… Here ya go.
Figures aren’t mentioned in the article in terms of what FSC paid for the rights to broadcast the UEFA Champions League on its network, beating out the Worldwide Leader.
But it raises lots of interesting questions. First, the story says that FSC will get the Champions League beginning next season. Even without a monetary figure in the story, it’s safe to say that it is a high-risk, high-reward for FSC, which still shows 20 ProActiv commercials at halftime of English Premier League matches, and isn’t quite the home for major sponsors like those ESPN pulls in for all sorts of sports.
Let’s look at it:
* FSC has two channels at its disposal. One in English, one in Spanish. FSC is still working on the whole HD thing. The channel haul has the potential to grow if it uses FSN regionals and the three Fox College Sports channels (which show everything from college fishing to high school football) for re-airs.
* ESPN has four channels (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, and ESPN Deportes) that can/have showed matches. ESPN long ago put forth HD. This year, Classic has brought us “Press Pass,” and there’s also been regular Champions League highlights shows.
* Can FSC carry both the Premier League and the Champions League and present them both in top fashion? Can FSC commit to the Champions League while also committing to MLS? MLS has the summer to itself in that respect, so that helps.
* Can FSC deliver broadcasts in the quality fans have come to expect from the Worldwide Leader? It’s more than just the HD thing. It’s announcers, the variety of matches and teams aired, and simply put, how many matches will be available. For the most part, if you have the four ESPN channels, you can see every match on a Matchday at some point. Will FSC commit to the same level of programming?
It’s all just stuff I started wondering about when I saw the story. FSC is taking on a major product. A halftime show with Nick Webster and some other random guy with an English accent probably isn’t going to cut it. It’s the top event they could have landed – and fair play to them for pulling it off. But there’s a high expectation in coverage that comes along with that, and it will be interesting to me to see how they handle it.
For the sake of seeing good soccer on television on a regular basis, I wish them luck.