Fox Soccer + Mobile Devices = ?

It’s been five months (ish) since my last post on Fox Soccer so I thought I’d check in and see if there were any updates. I’m focusing more on the mobile apps that are currently available (versus FoxSoccer.tv), and will touch on the other pieces that I’ve written about previously.

To put it bluntly, there are no big updates.

A comparison of the number of stars and the number of ratings is below, from this year’s earlier review and from today:

 

  Earlier Review Today
Current Version, # of Stars 3.0 3.0
Current Version, # of Ratings 34 138
All Versions, # of Stars 2.5 2.5
All Versions, # of Ratings 157 262

 

So, more of the same it seems.

 

Two other things before moving on.

1. There are two apps in iTunes. Two.

  • This one is titled “FOX Soccer 2Go” and is “Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 4.0 or later.”.
  • This one is titled “FOX Soccer 2Go for iPad” and is “Compatible with iPad.Requires iOS 3.2 or later”.

Seems confusing, no?

Also, the link “FOX Sports Channel Web Site” doesn’t work on either page. Try it.

 

Fox Soccer Sports Channel Web Site Link No Worky

 

2. Support is not actually handled by Fox. (!!)

There’s a link on either of the app pages (linked above) to ‘FOX Soccer 2Go Support’. Click on either link and you land on Perform Group‘s site. (I had an email exchange with Perform Group before I cancelled my account.)

How is Fox able to hear your feedback when they don’t run support themselves?

Two sub-plots:

  • The support link from the “FOX Soccer 2Go for iPad” app lands you on a support page titled “iPhone Application”.
  • The first FAQ on the above support page: “How do i get a refund of my App charge?”.

 

Fox has been busy, focusing on re-branding, re-packaging, and bringing in new talent to host their shows. That’s where the money is, and where they likely have to make up the costs associated with the TV rights for the Premier League, Champions League, etc.

But these are really easy fixes. And isn’t mobile supposed to be big someday soon? Like, today? Maybe Fox is so comfortable with their lead and their focus is so strategic on the bigger pieces that they aren’t worried about mobile.

Then there’s this:

 

…we plan to deliver the most robust mobile and digital platforms in the market, and, finally, through our coverage online and on-air, we will continue to live up to our motto of being “the premier destination for soccer coverage.”

and this:

Comment From Kayla: Will you be making an android app of Fox Soccer 2go?

DavidNathanson: Kayla… good question. We are working on it.

Source: MSN, Live chat: FOX Soccer GM David Nathanson

 

Awesome!

“most robust mobile and digital platforms in the market” and “We are working on it”.

Positive momentum! Focus on mobile and digital platforms! Now we’re talking!

Wait, what?

That chat happened in September of 2011?

Oh well.

 

What’s going on?

Initially, I gave them a free pass. I mean, they were planning something radical. Bringing live games to our mobile devices. Really cool.

But then it all failed. And nothing has happened since. It’s been roughly nine months since Nathanson’s (noted as Fox’s soccer evangelist) comments during the live chat (noted above).

That’s far too long in the world of technology, mobile, or soccer.

This past week, I found the USA v. Brazil match on the Internet via an Al Jazeera channel.

No, it wasn’t mobile.

No, I didn’t pay for it (but I would if I could).

Yes, they sit far from each other while analyzing the match.

 

USA v. Brazil

 

But that’s competition. I don’t think Fox’s lead is as large as it once was. I’m willing to bet a solution will be available before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. I’m also betting that it will come from an “odd” source. Maybe Al Jazeera. Maybe Apple.

I’m hoping the continuing influence of American dollars on the Premier League – both in the form of investors / owners and consumers – will lead a push to bring the beautiful game to more people (and more pockets).

 

Ps: I’ve reached out to David Nathanson. I’ll let you know if anything comes of it.

 

  • Update, Monday, June 4: I’ve heard back from David Nathanson’s team.
  • Update, Thursday, June 28: I had a telephone conversation with the PR and Communications Manager at Fox, where he suggested I send him a handful of questions that he would have his team review and respond to.
  • Update, Tuesday, July 10: I sent the PR and Communications Manager at Fox a list of 13 questions.
  • Update, Wednesday, July 18: After not receiving any response, I followed up with the PR and Communications Manager by email.
  • Update, Thursday, July 19: I received a response from the PR and Communications Manager saying he’d follow up with his team to “see where we are on this”.
  • Update, Thursday, August 9: After never hearing back from the PR and Communications Manager (Yes, I’m driving home a point.), I wrote this for EPLTalk.com.
  • Update, Wednesday, August 29: I spoke with the PR and Communications Manager. Loop closed.

 


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