Poll: Which Commentators Should ESPN Use For Premier League?

ESPN faces a tough decision for it’s upcoming Premier League games it’ll be televising for U.S. television — whether to use their in-house commentators in Bristol, CT such as Tommy Smyth, Adrian Healey and Derek Rae (if available, he’s supposed to be taking a job with ESPN in the UK to commentate the SPL matches throughout the season), or to use the international feed that’s available.

Help ESPN decide what to do by voting below.

<br /> <a href=”http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/1851283/” mce_href=”http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/1851283/”>Which commentators should ESPN use for its EPL games in the US?</a><span style=”font-size:9px;” mce_style=”font-size:9px;”>(<a href=”http://answers.polldaddy.com” mce_href=”http://answers.polldaddy.com”>polls</a>)</span><br />

61 thoughts on “Poll: Which Commentators Should ESPN Use For Premier League?”

  1. I want a third option – ESPN minus Tommy. Also minus their extraordinarily bland half time shows. Otherwise ESPN is fine for me.

  2. I wouldn’t mind the ESPN commentators Adrian Healy and Tommy Smyth to be honest. As long as those complete jokes of soccer commentators named John Harkes and Alexi Lalas arent doing it I’ll be happy. But definitely the international feed would be best, but i won’t be too picky as long as Harkes and Lalas have nothing to do with the EPL.

  3. Add Wynalda to the jokes pile. I’m still pissed he’s now on Fox Football Fone-in. I’m starting a drinking game based on how many times he talks about himself and his glory years during each segment.

    1. Haha Jables you could do a drinking game to every time Harkes says “pace”. He really thinks that word alone for some reason makes him sound like an intelligent soccer analyst, like its a word widely used by international soccer genius. What a joke.

      1. Jake, you could say that about a few commentators. For instance, Christopher Sullivan over at FSC can’t string two sentences together without using “movement”.

  4. Gotta be the international feed for me. Wouldn’t mind Healy or Derek Rae, but not knobs like Harkes , Dellacamera, Lalas or Marcello.

  5. I have to be honest when I say I’m shocked there is even a debate about this. The IMG/TWI feed will be used Saturday morning. On Monday nights, the ESPN UK crew already on site will be used. If you’re using everything else from IMG, they will take the commentary as well.

    The only two questions in my mind what the role of ESPN 360 will play in this and if ESPN will air the IMG/TWI Highlights package possibly as a lead in to Monday Night’s Soccernet Press Pass or even just on 360.

  6. With all this international sports rights’ buying by ESPN, I have a feeling an ESPN International channel is on the cards.

    1. That channel already exists.


      Comcast will pay ESPN, Inc. at least $9 million/year in carriage fees in order to offer espn360.com to its Internet subscribers.

      The 2 EPL games ESPN, Inc. will sublicense from FOX Sports International will cost around $4 million to $4.5 million/year.

      Simple 5th grade math.

  7. Jon Champion will handle PxP for the Monday 2000 matches on ESPN UK.

    One would assume that ESPN2 US will simply simulcast ESPN UK.

    1. They’d have to give Jon Champion promo reads for the U.S. ESPN programming if they did that.

      Derek Rae used to do promo reads for every region back when ESPN did the UEFA Champions League.

      And no, ESPN’s not going to get rid of the promos or get rid of the ticker just because you eurosnobs and America haters want it.

      1. > They’d have to give Jon Champion promo reads for the U.S. ESPN programming if they did that.

        That should not be too difficult.

        The Liverpool match on Monday August 24 at 1500 New York Time will be the first ESPN UK simulcast on ESPN2, followed by the Chelsea match on Saturday August 29 at 0745 New York Time (ESPN UK and Sky Sports UK swapped time slots on August 29, allowing Sky to air Man Utd vs Arsenal at 1715 London Time)

      2. You mean no matter how bad the American announcers are (because they sick to high heavens) I should listen to them because they’re American?

        Your twisted logic amazes me.

          1. They stink and they happen to be American. You ever listen to Peter Drury? He’s a commentator you’ll hear on FSC at times for the PL and you’d think it’s a Shakespearean play. Gary Weaver? Don’t get me started.

