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Fox Soccer Bolsters Its Lineup

8/14/2005 5:00 PM Eastern

Augmenting its lineup, Fox Soccer Channel will add match coverage from Italy’s premiere soccer circuit and the under-17 world championships.

The network, which converted from Fox Sports World in February, is also nearing a deal that would bring an exclusive weekly men’s college match to its air.

Fox Soccer general manager David Sternberg said the network has reached a multiyear arrangement for the home matches of a number of Series A squads, which will yield a pair of exclusive matches per week over 34 rounds from Italy’s top circuit. Among the clubs that Fox Soccer Channel has gained the rights to: Lazio, Lecci and Cagliari.

“The good thing is that Series A is back with us after a several-year hiatus (2000 with Fox Sports World),” he said. “There will be plenty of matches for our viewers who will also get to see Juventus, A.C. Milan, Inter Milan and Roma, all of which will be featured.”

Sternberg said Fox Sports en Espanol also has the rights to the Series A matches, which are slated to kick off in late August.

Soccer-centric Gol TV also holds the rights to some Series A matches.

Come fall, Fox Soccer will begin its coverage of FIFA’s under 17 competition from Peru. Sternberg said the network will cover all three of the U.S. team’s opening round matches, as well as quarterfinal, seminal and finals games. All but the U.S. opener on Sept. 17 will be live (that match will be delayed in deference to the net’s commitment to the English Premier League).

Sternberg also noted that Fox Soccer expects to wrap up negotiations with the National Collegiate Athletic Assocaition for a weekly men’s soccer match, starting in mid-September. That contest would air in primetime, according to Sternberg, who added that the service is also talking to various college conferences about gaining access to some of their tournament action.

September