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Fox Sports World to Offer Soccer ‘Freeview’

In an effort to push the penetration of digital-basic and digital-sports tiers, Fox Sports World next month will offer a portion of its coverage of soccer’s ChampionsWorld Series free-of-charge to operators.

FSW will open its feed to all systems July 24-26, including three of the 11 soccer matches being played in the United States as part of the annual ChampionsWorld event.

The competition features top international clubs, according to Fox senior vice president of affiliate marketing and local advertising sales Todd Schoen.

The games featured as part of the freeview include Chelsea vs. Celtic (July 24), Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich (July 25) and Celtic vs. Liverpool (July 26).

While no official deals have been reached, Schoen said numerous operators have shown interest in offering the network’s first preview.

FSW, currently in 19 million homes, will provide operators with on-air spots and other supportive marketing materials.

While the network has distribution agreements with all of the major MSOs, as well as direct-broadcast satellite services DirecTV Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp., it has only garnered limited distribution on cable and sports tiers. The free preview is expected to help MSOs to sell those tiers to consumers who may not be aware of the network or its programming.

For more on FSW, please see R. Thomas Umstead’s story on page 16 of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.