American TV Schedules Confuse even Americans

There’s a lot of confusion right now as to who’s carrying what and where you can watch tomorrow’s Arsenal match over here in The States. I know previously I have been both railed upon and hailed for my position on ESPN carrying games in America and no doubt this current confusion will only add to the haters. But, if momentary confusion is the price to pay for getting to watch the EPL in high definition, then I’ll gladly pay that price. As Benjamin Franklin once famously said “Those who would give up their high definition for a little temporary understanding deserve neither understanding nor high definition football.”

The kind folk(s?) at Soccer TV Listings have managed to do what I failed to do last week; pull together a single listing for all the football broadcasts in the U.S. Sadly, they are listing the Arsenal match as tape delay and in Low Def on Fox Soccer Channel.

That said, this is where it gets confusing. If you go to msn.foxsports.com and check out your local listings you might find something that looks like this:

Ignore the watersports

See that “FSN 37” and “FSN 537?” Those are my local Fox Sports Network channels. Normally they play things like Seattle Supersonics games and since the Sonics have left, all we have left to show on that channel is the Little League World Series from two years ago, Competitive Dominoes, Eric’s Little Heroes All 26 Episodes, and The World Series of Watching Paint Dry.

But it looks like, maybe, JUST MAYBE, they’ll be showing some “soccer” tomorrow. I’m being cautious here because I’ve been down this road before with live television broadcasts of football matches here in the U.S. There was an FA Cup match a few years ago that was supposed to be on Setanta, well I was at home and going through the listings, and lo and behold it was on pay-per-view. Well, rather than go to the bar, I thought, eh fuck it, and ordered the match. When the screen was still black 30 minutes into kickoff I knew something was seriously wrong. It turned out that the local TV company had listed a pay-per-view that they didn’t have rights to list.

See, this isn’t a football (American football) game so the TV Guides have a loose editorial policy toward these things and they sometimes list games that they don’t have the rights to actually play. Now, I know that these are both Fox channels, and I know that Fox DOES have the rights to play these matches which is what’s giving me hope that this listing is true. But if it is true, then why is it that when I go to the Fox Soccer web site, they don’t tell me to check my regional Fox Sports station for the Celtic v. Arsenal match live and in high definition?

You’d think that someone might want to advertise the fact that they are carrying a huge Champions League clash live and in high def. It is, after all the only Champions League clash that anyone outside of Sheriffville or Greece gives two fucks about.

That’s why I’m being cautious and saying that in all likelihood the game is going to be shown exclusively on Fox Soccer Channel at 3pm on tape delay. Because the brainchildren at Fox Soccer Channel decided that there was a more important Champions League match that day;  FC Sheriff v. Olympiacos. And if they can’t get that right, well then no doubt they’ve screwed this listing up as well.

Cautiously op(tim)istic, that will be on my gravestone.

There isn’t any Arsenal news this morning and that’s just fine. After Saturday’s festivities a nice quiet day of rest, or two, is exactly what’s needed. Nope, I’m not going to write about it if there’s a story or two about some quotes from some former Arsenal player who polished a turd on Saturday and then went bleating on about how Arsenal supporters didn’t support him, blah blah blah. You’ll have to suffer with the foreknowledge that the Champions League and Premier League’s most offsides man will eventually get an earful from the Moneybags City “faithful” when they see that his price is too high.

Me, I’m going to take advice from Fabregas who said “We are a team, and you either want to be part of it or not. If you don’t, it is best you go.” That lad seems to know what he’s talking about.

As for the transfer news, or lack thereof, there’s still some rumblings about Lescott joining Adebayor in the treasure bath at Man City.  I’ve said it before, I think Lescott is a linchpin to a transfer merry-go-round involving Arsenal and Senderos and someone Arsene has his eye on as Senderos’ replacement. It looks like Everton are lining up Steven Taylor from Newcastle as Lescott’s direct replacement and then would want Senderos as cover. Who Arsenal are eyeballing is anyone’s guess, though I am almost absolutely certain that it will not be some Indian fellow as reported on Goal dot com.

Oh hey, one last thing: remember when I told you that if Tony Cascarino says something that Arsenal should do just the opposite, and Arsenal supporters should think just the opposite? Well in today’s column he’s decided to stick to his Guns (har har) and is still claiming that Arsenal will be, how do the Brits say it, bare shit (?). His logic is that Arsenal play well on nice days but can’t compete when it’s raining, in February. The problem with that logic is that it was February when Arsenal played Sunderland to a 0-0 draw at home and that was a magnificent day, I have the pictures to prove it!

Moreover, it was from December until March that Arsenal went on their unbeaten streak and despite the one week of fine weather that I suffered during my stint in London, the weather was hardly conducive to Arsenal’s supposed fair-weather dandies.

Like I’ve said before, Tony Cascarino is one of the least bright footballing minds and if you ever get advice from him, do the exact opposite.

