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GolTV's "American Soccer" Jumps The Shark

goltv logo GolTV's "American Soccer" Jumps The SharkEPL reader Ossie’s Dream was kind enough to provide us a mini-review of Fox Soccer Channel recently, where he shared his disdain about Fox’s over-the-top way that it incorporated an Adidas advertisement/sponsorship into last week’s Super Saturday +. I, too, was critical of Fox Soccer Channel’s attempts to find new ways to attract the attention of viewers with new techniques used in their crawl advertising during Premiership matches.

So, it’s with equal distaste that I learned today that GolTV is making changes to its excellent “American Soccer” program due to the program’s main sponsor, the U.S. Navy, taking a more active role. The weekly show features GolTV commentators/announcers Phil Schoen, Ray Hudson, Lindsey Dean and Kelly O’Donnell where they bring you the latest news on, as the show name suggests, American soccer.

According to the press release, here are the changes that are happening to the show:
  1. “The show’s set will be customized to reflect the Navy’s look and feel,” and
  2. “American Soccer will herein be knows as “American Soccer Powered by the

I completely understand the reason why advertisers want to try different things to reach their audience rather than a typical and predictable 30-second spot (hence the quote from the GolTV advertising executive in the press release). However, the above two examples are out-of-line and go way too far into appeasing the advertiser and therefore destroy the trust that the viewer has built with the popular program and network.

In TV, there’s the phrase “jumped the shark.” And in my opinion, this move by GolTV has allowed their American Soccer program to go too far. I’m glad GolTV has found a major sponsor for the show. But please, please, please don’t allow them to take it too far whereby they can dictate what the name of the show is and what the set looks like. It’s an instant turn-off, and does more to distance myself from the advertiser itself than to raise my interest.

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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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4 Responses to GolTV's "American Soccer" Jumps The Shark

  1. Jarrett says:

    If these changes keep this witty and insightful look at American Soccer on TV, then I have no problem with the changes. This show is light years ahead of FSC for insight on what’s going on in the USA on the soccer front.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think it is a sell out. But thanks to Tivo I can fast forward thru the Navy ads and gimmicks.


  3. Anonymous says:


    And the Navy is crazy if they think it will attract more recruits.

    What? are th hosts gonna where Navy uniforms too?

  4. Evan says:

    It had been a while since I watched American Soccer, and I hadn’t heard about this, so I was shocked at the level of advertising (really, propaganda) in the show. It’s there on the logo visible during the segments, and in the inane lines as they do to commercial. “Did you know that being in the Navy is a great way to see the world?” Disgusting.

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