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ABC/ESPN Coverage Does US No Favors

espn logo ABC/ESPN Coverage Does US No Favors

It hasn’t been a good few days for the United States. While many die-hard soccer fans have had to wince at the weekend’s World Cup coverage from ABC, the situation was made worse today by ESPN’s sycophant World Cup Live pre-show and a heavy 3-0 loss against the Czech Republic.

Before the Czech game, ESPN’s World Cup Live team of Rece Davis, Alexi Lalas, Eric Wynalda and Julie Foudy hyped up the US team by naming them US’s “finest team” and their “best team in history.” Come on people, you’re supposed to be objective!

Especially criminal was how ESPN showed the US national anthem being played before the match, and the second it was over, the broadcaster broke to commercial thereby skipping the Czech anthem completely. That was a slap in the face to Czech fans in North America, and non-partisan soccer viewers.

During the match, US lead commentator Dave O’Brien did better than he did during yesterday’s Mexico vs Iran match (when O’Brien, again, appeared to “slow down” the tempo of the game with his slow and deliberate commentating).

ESPN drolled out too many statistics throughout the 90 minutes of the US match and, to make matters worse, the trivia facts were displayed as on-screen graphics blocking the bottom portion of the screen during important moments of the match.

This afternoon’s defeat is a wake-up call for the US and for ABC/ESPN. Let’s see how they respond on screen and on the field in the coming days.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

2 Responses to ABC/ESPN Coverage Does US No Favors

  1. Anonymous says:

    I prefer watching the World Cup on Univision. They cover all the games, play both national anthems, and the commentators are extremely enthusiastic. It’s MUCH more fun to watch it on that station, even if you don’t know a lot of Spanish. The enthusiasm is contagious. ABC/ESPN’s coverage sucks, quite frankly.

  2. Pingback: On ESPN, Euro 2008, and the EPL « Fighting Talker

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