            You’re right. I have a problem with Americans. My own people. Not all of them. It’s actually those like you who can turn something as simple as not wanting INCOMPETENT announcers like ESPN’s school of jokers (and I’m not a big fan of Healey to be honest) but instead something that has ALWAYS worked into hating America.

            Do you think in the UK they’re being “Anti-British” for wanting our announcers when they have NFL coverage? Nope, go to the BBC boards and read them. And if you don’t like the American ones there is always the “alternative commentary” option.

          1. “They stink and they happen to be American.”

            Again, you hate Americans.

            “You’re right. I have a problem with Americans. My own people”

            Yeah right…. *you’re* an American. You won’t support our leagues, you won’t support the MNT, and you won’t support our announcers. Eurosnobs like you contributing *nothing* to American soccer culture, you just watch EPL because it’s the hip, underground thing to do. I have been a soccer fan since the last days of the NASL. I have seen us fail time and time again to just qualify for the World Cup before they finally broke through in 1990. I was there when the only soccer actually played in this country was at my local youth league, junior. So don’t assume I’m a johnny-come-lately to this sport.

            “SS Reporters dont even bother trying to reason with RaiderRich, it’s like talking to a brick wall with that guy.”

            You’re not looking for a fair argument, you’re looking for agreement, and I don’t agree with closed-minded eurosnobs who can’t stand the fact that real Americans might actually play, commentate on, and appreciate “their” sport.

            If you want a wider audience in this country, it’s people like you two that need to change.

          2. Shut up man. You don’t know me and you’re making up crap just for the sake of strengthening your remarkably insane and dumb argument.

            “You won’t support our leagues, you won’t support the MNT, and you won’t support our announcers.”

            I watch MLS. The league quality is weak but I still support Toronto FC and I have since YEAR ONE. But I guess since I am one of the few American TFC fans I guess I’m anti-American. Well before you even speak before that I did have a soft spot for DC United.

            I do support our USMNT. Where the hell did you even make that conclusion? Bob Bradley sucks and I want them to do better.

            RaiderRich don’t even visit this site because it follows a European league. Go watch the MLS and barricade yourself from the rest of the America-hating world you think there is so you don’t go on here every time the US vs. UK commentary debate is brought up and make up crap about other people.

            I’m not going to just absorb stupid bullcrap Kautzie. Guess what dude Julie Foudy is terrible but if you’re calling someone sexist then women should be completely untouchable and never criticized the same way we bash the men on a regular basis.

            I’m also not going to accept American commentary as anything decent. It will get better hopefully….there is a very small minority of commentators from the US that are worth something. Glenn Davis has done a lot better since the World Cup and I consider him one of the best we’ve got.

          3. “I watch MLS. The league quality is weak but I still support Toronto FC and I have since YEAR ONE.”

            Dude, your picture is a Manchester United logo. You’re not a real TFC fan, MLS fan, or MNT fan, so stop trying to act like we’re all idiots.

            “RaiderRich don’t even visit this site because it follows a European league.”

            I have the right to post my comments whenever and wherever I want. If you were a real American, you’d know that’s one of the freedoms we have here.

            I also have the right to read this side to stay abreast on U.S. internationals playing in the EPL. Believe it or not, there are Americans playing in that league.

            “Guess what dude Julie Foudy is terrible but if you’re calling someone sexist.”

            I’m not calling someone sexist. It is sexist. She’s a champion soccer player. She has more national team caps, World Cup titles, and Olympic medals than you, Andy Gray. Martin Tyler, or Alan Green ever will. She’s more than qualified to comment on soccer games.

            Now of course you’re probably going to argue that she’s never played EPL, but that’s because women aren’t allowed.

            So yeah, you are a sexist.

            “I’m also not going to accept American commentary as anything decent.”

            Further proof of your hatred of Americans.

          4. So you’re saying I am not allowed to criticize my country. Got you.

            Just because you’ve got a ton of credentials doesn’t make you a great analyst. Foudy is not a great analyst. Emmitt Smith is a hall-of-fame running back….probably the greatest of our era, but he can’t get a grasp of the English language to save his life.

            Whatever man….

          5. “If you were a real American, you’d know that’s one of the freedoms we have here.”

            You come off like someone who thinks this is the only country in the world with freedoms.

            “Dude, your picture is a Manchester United logo”

            That’s my friggin choice. Oh look that’s freedom of choice. Don’t tell me what I am and what I’m not a fan of.

