FOX and the UEFA Champions League

The UEFA Champions League made its debut on the FOX networks yesterday after nearly two decades of coverage in the United States on ESPN. 

Here are some early thoughts:

  • The pre-game show was outstanding with Max Bretos, Bobby McMahon and Warren Barton. McMahon will be in Los Angeles for every pre game show this year. 
  • The snafu in the first twenty minutes of the Celtic-Arsenal match from Parkhead was the fault of UEFA, not FOX.
  • The availability of multiple games at once via different platforms is a major upgrade over ESPN. For example, I have DIRECTV and was fortunate to see all five games yesterday, live. 
  • A comprehensive post game show.

But it wasn’t all good…………….

  • Warren Barton adds little in the way of analysis and clearly lacks Bobby McMahon or Max Bretos knowledge of non British subjects.
  • Confusion over what channel shows which games live has to be alleviated. As a member of the media, I received a media packet from FOX yet was still trying to clarify what game was on FSC, what game was on FSN, which game was on FSE and what game was on the DIRECTV spillover channels. 
  • Setanta Extra is deployed on some match days and not on others. Not exactly sure why. 

On the whole however, FOX’s coverage is major upgrade over that of ESPN.