TUES, 2:45PM ET
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Random Thoughts Watching the EPL On U.S. TV

Fox Soccer Channel Random Thoughts Watching the EPL On U.S. TV1. Does anyone watch Super Saturday+ anymore? Nothing against Nick Webster and Keith Costigan, but after watching 10 hours of Premiership soccer on a Saturday (from the early game on Setanta all the way through to the end of the tape-delayed match at 5:15pm on Fox), can anyone stomach any more soccer coverage? I still think the concept of Super Saturday+ is good except that the time the show is played is wrong, and the format of the program could be improved to make it more of a must-see program.

2. Why are there mistakes in the Fox Soccer Channel and GolTV promos (the ones they play as commercials to promote different programs and top flight matches)? Two examples are: (1) GolTV recently played up their big weekend last week when they had the Barcelona against Real Madrid match on TV, as well as the Milan derby and a huge Bundesliga match. But the voiceover talent person kept on pronouncing the word “derby” incorrectly. It’s pronounced “derby” as in Terence Trent D’Arby and not as in Kentucky Derby. (2) In a promo for Fox Soccer Report, the voiceover talent person mispronounces Bobby McMahon’s name. Aye carumba.

3. Fox Soccer Channel, don’t trick the viewers. I noticed today that during the Reading against Portsmouth and Blackburn versus West Ham matches that Fox has been displaying a new crawl at the bottom of the screen that begins with the words “Breaking News,” which flashes on screen. It then announces a special discount rate for FSC viewers interested in purchasing items from World Soccer Shop.

Personally, I don’t appreciate this trick to get the viewer’s attention to turn away from the match. It’s way too distracting. I have no problem with Fox displaying these crawls at the bottom of the screen as they need to find ways to make money, but what I do oppose is trying to trick the viewer into thinking that it’s real breaking news (i.e. soccer scores, or a major development from a match, etc). Fox and World Soccer Shop doesn’t need to resort to these measures to get fans to read the crawls. We all know they’re there, and if we’re interested in purchasing something, we know that World Soccer Shop is there for us to consider.

And it gets worse. While watching the Spurs against Watford match, Fox used a similar technique in the crawl, this time for Soccer.com where they flashed the word “ALERT!” a few times to catch the attention of the viewer. Please Fox refrain from using these techniques. It cheapens the advertising and viewer experience.

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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.
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10 Responses to Random Thoughts Watching the EPL On U.S. TV

  1. Anonymous says:

    The more I watch fsc the more discopuraged i become about the future of soccer here in the US.

    You need a good product to display, good production, good announcers and some thought as to what you are putting on the air. FSC falls flat in just about every one of them.

    The nighlty soccer report, promoted as cutting adge and innovative, emminates out of a garage in winnapeg effin canada for gods sake. The other night reporting on the newcastle game in holland, they show endless stupid highlites of never threatening attempts by newcastle and then cut to the dunderheads in the studio who report “oh yeah, newcastle had a goal dissallowed in 2nd half stoppage time for a fould int he build up”. hello!!!! no highlites of that key part of the game? some innovation.

    The super saturday plus is unwatchable. The mathces that they themselves produce are a joke, abd the announcers are worse than college level quality. You think they could find people who can speak english, with proper pronounciation of words, correct usage, proper context, and not scream at us for 90 minutes. But i guess in a country of nearly 300 million people, the 4 dudes fsc keeps throwing at us must be the best in other oral qualitites. They are pathetic.

    Heres hoping that the new GOL owners have some greater ambition and quality to their game beacause FSC is absolutley droppin the ball.

  2. EPLNFL says:

    The Gaffer hit the nail on the head about FSC and it’s programing. The highlight show is a sleep fest even if after all the days action you wanted to watch it. I know that even after a long day of NFL action I love watching the wrap up shows of the major networks and especially ESPN. FSC has numerous examples of how to do it right. Hopefully, they will work on it over the summer.

    I feel offended by the breaking news headline also. I have problems with the runners anyway as being distractions except for a score update every once in a while.

    What has been amazing is that FSC has grown and the EPL has grown in interest in the U.S. with the type of production we have seen from FSC. There is hope for the future with Setanta and the growth of ESPN’s interest in soccer.

  3. Kartik says:

    Gaffer,

    I recently (finally!)got Setanta and the difference in production quality as well as timeliness of updates when compared with FSC is shocking. Setanta’s production is far crisper, the highlights and updates on other matches are provided in a timely fashion and their is no breaking news crawl advertising a sale on the bottom!

    I like the job GOL TV does with LaLiga, but perhaps I am just biased because I enjoy Ray Hudson’s commentary so much!