            Quit your condescending idiotic remarks.

          6. SS Reporters I agree with you completely on this topic, but it’s not worth discussing with this xenophobic idiots like RaiderRich because he’ll keep spewing the same garbage over and over again because he has no idea what he’s talking about. Just ignore him and eventually he’ll piss off to a NASCAR site.

          7. “So you’re saying I am not allowed to criticize my country. Got you.”

            You’re not even really an American anyway, so whatever. If you were, you’d let me speak my mind.

            “Don’t tell me what I am and what I’m not a fan of.”

            Well, you say your a fan of TFC, prove it.

          8. You’re worse than Archie Bunker.

            I am American. I’ve never even been outside of America.

            I am a TFC fan.




            You are completely full of crap and are intent on telling people what they aren’t.

          9. yeah, so you wrote a few blog posts, whoopty doo. If you really gave a shit about TFC, you wouldn’t have a Man U logo there.

          10. Look, just stop trying, dude, You’re not an American, you hate Americans, and you especially hate American commentators, it’s that simple

        1. What happened to freedom of choice? I CHOOSE to put Manchester United there. In the past I have used Toronto FC avatars.

          What the hell does my avatar have to do with anything? You’re the one grasping for straws.

          I’m a Seahawks fan so I guess I should be harping the Seahawks jersey on NFL sites all the time. No, instead my avatar on other sites is of Frank Drebin from the Naked Gun (great movie BTW).

          I would’ve been completely fine with your opinion of announcers if you didn’t resort to making it about Anti-Americanism, which it isn’t.

          Your logic and reasoning is amazingly bad.

          Whatever I’m not spending all night arguing with a bigoted brick wall. Have a nice night my fellow American.

          1. Bigoted? You’re the one who hates commentators based on their nationality, dude. And you also hate women sportscasters. Don’t try to play the bigoted card.

          2. What’s your favorite MLS team (before I go)?

            I don’t hate women’s sportscasters. You can’t make a stupid generalization based on ONE female sportscaster I don’t like.

            You’re telling me I’m not an American when I’ve lived hear all of my life. Just because I don’t agree with your completely garbage statements means I’m not an American.

            You make statements with no proof and draw conclusions by blowing other people’s quotes out of proportion to fit your twisted and bigoted agenda.

            BTW to appease you I’m changing my avatar. Should work in a few minutes (WordPress says so). It’s TFC related.

          3. Houston Dynamo, if you must know. (I live in Austin, btw.)

            If I could add an avatar, I would, but there’s no User CP option. I don’t know how the hell you’re doing it.

            “I don’t hate women’s sportscasters.”

            You haven’t said a positive thing about any female sportscaster yet, so yes you are.

            “You can’t make a stupid generalization based on ONE female sportscaster I don’t like.”

            Right, because all people who disagree with the eurosnobs are merely making stupid generalizations. What was that you said about bigotry?

            “twisted and bigoted agenda.”
            Yeah, you hate Americans and you hate female sportscasters. Pot calling the Kettle black.

  8. No Tommy Smythe!!! The guy is a mistake of nature, really!!!
    A. Healy and D. Rae are world class, but I wouldn’t mind if ESPN sticks w/ the international feed for both Saturday and Monday games.
    Funny: 24 hrs. after the news broke, ESPN is yet to make an official announcement…Are they still negotiating?

  9. I prefer announcers who are actually at the stadium, as opposed to watching the same thing I am, like we had in South Africa.

    1. You do realize that some of the IMG/TWI broadcasts are called off tube? If I had to guess, I would say half the games screened by the international rights partner, the games are called of the tv monitor.

  10. Tommy Smyth is probably the worst announcer of any sport I’ve ever watched. The guy is seriously awful. Unlike most people here, I like Harkes/Dellacamera, but I don’t think they would be good for EPL matches.

  11. I just hope the don’t ruin it with the stupid scroll at the bottom, and yes the american announcers suck. Just use the live commentary, they know what they are talking about.

