New CONCACAF Champions League™ Comes to Fox Soccer Channel in August
Leading Soccer Network Acquires Exclusive English-language Media Rights in Four-Year Deal
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fox Soccer Channel has acquired the exclusive English-language broadcast rights in the United States to the new continental club championship, the CONCACAF Champions League™, for four seasons beginning in 2008/2009.
“The CONCACAF Champions League™ will be an important addition to the global soccer calendar and will complement perfectly our network's coverage of Major League Soccer, the FIFA Club World Cup and other major domestic and international competitions.”
The CONCACAF Champions League™, modeled after the popular European club championship, commences in August 2008 with a preliminary round of sixteen matches and concludes in April 2009 with the Finals. Under its agreement with CONCACAF, the governing body of soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean, Fox Soccer Channel will air approximately 56 games from the competition, including all Quarterfinal, Semifinal and Final matches and all group-stage matches featuring clubs from Major League Soccer. The agreement also gives Fox Soccer Channel the right to distribute CONCACAF Champions League™ content as part of its Internet, broadband and mobile media platforms.
The CONCACAF Champions League™ will be comprised of 24 teams drawn from across CONCACAF’s region. The 24 participating teams include four teams each from the United States and Mexico; three Caribbean teams, the most in any CONCACAF international club competition to date; two clubs each from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama; and one representative each from Canada, Belize, and Nicaragua. The winning team will gain a berth to the December 2009 FIFA Club World Cup, a tournament also carried live on Fox Soccer Channel.
“We are pleased to join together with CONCACAF to bring this new club championship to Fox Soccer Channel and its interactive media platforms,” said David Sternberg, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Fox Soccer Channel. “The CONCACAF Champions League™ will be an important addition to the global soccer calendar and will complement perfectly our network's coverage of Major League Soccer, the FIFA Club World Cup and other major domestic and international competitions."
“We are very excited about the launch of the CONCACAF Champions League™ and are confident that Fox Soccer Channel is an excellent partner to help deliver all the action to soccer fans in the United States,” said Chuck Blazer, General Secretary of CONCACAF. The new tournament will replace the CONCACAF Champions' Cup™, an event that has been televised on Fox Soccer Channel since 2005. Under the new event structure, eight clubs (two from each of the United States and Mexico and one each from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama) will be seeded directly to the Group Stage of the CONCACAF Champions League™, while 16 other teams will be paired in eight home-and-away matchups in the Preliminary Round.
The Preliminary Round winners will join the eight seeded teams in the Group Stage, encompassing four groups of four teams each. Each team will play two matches (one home, one away) against each of the other teams in its group in a round-robin system during September and October.
The top two clubs from each of the four groups will advance to the Elimination Stage of the CONCACAF Champions League™. These eight teams will be drawn into four Quarterfinal pairings to play home-and-away matchups in February 2009. The four Quarterfinal winners will then play in two Semifinal home-and-away matchups in March and April 2009, with the two Semifinal winners squaring off in the home-and-away CONCACAF Champions League™ Final in late April 2009.
2008-09 CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUETM ON FOX SOCCER CHANNEL(a)
2008 - 42 Matches(1)
|August 26 - 28:||First leg preliminary round - 6 matches|
|September 2 - 4:||Second leg preliminary round - 6 matches|
|September 16 - 18:||Group stage day one - 5 matches|
|September 23 - 25:||Group stage day two - 4 matches|
|September 30 - October 2:||Group stage day three - 5 matches|
|October 7 - 9:||Group stage day four - 6 matches|
|October 21 - 23:||Group stage day five - 4 matches|
|October 28 - 30:||Group stage day six - 6 matches|
2009: Quarters, Semis and Final - 14 Matches
|February 24 - 26:||Quarterfinal, First legs|
|March 3 - 5:||Quarterfinal, Second legs|
|March 17 - 19:||Semifinal, First legs|
|April 7 - 9:||Semifinal, Second legs|
|April 21 - 23:||Final, First leg|
|April 28 - 30:||Final, Second leg|
1 Actual quantity of matches may vary depending on the 2008-2009 CONCACAF Champions League™ draw and match results. (a) Schedule subject to change. Please visit Foxsoccer.com for an updated broadcast schedule.
About Fox Soccer Channel
Fox Soccer Channel offers the most comprehensive coverage of world-class soccer available in the United States, including Major League Soccer, England’s Barclays Premier League, Italy’s Serie A and the Argentine First Division as well as global tournaments such as the UEFA Cup, UEFA Women’s Championship, English FA Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, CONCACAF Champions League™ and FA Community Shield. The Official Broadcast Partner of the United States Youth Soccer Association, Fox Soccer Channel also televises the United Soccer Leagues, Major Indoor Soccer League and NCAA Division I college soccer matches. The channel reaches more than 32 million cable and satellite households in the U.S. and Caribbean.
Fox Soccer Channel is one of 28 national and regional programming networks within Fox Networks Group, an operating unit of the News Corporation (NYSE:NWS). These broadcast, cable, satellite and telephony delivered networks reach more than half a billion U.S. television homes, and represent one of the media industry's most diverse collections of programming operations. Fox Networks Group consists of FOX Sports, Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Cable Networks and Fox Networks Engineering & Operations. For more information, visit America’s most visited online soccer destination at foxsoccer.com.
CONCACAF “The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football” is one of six continental confederations of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) and serves as the governing body of football in this part of the world. It is composed of 40 national associations, from Canada in the north to Guyana, Surinam and French Guyana in the south.