Saturday, September 17, 2011

I HEART DirecTV, EPL on FOX on Sunday

DirecTV Still The Way to Go in Huntsville

A few years ago, I posted a study on which Huntsville area TV package provides the most soccer for the discriminating fan.  Since that post nearly two years ago, the landscape of soccer on TV has changed a little bit; FOX networks showing EPL and Champions League; NBC and NBC Sports (Versus) soon to show MLS matches; and Sentanta is replaced by FOX Soccer Plus.  However, my recommendation remains the same.  DirecTV is the soccer lovers choice here in Huntsville.

Note:  The development of soccer on the Internet is a greatly welcomed addition to soccer viewers choices.  From MLS Matchday Live,,, and the various reliable (and nefarious) live streams of matches across the globe adds literally hundreds of additional choices to the soccer fan's menu.  I won't attempt to describe these here, but they are still a viable option for someone looking to view matches on the cheap.

So, here's some update info for soccer on TV in Huntsville.

Leagues/Competitions: Networks

American MLS: ABC, ESPN2, FOX Soccer (FSC), FOX Soccer Espanol (FSE), MLS Direct Kick, RSNs, (2012: NBC, NBC Sports)
English EPL: FOX, FSC, FSP. FSE, RSNs,
Italian Serie A: FSC, FSP, FSE
Spanish La Liga: GolTV, DirecTV LaLiga Channels
German Bundesliga: GolTV
Brazilian Pulista Championship: GolTV
Columbian League: GolTV
Australian A League: FSC
Scottish Premier League: FSP
Mexican MFL: FSE, GolTV, Univision, Telemundo
UEFA Champions League: FOX, FSC, FSP, RSN, DirecTV Europa Channels
UEFA Cup: GolTV, DirecTV Europa Channles
Copa Libertadores: FSE
Concacaf Champions Cup: FSC, FSE
World Cup/Friendlies: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNClassic, FSC, FSP, FSE, GolTV, Univision
American USL/NASL: FSC

To catch all of this soccer action here are the packages you need.

DirecTV Premier Package: Includes FOX, ABC (WAAY), ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPN Classic.

DirecTV Sports Pack Package: Includes the major Soccer related channels like Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Sports Espanol and GolTV. Also included are the regional sports networks (RSNs) and others channels that show the occasional Soccer match or two (ESPNU, CBS College Sports, etc.)  This package also includes at no extra charge the DirecTV Europa Channels (480-489) and Spanish LaLiga (477-479) channels which show all of the Champions League and Europa League matches including a mix channel to watch them all simultaneously.  If you've not seen this Mix Channel in action, you are missing out.  I often record the games with Americans and watch later.   IT ABSOLUTELY ROCKS!

DirecTV's Europa Mix Channel is Awesome!

*FOX Soccer Plus: This is a channel that DirecTV offers that is not included in the Sports Pack and used to be called Setanta. You must pay an extra $15 a month for the channel.  It broadcasts EPL matches, SPL, Italian Serie A, and English 1st division matches. I personally don’t think it is worth the extra money, and that's probably why Sentanta went out of business.  I suppose if I followed a certain team in one of those competitions, I might reconsider. 

MLS Direct Kick: This is the best deal around. For a once a year fee of $70, you get all of the MLS matches not shown on ABC, ESPN2, FSC, or Telefutura including play-off games. That’s over 200 games a year. This is how I watch my beloved DC United.

So, as you can see, there is plenty of soccer to be seen, if you know where to get it. 

FOX54 To Show ManU-Chelsea on Sunday

Keeping with the soccer on TV theme of this post,  FOX54 will air the Manchester United-Chelsea match at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.  The local over-the-air FOX affiliate will show the tape delayed match that will originally air on FOX Soccer earlier in the day.  The match-up of EPL giants will go up against prime NFL broadcasts including the Chargers-Patriots game over on WHNT.

It will be interesting to see if any casual gridiron fans will be turned to the dark side by this game.  I feel conflicted about this for a couple of reasons that are well put by Jason Davis at Match Fit USA.    And then again, maybe I'm just afraid that my love of the game will be overtaken by bandwagon jumpers.

This isn't the only broadcast of EPL matches this season.  There will be at least two more broadcasts in the next two months.  As always, I'll let you know when they do.


  1. So the possible loss of Fox doesn’t look good for DirecTV consumers. This would cause some unhappy people. I work for DISH and I just started watching the Sons of Anarchy and this is a great show. I know that there are consumers out there that watch this as well. This is just one show that is in jeopardy. There are other channels here like National Geographic, Speed, Fuel TV, Fox Soccer, Fox Movie Channel Fox Deportes, and another 19 Fox regional sports networks. This is quite a few that are going to have people upset. Now DISH has these channels avail and there is not worry about losing these. Find out more at the DISH website.

  2. You bring up a good point, but there's still a week before the Nov 1 deadline. Hopefully (for me, a DirecTV customer), they can work it out. If not, I may hang on for a week or two, but if they can't figure it out, I will be looking to switch over to a new provider.