  12. Regarding Foudy: It’s one thing to say she stinks as an analyst, which, I think she kind of does, and I’m a chick. She mostly just states the obvious and rehashes things. For someone with her level of experience, I’d expect better.
    It’s another thing to say Foudy stinks because she’s ugly as a hag and doesn’t provide any hot babe sex appeal to the broadcast. That? is sexist and a cheap shot.
    Why do I bring this up? I remember back when she was doing some of the studio work for the Euros, and there were a bunch of male callers on a certain footy/soccer call-in show bashing her looks nonstop. Well, I got news for ya, the ESPN male commentators aren’t exactly smokin’ hot, and I’m not bitching about the lack of tight t-shirts and biceps. That’s not why these people were hired! Foudy wasn’t hired to be a babe, she was hired to do commentary and analysis just like the rest of the lot. And, no, she ain’t that great at it. If you ask me, the whole ESPN footy commentary crew is mediocre, with the notable exception of Derek Rae. Just use the live commentary from the EPL feeds.

  13. has this even been confirmed? i checked my guide for this weekend and there isnt anything on espn in the discussed time slots. no confirmation from espn is this GUESS journalism or is there any other merit outside of this website for it?

    1. Since neither Setanta nor FSC show the Chelsea v. Hull City game on their schedule, I’d say that there is something to this.

      1. Be patient guys. All of the contracts have to be signed first, a press release has to be written, compliance has to approve the press release, etc. Things don’t move that quickly at big corporations as they do in the blog world.

        Matt, it’s not guess journalism. I got the word from an inside person.

        The Gaffer

        1. that’s all well and good but surely you’d understand taking the news with a grain of salt. all of this has basically come directly from your blog. you’re the source. there are no timeslots on espn. chelsea and hull not being on the other channels doesn’t have any merit, they weren’t going to have that game anyway if i’m understanding correctly.

          wouldn’t espn want to hype it a little? it’s less than a week to go now.

          1. Matt, ESPN has to make sure all of the contracts are signed, sealed and delivered before publicly announcing the games. The inside word I received gives the majority of soccer fans in the States the heads-up they’ll need way before the official announcement from ESPN.

            The Gaffer

          2. It has all the merit in the world… FSC and Setanta cover every Premier League came between them each weekend. ONE game missing is a pretty big clue that something is up… especially since it was apparently on the Setanta schedule at first and now appears to have magically vanished.

  14. “ONE game missing…….”

    There are ten games each weekend. Eight are listed in the Gaffer’s timetable, plus the “hypothetical” Chelsea/Hull game on ESPN 2. I don’t see the tenth game mentioned: Bolton/Sunderland.

    Also, Live Soccer TV (http://www.livesoccertv.com/schedules/) still shows Chelsea/Hull as being shown on Setanta Canada, but, as we know, it’s been taken off the Setanta US timetable.

    I don’t know if ESPN 2 shows the same programs in Canada as in the US. If so, then this would appear to be another nail in the Gaffer’s “inside information” coffin.

  15. I will trust The Gaffer on this one…no need to bash him around lads…I doubt very much that he would put his reputation on the line for a whisper in the Bristol Parking lot…he has his sources I am sure of it.
    I work with quite a few fortune 500 companies and I can back up the gaffers comments on the company lawyers wanting to pore over “agreements” before anyone can “officially talk” about the “agreements”
    From what I have read about ESPN360 charging 0.05c per subscriber from the major cable suppliers and netting something close to $9 million and these 2 game a week EPL rights costing them $4.5 million from Setanta…I’d say that this is a nice piece of business from ESPN and that they are dotting and crossing as we sit here fretting
    I am ready for Saturday at 7:45am

  16. I’m an American and My dream would be watching Chelsea Hull and getting to hear “YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYES”… ” and he pounds it into the old onion bag” ..”well he ran through the defense like a T REX with Hemroids” Hopefully some how We get Max Bretos, Tommy Smith and Ray Hudson as the ultimate Dream team of announcers we myswell throw in John Madden since hes doing nothing now so that when there’s 5 minutes left in the game and Hull is down by 3 goals he can tell us ” Well if Hull score 3 goals in these final 5 minutes they’ll be able to get a draw out of this “..yeah so many GREAT commentators that WORK here in the USA…yeah! actually i do think Hudson makes Boring La Liga games worth watching sometimes bc he is way out there! hope we get the international feeds

  17. I hate the weird terms that the American commentators use during commentary. Also, I think that they could do with getting a bit more “excited” when a goal is scored.

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