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David Nathanson has been tapped head of Fox Soccer Channel.

Nathanson was named exec VP and g.m. Tuesday. He’ll report to Fox National Cable Networks president Rich Battista, who made the announcement, and start Jan. 5.

Nathanson fills the void left by David Sternberg, who recently departed as exec VP and chief operating officer of Fox National Cable Networks’ emerging nets group.

Sternberg’s oversight included Fuel TV, Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Espanol; Fuel TV continues to run under general manager CJ Olivares, while a new structure will be announced soon for Fox Sports en Espanol.

It’s a homecoming for Nathanson, who spent several years at various News Corp. entities, including Fox Reality Channel, where he was VP of business and operations; Fox College Sports, where he was g.m.; and Fox Cable Networks, where he was VP of advanced services and channel development.

Nathanson rejoins Fox from horseracing-centric TVG Network, where he was president.

We’ve been looking for the right opportunity for David to return to Fox,” Battista said. “Given his impressive background in growing emerging networks and our long professional history, I felt he was the ideal candidate as we look to take Fox Soccer Channel to the next level and expand upon its reputation as the top soccer brand in television.”

FSC holds primary U.S. rights to the Barclays Premier League and the UEFA Champions League; it’s also home to the English FA Cup, America’s Major League Soccer and Women’s Professional Soccer, Italian Serie A, England men’s national team, and the Concacaf Champions League.