Mid-Day Ticker: Fox Sports renews UCL rights through 2018; FIFA bans Simunic; and more

UEFA Champions League Draw

By DAN KARELL

They may have lost the right’s to the English Premier League starting this season, but there will still be plenty of high quality soccer on Fox Sports’ family of networks for the next four years.

Fox Sports announced on Monday that they had renewed the rights to televise the UEFA Champions League and Europa League in the United States and the Caribbean through the 2017/2018 season. Fox has held the rights to the Champions League since 2009 and the Europa League rights since 2012.

“We are elated to continue our partnership with UEFA and serve as home of its flagship properties through at least 2018,” general manager and chief operating officer of Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 David Nathanson said in a statement. “The combination of UEFA Champions and Europa leagues provides viewers with the complete club competition experience at the highest level.”

Fox Sports say they plan to show 146 Champions League and 205 Europa League matches each year across multiple platforms, including Fox, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Fox Deportes, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Sports Regional, and their online platform Fox Soccer 2Go.

Despite showing the Champions League final on Fox each of the last four years, last year’s final generated the lowest ratings since Fox Sports won the rights to televise the match, with an estimated 1.4 million viewers tuning in.

Here are some more stories to keep you caught up around the world:

FIFA BANS CROATIA’S SIMUNIC, WILL MISS WORLD CUP

Croatia will have to be without one of their key defenders at next summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

FIFA announced on Monday that they have handed down a ten-match ban on Josip Simunic for displaying “discriminatory behavior in interaction with the Croatian supporters,” following Croatia’s 2-0 victory in the UEFA World Cup qualifying playoffs against Iceland. Simunic, in his excitement over the achievement, took a microphone and lead the Croatian supporters in a salute that was used during World War II by the fascist Croatian government.

In addition to the ban, Simunic will not be allowed to enter any stadium where Croatia is playing, whether during or after the World Cup, and he’s been fined 30,000 CHF (nearly $33,800). The statement released by FIFA does not mention whether Simunic can appeal this decision.

Though 35-years old, Simunic has been a key member for the Croatian National Team over the course of his 18-year professional career, making 105 appearances for the Vatreni. Simunic represented Croatia at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

COACHING CAROUSEL CONTINUES

It likely won’t help him feel any better but Andre Villas-Boas wasn’t the only head coach to lose or leave their job on Monday.

Barely six months into his new job with a former club, Miroslav Djukic was informed this morning by Valencia’s president that he was relieved of his duties following a poor defeat to Atletico Madrid. Valencia, who will now be coached by Nico Estevez, sit in ninth-place in the La Liga standings, 23 points behind leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. San Lorenzo head coach Juan Antonio Pizzi is the media’s favorite to take over at the Mestalla.

Just north of London, Watford head coach Gianfranco Zola surprised everyone with his resignation today, saying that he left the club for a “variety of reasons” which he would not disclose. Zola joined the English Championship side in July 2012 and lead them to the promotion playoff final, where they fell, 1-0, to Crystal Palace. This season, the Hornets have had a tougher time in the league and they currently sit in 13th place, with no wins since Oct. 5.

QUICK KICKS

Lionel Messi and his father have been cleared of any wrongdoing by Spanish investigators over allegations of money laundering. (REPORT)

Croatia forward Mario Mandzukic has been banned for only one match after receiving a red card in Croatia’s 2-0 victory against Iceland last month. He’ll miss the World Cup opener against Brazil. (REPORT)

Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng has admitted that Arsenal were the last team that his side wanted to face in the Champions League Round of 16. (REPORT)

Borussia Mönchengladbach’s sporting director Max Eberl believes there’s still a 50/50 chance that Marc-Andre ter Stegen could remain with the German club, despite the advances of Barcelona. (REPORT)

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What do you think of this news? Expect Fox Sports to show more games across their networks? Agree with Simunic’s punishment?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, FIFA. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Mid-Day Ticker: Fox Sports renews UCL rights through 2018; FIFA bans Simunic; and more

  1. MattJack says:

    NOOoooooooo!!! Why can’t we have nice things and Fox Sports isn’t one of them. Champions League was at its best on ESPN.

    • Jay says:

      True but what reason did espn have to out bid fox? Until soccer can pull it’s weight ratings wise espn will sit back and wait. Especially since they have the biggest sports in this country. They are kings and look to have no rival.

      • bottlcaps says:

        I just hope they still have enough money to throw in a good and generous bid for the upcoming MLS TV rights this year.

        • Jay says:

          Haha haha haha. I’m sorry that was to funny. If they aren’t going to cash in on the best soccer tournament in the world I doubt they are going to sell the farm to buy mls.

          • bidoo says:

            yeah, but that’s the point. You don’t have to “sell the farm” to buy mls rights, even with what bottlcaps calls a “good and generous bid”.

  2. Jeff says:

    BOO. FOX SOCCER 2 Go sucks. Way to expensive. Too bad it couldn’t have gone to NBC or ESPN where we can stream ALL games for FREE from their website!!!

    • Chupacabra says:

      +1

      And Fox Soccer Plus in its current state maybe the worst pay TV value for the dollar ever.

    • bryan says:

      i actually emailed Fox about this the other day because it annoys me so much:

      “Thank you for your email.

      Currently, we do not provide online access via Cable subscriptions.

      However, as you can see the site constantly being developed and new features are being introduced frequently. We will make sure to escalate the issue to the concerned team and resolve at the earliest.”

      we’ll see…

      • Jeff says:

        That would be awesome. It just seems that most major networks these days offer free streaming online as long as you have a cable or dish covered by their deal.

        Fox seriously charges over 150 for that crap? no way

  3. Helium-3 says:

    Hey FOX are you reading this?

    Put the majority of the soccer on Fox Sports 1, not Fox Sport 2. Also have replays on at night during the CL/Europa game days. I cannot see FS2 in HD and soccer is hard to watch on a 16:9 SD broadcast. This is 2013, not 1990.

  4. prizby says:

    Why hasn’t FIFA banned the Croatia kit; if you look at the Ustase flag you can see a part of it is very prevalent on Croatia kit…typical fifa

    • Wispy says:

      Are you referring to the red-and-white checked pattern on the kit? That’s part of the current Croatia flag and coat of arms, with a red square in the upper-right-hand corner. Hard to ban the kit when it’s all over the country’s current symbols. (FWIW, the grenade on the Ustase f;ag and “U” symbol begins the checked pattern with a white square in that corner — sort of an “anti” pattern.)

  5. Za Dom says:

    Shut up you yugo

  6. chuck says:

    Karma caught up with Joe Simunic for his betrayal of Australia.

    • Za Dom says:

      What betrayal? Born to Croatian parents. Blood is 100 percent croatian. He’s playing for Croatia because he knows what he is. Unlike the US national team players who players are eligible to play for 5 countries

  7. josh says:

    So yeah… where is the news about World Cup bans on players for say… Portugal? 2 match ban for overuse of hair gel? Or maybe Ghana? Entire 1st team banned for one match because their uniforms are too tight? Maybe a ban on Tony Schumacher for his play against France, to be served by Neuer?

    Is it too much to ask?