US soccer fans criticized FOX Sports for its World Cup coverage after live footage was cut on the second day of the tournament.
FOX Sports, which has the exclusive English-language rights in the US, was airing its pre-match build-up ahead of US Group B rivals England’s match against Iran as part of their doubleheader before the Gregg Berhalter’s team will start at 2 pm ET.
However, his live feed was blacked out several times, including when commentators Ian Darke and USMNT legend Landon Donovan were cut for their pre-match analysis.
Football fans who had risen early to watch the 8 a.m. ET game were quick to criticize the station, calling the coverage “Mickey Mouse.”
On social media, the user claimed: ‘This is the second glitch Fox Sports has had in their #WorldCup broadcast so far in this hour. @IanDarke cut off while he was speaking.
One fan asked: ‘Who allowed FOX SPORTS to get the rights to the World Cup?’
US soccer fans have criticized FOX Sports for its World Cup coverage ahead of Group B games
The broadcaster’s coverage was cut several times before England’s match against Iran.
FOX Sports has the exclusive rights in English to broadcast the tournament in the US.
“What just happened on fox sports 1 lol,” added another, before a fan criticized the channel for having a nightmare, writing: “Mickey Mouse production @FOXSoccer.”
FOX has agreed to pay more than $400 million to broadcast the men’s and women’s World Cups from 2015 to 2023, according to the New York Timesbeating out ESPN for the rights.
ESPN had the English-language rights to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the 2014 tournament in Brazil, reportedly paying around $100 million.
Following FOX’s technical difficulties, many football viewers claimed they missed ESPN’s coverage.
“Fox Sports sucks,” said one Twitter user. I miss ESPN coverage. #FIFA World Cup.’
Another added: ‘Hey @FOXSports @FOXSportsPR figure out your coverage! ESPN never brought up this nonsense #FIFAWorldCup’
Fans criticized the broadcaster on social media, with some claiming they missed ESPN
Qatar Airways, the state airline, is a major sponsor of FOX’s coverage, meaning its production in Qatar is essentially backed by the Qatari government, according to the washington post.
In October, FOX insisted that it would focus on soccer and not the tournament’s controversial host country and its record on human rights or treatment of migrant workers.
However, before England kicked off, FOX showed a segment with the Supreme Committee’s Senior Manager for Sustainability and Environment, Dr. Talar Sahsuvaroglu.
Many criticized the clip as an ‘advertisement’ for the host nation amid criticism of the ‘sportswashing’ of the tournament.
One user wrote: ‘Fox Sports is running a ‘Discovering Qatar’ slot. It’s headed by the Supreme Committee’s head of sustainability, and everything will be carbon neutral/net zero. Hurrah!’
It became known that the FOX broadcast is sponsored in particular by the state-owned company Qatar Airways.
A social media user highlighted a segment that featured Supreme Committee Senior Manager for Sustainability and Environment, Dr. Talar Sahsuvaroglu
While FOX has the exclusive English-language rights in the US, Telemundo was awarded the rights to broadcast in Spanish, reportedly paying around $600 million for the four tournaments.
But Telemundo has taken a different stance on the Qatar controversies, with chairman Ray Warren insisting that the broadcaster will not “ignore geopolitical issues that may arise.”
After FOX Sports coverage was cut, disgruntled fans claimed they would switch to Telemundo for the game.
One fan posted: ‘Seems like it’s a Telemundo day. Okay, no Stong, Holden, or Lalas for me since Fox Sports lost their feed.
Other soccer fans claimed they were switching to Telemundo, which has the Spanish-language rights.
FOX faced further criticism when the game finally started with many fans criticizing Donovan’s comment.
One viewer posted: ‘Is Landon Donovan the most boring man alive? Is it Michael Owen in disguise? He sounds calm.
Another added: “There’s no way a broadcast executive had a conversation with Landon Donovan and thought ‘this guy needs to be on TV’.”
Some were a little nicer, saying, “I say this with respect, Landon Donovan was not meant to be a color commentator.” While one said: ‘Landon Donovan in color commentary is unbearable. Hello Telemundo.
FOX faced further criticism during the game with many fans criticizing Donovan’s comment.
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