  4. Kartik says:

    Also, FSC’s graphics and studio seem somewhat amatuerish and dated. ESPN circa 1987 like. And sadly even though FSC covers the MLS I get far superior MLS and US Soccer anaylsis off of the one hour show GOL TV has every week with Phil Schoen hosting. Bobby McMahon is the only saving grace for FSC but he is totally under utilized by the network. Also, their production of the CONCAC Champions Cup matches this week were awful. I could go on and on but it seems we all are in sync here.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Gaffer,

    I share your sentiments about the gaffs and stupid ignorant mistakes.

    I get really annoyed at the dumbest errors because it hints that these people don’t know the sport. Whether it’s dIRby instead of dARby, hearing the word Catania get mutilated, or hearing GolTv call Serie A “Il Calcio” (UGH!! that one annoys me!) or any other blunder that makes them seem like they just learned this stuff yesterday, it’s really really insulting to fans. They should know their subject matter.

    Also, I wish FSC could get Brits or Americans to do the shows. I’m sorry but the Canadian pronunciation of the letter “O” is simply irritating.

    And KARTIK,

    I don’t know why you like Ray Hudson’s broadcasting. He needs to be a little more professional and stop with the “AY, AY, AY!” and the unbearable sighs and heavy breathing and “lip flatulence”.

    Also,

    why can’t GolTV do something about the sound quality at the matches? The crowd noise is so muted and muffled compared to FSC matches of the EPL. I know the EPL is generally a bit louder but the R.Mad-Barca and Milan-Inter matches the other day had to be very loud in person and it was quite hush on Gol.

  6. David Keyes says:

    Not to be too pedantic, but in a post about linguistic mistakes it’s worth mentioning that it’s “ay caramba” not “ay carumba.”

  7. Charlie says:

    I guess my thoughts on this are that beggars can’t be choosers. At least it’s the EPL and at least we’re getting most if not all of the games every week.

    I agree with the production criticisms of FSC. I tried to watch the MSL Lamar Hunt game between Houston and Columbus and it was pretty bad. Although, in FSC’s defense (if it can be used as a defense – I’m trying to be nice), the game was played in a stadium that looked 85% empty and there was Absolutely No Energy or Excitement at all. I sure hope the rest of FSC’s MLS broadcasts don’t end up becoming Nap Time like that game did. Zzzzz….

    Being in the States and having just become an addict to The Beautiful Game in the last year, I’ve never had the opportunity to see any other show like Super Saturday Plus. I have nothing to compare it to like I can Fox NFL Sunday vs The NFL Today on CBS. Having said that though, I do think the SS+ hosts are just two more annoying FSC Talking Heads.

    I’m generally not awake when FSC Soccer Report comes on, I do try and catch Sky’s Through The Night at 7pm ET though and I do like that.

    Gol-TV…. That “music” it uses for its game broadcasts has Got to go. Sounds like something a 12-year old zit-faced kid created in Fruity Loops while on a really bad acid trip.

    Peace Out…

  8. Ossie's Dream says:

    RE: Super Saturday (and FSC in general). I think funding must be a problem and a factor with the poor production. How else can you explain the Adidas paid-for Predator segment approx. half way through Saturday’s show? It was just awful. For those that didn’t see it, it was basically the “EPL Predator Players of the Week” or some such. The players? Jermain Defoe and Frank Lampard…who, coincidentally, are both in the Adidas stable. This is wrong on so many levels, where to start? How about the blurring of editorial and advertising? Also, the form players right now are Ronaldo, Berbatov, Tevez. One supposes they are not in the Adidas camp…

  9. WorldSoccerShop says:

    Thanks for your feedback on our new advertising scrolls on FSC. Starting in April, you will no longer see “breaking alert” scrolls from WorldSoccerShop.com.

  10. Ultramag says:

    “I guess my thoughts on this are that beggars can’t be choosers.”

    Amen!

    Not saying that FSC and Gol TV shouldn’t continue to work to improve their products or that what latecomers that want to see Chris Berman and Stuart Scott doing EPL highlights.

    You think the pronounciation of “derby” is an issue? How WRONG do you think ESPN would get it? How many foreign names are BUTCHERED by the likes of Andy Gray, Nigel Spackman and the rest of the Sky TV bunch?

    The sport is in it’s EARLY adolescence here and people like those that have worked on the canadian FOX show that you asses are pissing on have HELPED get it to this point. How BADLY has ESPN fucked up anything they touch? And you want that approach to football here?

    How much would you guys have to PAY to see the amount of football you get here if you lived ANYWHERE else on this rock? I am SICK of the U.S. “soccer crowd” whining about how hard it is to follow the sport here. fuck off and move.

    Agree the “alert” business is a bit much but the sport and companies that support it here are finding there way. I think you fellows should stick to watching sportcenter.
    “back, back, back!!!!”
    “Boo-yah!!!”
    well fuck off and follow another sport.

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