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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Why U.S. Soccer Fans Can’t Watch Some Euro 2024 Games on Cable

  • Five European Championship matches are streaming exclusively on Fubo for U.S. viewers.
  • Saturday’s broadcast didn’t include a graphic for the time and score.
The Columbus Dispatch

U.S. soccer fans tuning in to the UEFA European Football Championship were met with a rude awakening this weekend. Though Fox Sports has the rights to air the games in this country, it has sublicensed five group-stage games to Fubo TV, a streaming service with a package of channels. The first Fubo game was the Hungary-Switzerland game Saturday; fans were treated to a broadcast without a graphic showing the time and score.

Fox bought the U.S. rights for the Euros—the once-every-four-years cup among national teams to be crowned the champions of Europe—in a six-year deal in the fall of 2021 after ESPN had owned the rights since ’08. UEFA was reportedly looking for a $300 million contract for the ’24 and ’28 events, Sports Business Journal reported at the time. Fox then struck a six-year deal with Fubo in early ’22 to sublease UEFA matches, including five games in both the ’24 and ’28 Euros.

Fubo offers a one-week free trial, but a company spokesperson could not comment on whether users who bought a trial for the first exclusive game on June 15 would be covered through the last Fubo-only match one week later on June 22. Fubo’s cheapest English-language plan costs $79.99 per month, a steep price to pay to catch a small portion of the 51 total matches. Also airing the games is Univision’s ViX, which starts at $5 a month with ads and broadcasts the games in Spanish. 

The five games affected are Hungary-Switzerland, Romania-Ukraine, Turkey-Georgia, Slovakia-Ukraine, and Georgia-Czechia.

The same Fubo spokesperson tells Front Office Sports that scoreboard graphics are included on Monday’s stream of Romania-Ukraine and will be on the screen from now on. Fox Sports did not immediately respond to FOS’s requests for comment.

While Fubo streamed the soccer matches, FS1 aired the Bassmaster Elite Series, which is the “highest level of professional bass fishing tournaments,” according to its website.

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