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Reviews of Joost, Football Focus & Inside Sport

joost Reviews of Joost, Football Focus & Inside Sport
I had the opportunity today to test out Joost, a new web site that’s in beta from the creators of Skype.

Joost is essentially a network of TV channels online. Rather than live programming, the web site offers some of the best recorded shows from MTV, CNN, Comedy Central, Adult Swim and other networks. The interface and quality of streaming content is extremely cutting edge, taking control of your desktop rather than playing through a browser. If Joost can sign deals with more networks that provide entertaining product, then Joost will transform the way we experience TV online.

Interestingly, Joost currently features two soccer channels: U.S. Soccer and, the appropriately named, The Soccer Channel. The amount of programming available on both networks is currently slim. U.S. Soccer has an interview with new U.S. manager Bob Bradley as well as an interview with Kyle Beckerman and a few other clips. The Soccer Channel, meanwhile, offers a handful of goal compilation programs to choose from. Don’t get too excited. These aren’t that current, but the goals are exciting to watch nonetheless.

In time, let’s hope that U.S. Soccer and The Soccer Channel provide more programming. To be fair, Joost is still in beta so both networks can be excused for now.

If you’re interested in signing up to check out Joost, the beta site is only open to those with invitation codes. Fortunately I have a bunch of them, so if you’re interested in checking Joost out, send an e-mail to thegaffer[at]epltalk[dot]com with the word “Joost” in the subject line.

Speaking of video programming online, have you been watching more and more soccer video podcasts? If you haven’t, I highly encourage it. The few that I’ve been watching are Football Focus, Inside Sport and the one from UEFA.

The production value for the Football Focus and Inside Sport vodcasts are very high as both shows are adapted from full-length TV shows that appear on BBC. Football Focus is well done featuring some analysis by Mark Lawrenson and often another guest such as Lee Dixon or another former player. The show also includes other segments. For example, this past week’s episode featured an interview by Adrian Chiles with Lord Foster, the designer of the new Wembley Stadium. Both gents walked around the stadium and gave fans an excellent insight into the benefits of the 90,000 seater.

Inside Sport, meanwhile, is more focused on being flashy than providing quality content. Hosted by Gabby Logan, the show looks and feels more like an episode of Entertainment Tonight for football fans (well, not that bad, but you get the point). Rather than asking hard hitting questions, the interviews focus on getting to know more about the person and making them appear more lifelike than the person we typically see on TV or read in the paper. For example, Inside Sport recently interviewed John Terry and Sepp Blatter.

The Blatter interview, personally, was sickening. First, you get to see the BBC reporter walk around the new FIFA headquarters with Blatter, and the amount of money that has been wasted on this modern office building is horrendous. It looks more like a palace for the rich and wealthy than a functioning office. After all, how important is it to fuel money into a $38 million structure when those dollars could have been spent on strengthening the game at the grassroots level instead?

The BBC reporter should have been crucified for not asking the hard-hitting questions about Blatter’s alleged taking of bribes and the other scandals he’s been involved in. Instead, the Inside Sport segment shows the camera zooming in on a drawing that one of his young relatives drew for him. Come on!

Both Football Focus and Inside Sport are available for viewing on iTunes.


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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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