UPDATE

My local Fox Sports Channel is now listing it on my DVR as “LIVE: Celtic v. Arsenal” and others are confirming that the talking heads on Super Sunday Pus (who incidentally I turned off after the third minute when they started talking about how only teams that spend huge have a chance to challenge for the league, in spite of the fact that the most dominant team on Saturday was the team who spent the least)

uhhh… where was I… oh yeah Super Sunday Pus… those guys were promoting tomorrow’s match on your local Fox Affiliate. Fingers and toes crossed now!

33 Comments on American TV Schedules Confuse even Americans

  1. I liked the tony cascarino part of your blog, its so true! Im from ireland and remembering that fool playing for us in the 90’s, he told the irish fa that his granny was irish and they let him play…the truth mite of been that she visited ireland once but she sure as hell wasn’t from here or any of his family, so you now see the extent of his b******t. Pepole have been getting us wrong for years now, how many seasons now have people been saying we’ll be unseated from fourth spot??? We will be unseated this year because were gonna finish TOP!!!! Gunners 4 life

  2. During the Super Sunday Plus yesterday, they said the Arsenal CL game was live on FSN and Tape Delayed on FSC. And i found somewhere that said FSN uses the local affiliates. So my dvr guide says arsenal’s hd game is on at 1:30, similar to yours. Fingers crossed i guess.

    • @txgun, Maybe it wont be in HD the way ESPN showed the game on espn2HD last year. Regardless, i just want to see it live. Any talk on who will be the broadcasters of it?

  3. Regarding your broadcast news above – the US vs. Mexico World Cup qualifying match from last week was only available in English if you got lucky enough to find Telemundo’s one-time only English broadcast. Reportedly, some stations contracted for a single-day rental of the station’s ‘Mund 2’ content.

    Thanks for trying to shed some light on this problem.

    • @Howard Hawkes, that’s kind of funny. I had to watch it in Spanish. They replayed it (in spanish) later that night too – they probably rented another showing so their viewers could see their team win a game. FSC has scheduled tomorrow’s CL match for 4:00 pm (as least on Comcast/Houston).

  4. Hope you’re better Tim. Confusion reigns over here re: CL too. Fox is advertising Fiore match. Probably will be on tape delay if Im lucky.
    Re: fantasy league, I made the supreme error of lining up Howard as my GK. He had a -7! LOL. It was a good thing though.

  5. I couldn’t agree with you more Tim. Between ESPN, Fox, Setanta and these random channels it’s impossible to keep up with. I have DirecTV and they are showing it on FSAZHD, Channel 686. It’s listed as FSN Arizona?? I am sure it wont be in HD and with our luck it will be Max Bretos commentating by himself. I hate single Commentators. I had to deal with that yesterday with the Marseille game and it was terrible. Wish someone would wake up and see that some of us actually care about watching games live without this headache

  6. If you have Comcast and live in the Northeast, the game will also be available on Comcast Sportsnet.

    Watching Arsenal at PARKHEAD in the CL on HD? I CAN’T WAIT!!

  7. Just checked and it’s listed as being carried by Comcast Sportsnet Mid Atlantic, which covers B-More, DC and Delaware/Virgina I think. I’ve also been screwed by loose listings so have set my DVR to record both the live game and the delayed one on FSC. Very odd that the obvious prime game is not being carried by one of the lead networks. Doesn’t bode well for the future.

  8. Up until last night, Arsenal-Pompey was to be on FSC next Saturday. Now, all of a sudden, they are showing the Man City match.
    I think the demise of Setanta, along with FSC getting the rights to CL matches, not to mention ESPN showing EPL matches in the states, has lead to all out free for all. No one knows what the hell is going on anymore.
    I think, in the end, despite some growing pains, football fans in the US will be the winners.

  9. Whew, I have DirecTV and apparently I subscribe to the omg i get every f’ing channel in the known universe pack.

    I just did a search for the game tomorrow and it came up being on almost all of the local FSN’s in the country (and in HD where available) as well as being on both of the Comcast Sportsnet channels I get (630 and 642) and on MSG+HD, which is most likely a northeastern US sports channel.

    I think I too am also going to record two different options just to ensure they don’t make a last minute change!

  10. To the best of my knowledge Sky have exclusive rights to the match, so wherever it’s going, it’s coming from them.

    Viva!

  11. HA, THANK YOU D.C. GUNNER!
    I had my dvr set on the foxsoccer showing at 5 since so that i wouldn’t miss any of it before i got home, Glad to know its on HD
    for thos of you in Boston thats chanel 852 on Comcast.
    with a replay on the terrible non HD foxsoccer 256 at 5PM.
    Cant wait to watch the game on HD.
    FOx need to get Foxsoccer channel on HD its a crime not watching the EPL or Champions League in HD

  12. Here you go:
    Dermot McQuarrie (VP of Programing and Production for FSC) said in EPL Talk’s last podcast that for Fox’s CL coverage that the plan is for the first choice games (including the Arsenal game @ celtic) to be played on FSN stations.

