Fox Sports World gets programming substitution

Cabler to relaunch as Fox Soccer Channel

MIAMI — U.S. cabler Fox Sports World will relaunch as Fox Soccer Channel on Feb. 7.

More than 80% of the programming on Fox Soccer Channel will be firstrun coverage of soccer competitions, including Barclays English Premier League, the English FA Cup, the Uefa Cup, the Toyota Intercontinental Cup, World Cup qualifying matches for the U.S. and England national teams, the Champions World Series and various European and Latin American national leagues.

Channel will also feature U.S. Major League soccer and United Soccer League matches.

Sister channel Fox Sports will air a preview of Fox Soccer during the Super Bowl pregame show, skedded for 2 p.m. ET on Feb. 6. Fox Soccer will formally bow at midnight that Sunday night.

Fox Soccer will introduce programs and features with the channel relaunch, among them a soccer scores ticker. In April, it will bow a weekly show “Fox Soccer USA” devoted to youth and amateur soccer in the U.S.

Channel will continue to carry “Fox Sports World Report,” “Sky Sports News,” “Fox Football Friday” and “MLS Wrap.” It will still cover futsal (indoor soccer) and rugby.

Fox Sports World, launched in 1997, has close to 20 million cable and satellite subscribers in the U.S. and the Caribbean. It has been affiliated with Fox Sports Intl., a division of the Fox Networks Group.

U.S. satcaster DirecTV announced a carriage deal with 24-hour soccer net GolTV to carry the channel in Spanish and English.

The all-soccer net will be available on the DirecTV Para Todos programming package (oriented to Spanish-lingo subs) and the DirecTV Sports package at the beginning of February.

Launched in February 2003, GolTV airs live games in English and Spanish from some of the best leagues in the world, with exclusive rights to games from Italy, Spain, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, Bolivia, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. GolTV also broadcasts live and live-on-tape games from Europe’s Uefa Cup, Copa del Rey and Intl. Friendly Games; World Cup qualifying matches from South America; and the Uncaf Tournament in Central America.