Fox Sports To Showcase Live Fight for Premier League Survival
Widely considered the most dramatic day in soccer, this Sunday marks the last day of the Barclays Premier League schedule and the last chance for member teams to fight for their survival. Manchester United faces a must-win match to keep its title hopes alive, while Arsenal, Tottenham, and Newcastle vie for UEFA Champions League positions and Bolton, Queens Park, and Ashton Villa fight to avoid relegation. For the first time in U.S. television history, Survival Sunday will play out live across the Fox Sports Media Group’s family of networks.
FX, Speed, FSN, Fuel TV, Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, and Fox Deportes, along with digital platforms FoxSoccer.com and Fox Soccer 2Go, will carry nine Survival Sunday matches live. Pre-match coverage begins at 9:30 a.m. ET on all networks, with the exception of Speed, and all nine matches will kick off simultaneously at 10 a.m.
“As we’ve seen the audience grow across Fox Soccer and the other Fox Sports Media Group platforms, it justifies taking on more risk and trying new things,” says David Nathanson, EVP/GM, Fox Soccer. “We’ve done a lot this year with the delayed and live games in conjunction with the NFL on Fox. Survival Sunday is an extension of that.”
Because all nine games will be shown live with very little delay, Fox Sports will be able to show in-game highlights of significant goals and provide score updates across its networks. All channels will use the Fox Box, which will display goal updates as they occur, and scroll through the scores of all 10 Survival Sunday matches (Manchester City will play Queens Park on ESPN2) approximately every 10 minutes.
FX will anchor halftime coverage, and all outlets will broadcast pre- and post-match coverage. Rob Stone will host pre-match, halftime, and post-match coverage alongside Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton, and Brian McBride. All Fox Sports Media Group outlets will show the Barclays Premier League trophy presentation following the day’s events, as well as highlights from all 10 Survival Sunday games.
Throughout the morning, fans can follow all of the action via FoxSoccer.com/SurvivalSunday, which will provide standings updates in near real time, live play-by-play for all 10 Survival Sunday matches with Fox Soccer MatchTrax, and exclusive video highlights from every game throughout the day.
“In the past, people who are a follower of a particular team, and not necessarily the most popular team, are waiting to see where they end up at the end of the season, and particularly those that risk of relegation,” says Nathanson. “They are some of the most dramatic and interesting stories that are told the entire year. The ability to showcase that across our properties is really unique, and we all couldn’t be more excited to be a part of that.”
Survival Sunday, while allowing Premier League fans to watch their teams fight for survival in real time, underscores Fox Sports Media Group’s commitment to soccer as the network prepares to cover its first FIFA World Cup in 2015.
“Soccer, whether you call it soccer or football, is in this company’s blood,” says Fox Sports Media Group Co-President/Co-COO Eric Shanks. “News Corp. is the biggest distributor of Premier League and Champions League throughout the world; it’s really a part of our culture. I think anybody who’s watched Fox Soccer long enough has actually seen, over the last year or two, a recommitment to quality and to credibility in the sport, because we have a lot to live up to.
“We’re the standard-bearer of soccer in this country,” he continues. “As we prepare for our first World Cup, in 2015, we want to make sure that people think that we’re worthy of it.”