For soccer fans the announcement today that Fox will be using a multi-platform approach to present their coverage of the PAC-12 football and basketball mirrors their recent use of FX and the main network to cover UEFA Champions League. The use of the FX to present the UCL semis this year has resulted in a huge increase in viewership, despite the midday presentation that European soccer offers for the American audience.
This is also occurring as Fox Soccer mainstreams its coverage of MLS with "Soccer Night in America" on FSC. Graphics and cameras available will be more similar to Fox's coverage of their other sports. Though still not available in HD on cable networks for a vast majority of Puget Sound viewers this is still an improvement. Last year MLS dramatically increased the rights money for Fox to be a partner, believed to be at about 7M$ for just a single year.
With FX becoming a more frequent basic cable destination for sports, a one year deal for FSC and Fox increasing their coverage of soccer throughout their platforms is this a portend of better and more profitable coverage in 2012? As soccer fans we can only hope, as the salary cap can only make a significant step up in tv revenues significantly increase. Currently teams earn less than a single DP cap hit from the deal, but if MLS can get that 20M$ per year number that would be basically 1M$ per team. One can dream and hope that the flood of money into sports can spread down to our little niche market.