Soccer fans – and especially supporters of Manchester United and Tottenham – were left frustrated on Saturday when some local Fox affiliates chose to air coverage of Barbara Bush’s funeral instead of the FA Cup semifinal between United and Spurs as originally scheduled.
Fox had decided to put the first of two semifinals on its main channel at 12:15 ET on Saturday afternoon. But four days before the game, former First Lady Barbara Bush passed away. Her funeral was subsequently scheduled for the weekend.
And, as World Soccer Talk explained, in some markets that meant no FA Cup semifinal on TV:
A few FOX stations have either moved Manchester United-Spurs to an alternate FOX station or will join the match in progress after the funeral has ended. For example, WFTX in Fort Myers will join the game in progress around the 60th minute of the match. In Houston, FOX channel KRIV is moving the game to its sister station KTXH, while WSVN in Miami is moving the game to its digital 7.2 station.
That, understandably, angered soccer fans who tuned in expecting to see United and Tottenham:
RIP to Barbara Bush but this FA Cup semifinal is supposed to be on FOX rn
— Mark Banozic (@MarkBanozic) April 21, 2018
I flipped to Fox because the guide says the FA cup is on and now I’ve been earwormed by “In the Garden” from Barbara Bush’s funeral.
— Holly (@hollye83) April 21, 2018
— Chad aka Chuck (@ceworthington) April 21, 2018
— Graeme Aitken (@aitkengraeme) April 21, 2018
Can’t wait to watch @ManUtd in the FA Cup Semi-Final today….. and Fox cuts away to the Barbra Bush funeral
— Alex L Royals (@RealAlexRoyals) April 21, 2018
I’m trying to watch this fa cup match on fox but they have Barbara Bush’s funeral running over it. I’m not trying to see some damn televised funeral.
— KingLe'Ray (@MUTHRA_CLAN) April 21, 2018
Unreal. Fox decides to show Barbara Bush’s funeral instead of the FA Cup semifinal. Terrible decision. Should be on @FoxNews right now instead of preempting the big match
— Sean Saunders (@slawsaunders) April 21, 2018
One of the frustrations, according to viewers, was that Fox was also showing the funeral on Fox News, but still put the same feed on big Fox instead of the FA Cup match.
@FOXTV Put the FA Cup soccer game back on. The funeral is on other Fox networks and every other channel on tv. You've just crushed every English pub and sports bars business right now. Shame on you. You should have to give up broadcasting the World Cup, if this is what u do.
— J. Pat (@JayRoryg3) April 21, 2018
It's literally a simulcast of what's being shown on Fox News
— Lonis (@sxric) April 21, 2018
they're simulcasting the barbara bush funeral from fox news on the fox affiliate here instead of the fa cup semis. i'm going to dome myself.
— €mm€t (@emojilaugh) April 21, 2018
Fox is a really useless network! How in the world do you cancel showing an FA Cup semi-final game to show a funeral when you already have a dedicated channel for the funeral….!
— Kofi O. Appiah (@SirBolzano) April 21, 2018
In some cases, the game was moved to another, less visible, perhaps not widely available channel. In some cases, it wasn’t on TV at all. The only option was to find it on Fox’s online streaming service.
Needless to say, a lot of viewers couldn’t find it, or weren’t aware of that.
How is Fox completely unaware that they are showing a funeral instead of the FA Cup? Like I feel like they should have been semi prepared for this… https://t.co/imaMxSBZBV
— Blake Jorgensen™ (@Blake_Jorgensen) April 21, 2018
Apparently no FA Cup Semifinal because Fox is showing the Fox News feed of Barbara Bush's funeral. Hooray.
— Racial Dolezal (@SirCoach) April 21, 2018
What channel is the FA cup semi in America? Barbara Bush’s funeral is on Fox…
— Ruthie (@BunchOfBallacks) April 21, 2018
@FA so @FOXSoccer and @FOXSports decided to show a funeral over the game. Didn’t broadcast nationally. And no sound on the live feed. You want people in the US to respect your Cup? Don’t give it to a poor broadcasting company like Fox. #Embarrassing #youdontknowwhatyourdoing
— Coach D (@KevlarD) April 21, 2018
@FOXSports C’mon, where is the FA cup, if preempted by funeral, but get it on one of your channel, like Fox soccer plus that is showing stupid Aussie football, get a grip fox!
— BenHere (@benhereB4) April 21, 2018
— Jeremy Hawk (@Jeremy_Hawk) April 21, 2018
And the many fans missed a darn good first half, too. Spurs and United were tied 1-1 at halftime.
More soccer from Yahoo Sports:
• Bushnell: The evolution that will define post-Wenger Arsenal
• 13 possible successors for Arsene Wenger at Arsenal
• Gulino: Wenger’s legacy is now up to us to figure out
• 9 things to know about the Champions League semifinal matchups
• A fan’s oral history of the USMNT’s nightmare in Trinidad