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ESPN FC (formerly ESPN SoccerNet) is a U.S. television studio program covering soccer that is broadcast daily over the streaming service ESPN+. ESPN FC's origin was a website owned by ESPN Inc. Originally established in 1995 as SoccerNet, the website was acquired by ESPN in 1999. The domain ESPNFC.com now redirects to soccer news coverage on ESPN.com.
|Launched||1995 as SoccerNet|
Originally titled SoccerNet, the website was established by Greg Hadfield and his then-teenage son Tom in 1995, initially providing live score updates, tables and news articles. Greg, at that time, worked for the Daily Mail and in order to gain capital, effectively rescinded ownership of the site to his bosses in return for £40,000 and a revenue sharing scheme.
ESPN eventually launched a U.S. television studio program on ESPNews, ESPN2, BT Sport, ESPN Australia, and TSN dedicated to soccer, also known as ESPN FC. The program originally aired on weekday evenings at 6 PM, with a weekly recap show airs on Sunday nights. The program's mostly British cast include host Dan Thomas. Regular contributors include Craig Burley, Shaka Hislop, Alejandro Moreno, Steve Nicol, Paul Mariner, Raphael Honigstein, Gabriele Marcotti, Brian McBride, Taylor Twellman, Ian Darke, Kasey Keller, Frank LeBoeuf, Stewart Robson, Don Hutchison, Sid Lowe, Julien Laurens, Uli Hesse, Nilton Batata, and Santiago Solari. In April 2018, the program moved exclusively to the supplemental subscription service ESPN+.
A favorable story about Qatar's preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup on the site was met with backlash for author Phil Ball's dismissal of allegations of abuses toward migrant workers by the Qatari government. ESPN later apologized and removed the story from the website, saying that it did not meet their "journalistic standards".<ref name="Manfred">Manfred, Tony (November 22, 2013). "Here's The Glowing Story About The Qatar World Cup That ESPN Doesn't Want You To Read". Business Insider.
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