    This means that more CL games in more households, but that there is no promise that the individual FSN stations will not show something else instead (i.e. local baseball). I don’t think he mentioned whether or not they would be in HD, although he talks about the plans for HD on FSC. Find it here:

    http://bit.ly/epltalk_tv

    • @ctpa, Denilson has a groin injury and Fabregas to be reassessed Tues. Diaby is back. Right off the bat we’ve got issues. We could put Arshavin in the middle behind RVP and bring Eduardo on the (L). Fabregas will be key to how Wenger shuffles his line up. If Ramsey starts then he absolutely can’t be loosing the ball in our 1/2. He will also have to ‘man’ up against Scott Brown.

    • @ctpa, Nothing sounds too terribly serious from the official site but you never know….As it is I’m hoping it’s AW looking to “rotate” some players in….

      Looking for the TV listings this morning I started watching the Everton match again and it was pretty impressive. The team speed we’ve got is pretty nice, especially in our back line…our slowest players were Bendnter, Cesc and RVP.

      The “experience year” for Song and Denilson is such a positive, but a full pre-season working with Cesc might be even bigger. Song, in particular, ran onto balls and made some one touch passes that were Cesc-like in their quality and vision.

      The other thing is the creativity of Arshavin (and some might argue that he had a quiet game). It doesn’t always come off, but he’s got such a burst of speed and power AND he knows what he’s going to do with the ball if he can get to it. Plus he’s tiny and just jogs around and teams will forget about him–at their extreme peril. I think we’re only at the beginning of understanding AA’s value.

      Finally, I’m hoping that Mowbray’s Celtic will play an open game (though obviously less frenetic than Everton tried to play) and be satisfied keeping it close. Mowbray seems to respect AW and Arsenal and his real goal should be bringing the SPL title back to Celtic while playing attractive football.

      • I tend to agree, especially since he said that Cesc is “more than 50 percent” likely to play.

        Just giving Mobray lineup headaches ahead of the match. We’ll know tomorrow!

        • @Tim, Whatever do you mean? Sly Wenger trying to do a ‘Ferguson” on Mowbray. Your news does give me cheer.

          Speaking of who, Ferguson has ‘suddenly’ changed his opinion of Man City’s chances of getting into the top 4. my question to Ferguson would be: at whose expense?

  13. If you have DirecTV, just go to the 600’s and scroll down your guide. The game will be on more than a dozen different channels, and there will not be any blackouts from what I’ve read.

    You have to subscribe to the Sports Pack to get these channels, but I’m guessing that most of you already do, since you need Sports Pack to get Fox Soccer Channel.

    In addition to the Arsenal-Celtic game being available in HD, DirecTV has set aside channels 462-466 for Champions League coverage. All of those channels also have a sub channel for HD (462-1, 463-1, etc). So it would appear you can several of the games that will be played tomorrow live.

    Celtic-Arsenal will be in HD on 635, 642, 646, 659, 663, 665, 668, 671, 676, 683, 686, 687, and 692. It will also be on in standard def on 654, 660, 661, and 696.

    FC Timisoara-Stuttgart will be in HD on 462-1 and standard def on 462.

    FC Copenhagen-APOEL will be in HD on 463-1 and standard def on 463.

    FC Sheriff-Olympiacos will be in HD on 464-1 and standard def on 464 and also on FSC, which is 619.

    The only big game that it seems won’t be shown live is Sporting Lisbon-Fiorentina. This game will be shown on tape delay on Setanta at 4:45pm EST.

    However, DirecTV’s guide currently is showing that the EPL match between Sunderland and Chelsea will be on 465, with an HD showing of that match on 465-1. This game is being broadcast live by Setanta, so I’m not holding my breath that an HD broadcast will be available.

    Hope this helps those with DirecTV. And if you don’t have DirecTV, you really should think about switching if possible. It’s easily the best provider for sports fans in the US, and these new UEFA channels in the 460’s are just another example of why. Plus they offer Setanta so you don’t have to ever go to the pub for Arsenal games.

    Finally, I’ve found a message board that is very helpful with determing which games will be on when and where.

    http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=688

    Sorry for the long post, hope this helps.

  14. Let’s not be nervous about this, I think the bottom line is:

    The match will be shown LIVE on FSN (hope it’s my little old channel 35) and delayed on FSC.

    Anyway, yet more top blogging from 7amkickoff for us yanks!!!

  15. If you live in the NY metro area and get MSG+ and MSGHD, I’ve got great news: http://www.msg.com/pressreleases/uefa.html

    That means Arsenal LIVE at 1430 instead of FSC delayed broadcast at 1700. Whew!

    According to that bastion of soccer news L’equipe, Chamakh is willing to go to West Ham U if a fee can be agreed. First of all West Ham have no money since their Danish owners got forced out in the credit crunch and they were taken over by their biggest creditor. Does Triaud now sell his precious striker at a cut rate price to a mid table team (9th).

    Chelsea buy highly rated Matic a MF for 1.75m. Not highly valued is he or Chelsea are being frugal.

  16. Last year when I was still in India, I was able to watch pretty much all the Arsenal games from EPL, CL, FA cup and League cup for something like $5 a month. Cable was that cheap and easy to follow. I have been here a month and have no clue whats going on and what I can watch even though I am paying $50 a month 🙂

    Your site has helped me in figuring out a lot of things about American cable and football. Maybe you should start an online orientation course for all footy fans in America

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