Continuing its soccer commitment, Fox Sports announced this week that it will air a live English Premier League game on the morning of the NFC Championship Game on January 22 at 10:30 a.m. ET. The NFC Championship is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. the same day. This is the second announcement of a live EPL game broadcast on Fox. Previously, Fox said it would air Chelsea vs. Manchester United live on Super Bowl Sunday on February 5.
On NFC Championship Sunday, Fox will air live the match between two traditional rivals Arsenal and Manchester United from Emirates Stadium in London. This would mark the 5th EPL match to be aired on Fox. Ratings for three tape delayed games on NFL Sundays have been pretty decent. We’ll see if Fox uses more EPL programming next fall.
Here’s the press release.
Match is Second Live & Fifth Overall
Barclays Premier League Event Scheduled on FOX
New York – The 2011 NFC Championship Game featured the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, two of the NFL’s iconic franchises. While we’re weeks from knowing which teams will meet in the 2012 edition, FOX Sports kicks-off NFC Championship Sunday featuring two of the world’s iconic soccer clubs meeting in a Barclays Premier League match live on the network.
FOX Sports presents Arsenal and Manchester United from the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, Jan. 22 (10:30 AM-1:00 PM ET). Later that day, FOX Sports presents its 18th consecutive NFC Championship Game (6:30-10:00 PM ET), one of the highest-rated, most-watched sports events of the year, the winner of which meets the AFC Champion in Super Bowl XLVI. FOX Sports’ Barclays Premier League coverage continues on Super Bowl Sunday, Sunday, Feb. 5, when the network airs “The Game Before the Game” featuring Chelsea hosting Manchester United, live from Stamford Bridge (10:30 AM-1:00 PM ET).
“We see a tremendous opportunity to broaden exposure in the U.S. for the world’s best soccer competitions,” said FOX Sports Co-President & COO Eric Shanks. “We’ve broken viewership records with each subsequent FOX broadcast and we are thrilled audiences are responding as we make matches more widely available.”
FSMG’s investment in global soccer is clearly expanding. FOX Sports made U.S. broadcast history this fall airing regular-season Barclays Premier League matches, a first for US broadcast television. On Sunday, Sept. 18, the network presented Manchester United vs. Chelsea, followed by Tottenham-Arsenal on Sunday, Oct. 2 and Chelsea-Liverpool on Sunday, Nov. 20. All three broadcasts were encore offerings which either preceded or followed the locally televised NFL on FOX game, and came after FOX Soccer’s live coverage earlier in the day.
FOX’s broadcast of Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat of Chelsea on Nov. 20 is the most-watched Barclays Premier League match of the three on the network, delivering a 1.1 household rating, with 1.67 million total viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. Of the five international soccer matches broadcast on FOX since 2010, only this year’s UEFA Champions League Final between Barcelona and Manchester United drew a bigger audience (2.6 million) than Chelsea-Liverpool in November.
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