Fox will take its first step onto the pitch, subbing for FX as the broadcaster for the UEFA Champions League final in May.
Fox will air its first soccer match on May 22, with the telecast from Madrid beginning at 2:30 p.m. (ET) and kickoff set for 2:45 p.m. The match marks the first time the Champions League final will be played on a Saturday. The story was first reported by theSports Business Journal.
When Fox Soccer Channel wrested the U.S. TV rights to the top European club competition from ESPN2 last April, it announced that FX, which counts some 95 million subscribers, would host the finale.
Simply put, the UEFA Champions League Final is one of international soccer's most prestigious and competitive events," said Fox Sports chairman David Hill in announcing the scheduling change. "There's no doubt that soccer aficionados in the U.S. will welcome the opportunity to see this game live, and we're excited to work with our colleagues at Fox Sports International to make it available to every household in America via FOX Sports."
"This year, for the first time, the UEFA Champions League Final will be played on a Saturday," said UEFA president Michel Platini. "This is an important change for European football as it is a strong desire for UEFA to engage with more families and children and to see them attend inside the stadium. Outside of Europe we also want to allow the greatest number of people possible the chance to follow the showpiece final of the best club football competition in the world. I am delighted that thanks to Fox Sports this will now be possible, as for the first time ever, the UEFA Champions League final will be live on a nationwide broadcast channel right across the USA."
FSC, which will launch premium service Fox Soccer Plus on March 1, will begin its coverage of the Champions League's knockout stage, with round of 16 coverage on Feb. 16-17 and Feb. 23-24
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