FOX extends English football coverage in US

Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 12-10-2011

FOX has been a lone champion of bringing English and international soccer to audiences in the states, and apparently wants to continue to be so.
The network has renewed exclusive multiscreen media rights with the Football Association (FA), the governing body of soccer in England, for six more years, through the 2017-18 season. The current agreement runs through 2012.
The multi-platform deal grants FOX Soccer exclusive rights to all FA content in all languages for the United States and Caribbean territories, including the prestigious FA Cup tournament, the oldest soccer competition in the world, dating back to 1871. England’s national team home qualifiers and friendlies are included in the agreement, as well as the Community Shield, the annual match-up between the winners of the FA Cup and the Barclays Premier League Champion.
“The Football Association is pleased to have reached an agreement with FOX Soccer to extend our partnership for a further six years, particularly as we had so much interest from other parties in the States,” said Stuart Turner, group commercial director for The FA, in a statement. “The network has proven to be a destination for American viewers who want to see quality FA competitions.”
In addition to all available FA Cup matches, the agreement includes highlight shows, official tournament draws and archival matches. Exclusive media rights to England’s U21 (under-21) team matches, qualifiers and friendlies are also included.
FOX has been experimenting with airing football in primetime this year on its main free-to-air network. A series of three Premier League matches this fall are being paired with NFL Sunday programming, to get the beautiful game in front of more eyeballs than ever before in the States, a country notorious for writing off soccer as soon as junior-high girls grow out of their leagues.