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Fox Soccer Channel to Become Nielsen Rated

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NEW YORK Fox Soccer Channel will become a rated network on Oct. 1., greatly enhancing its ability to seek advertiser support.

The network, which originally launched as Fox Soccer World in 1997, now reaches over 33 million cable and satellite subscribers in the U.S. and the Caribbean. FSC also has distribution agreements with multiple system operators and DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T, U-Verse and Verizon FiOS.

"Entering the Nielsen family enables us to validate our viewership reach, demonstrating to advertisers our ability to deliver the extremely strong and dedicated audience of men 18-34 that they want to reach as well as the broad-based audience attracted to soccer programming," said David Sternberg, evp and general manager of FSC.

Adweek is a unit of the Nielsen Co.

With 57 percent of its audience skewing to the male demographic -- and with an average household income of $75,000 -- FSC intends to position itself as the man cable channel for advertisers seeking to reach the loyal, core soccer fan base.

"Our goal will be to add to the top-tier brands such as Verizon Wireless, Diageo and Corona that already understand the value of Fox Soccer Channel," said Mike Petruzzi, vp, ad sales for the channel.

Sponsors that have recently joined FSC include Acura, Dick's Sporting Goods and Levi's.

FSC provides global soccer coverage, including England's Barclays Premier League, Italy's Series A and Major League Soccer, among others.

FSC also houses news and reality programs, such as live studio show Fox Soccer Report and Football Fone-In.