -- maybe didn't want to -- that the network would throw in the towel and scuttle the entire channel. RIP, Fox Soccer Channel.

As for programming, the Fox Soccer Channel was a hodge-podge memorialized by constantly looping Katy Perry anti-acne medication commercials made when she was an adolescent and long before the singer became a sexy mega star. Still, the channel had enough quality to keep me company for many years.

For all its repeats that screwed up my DVR, for all its clunky segments, for all my objections to announcers, awkward onscreen talent, cheesy humor and bad hair styles, I still feel like I did the day Linda Lovelace died.

For soccer viewers accustomed to bitching about Fox Soccer, the first experience of the NBC cable channel broadcasting soccer (in addition to other sports, like Formula 1 racing and bow and arrow competitions) is crushing.

Viewers had enough to disagree about with Fox Soccer but it was the first time that US audiences had access to informed commentary about the beautiful game on a consistent basis. I had hoped the channel would evolve and change for the better. I did not expect that when the turnover to NBC Sports occurred, it would be one giant step backwards for soccer lovers.

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