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How Sports TV Networks Can Shake Up Their Football Coverage

tina fey sarah palinjpeg How Sports TV Networks Can Shake Up Their Football Coverage

Thanks to Saturday Night Live‘s Tina Fey, there will be millions of people around the watch watching the vice-presidential debate tonight between Sarah Palin and Joseph Biden. Most people will secretly be looking forward to seeing Palin make another embarrassing gaffe.

While debates can be unpredictable, nearly all football related shows on television are the opposite. You have your news update shows, your talk shows, the highlight shows, etc. No wonder football fans complain about the overall quality of football coverage outside of the actual action itself.

What football fans need is a sports TV network to shake things up.

One idea would be to create a live football debate show focusing on one topic and letting the guests debate the topic in a serious manner. The show would have a few simple ground rules. No talking heads (i.e. journalists or TV presenters), only people within the game of football — preferably managers. The questions debated would be controversial topics. No softball questions. And the guests would be encouraged to actually debate each other instead of spouting off rehearsed answers in the direction of the host (like Jim Lehrer did last week in the first presidential debate).

Imagine Sir Alex Ferguson being involved in a debate with Arsene Wenger. Or how about Mike Ashley and a representative from an unofficial Newcastle United supporters club?

There’s nothing like it on TV right now. The closest thing is Football Matters on Setanta Sports, but that show is too rehearsed and trying to be too funny for my liking.

With the show being taped live, it would definitely spark a lot of controversy and excitement. I would watch it. Would you?

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 →

3 Responses to How Sports TV Networks Can Shake Up Their Football Coverage

  1. eplnfl says:


    Hope everything is going well for your family. I'll expect you to have a good number of sleepless nights in the upcoming weeks.

    Your idea of a debate show is an excellent one. The place for it would be on a channel like the NFL Network for the EPL. 24/7 EPL action on it's own channel would draw a huge audience. With a number of EPL owners having an American connection can it be far behind!

  2. AtlantaPompey says:

    “Most people will secretly be looking forward to seeing Palin make another embarrassing gaffe.”

    Actually, most people, especially in the media, aren't being secret about it at all. If she so much as blinks once too many, or clears her throat before she answers a question, or takes a breath during a sentence, it will be the front page headline in the New York Times explained as why she's unqualified to be VP.

    I would love to see Alex from Manchester, Voyeur, Rafa from Liverpool, and anyone else debate, but they would never agree to that. IOSS is as close as we'll get to it, and that's a lot more entertaining.

  3. CFTV37 says:

    Just give me something to watch on Saturday and Sunday Mornings from 6am to 9am as neither FSC or GOL have anything on but Paid Programs. I hate waking up on Saturday and Sunday Mornings and having no soccer programming to watch.

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