I admit it. I was wrong. When Fox Soccer Channel announced in the Spring that they had acquired the US TV rights to the UEFA Champions League for the next three seasons, I recommended to the EPL Talk readers that Fox should hire the world feed that featured the UEFA commentary team instead of putting Fox’s crew behind the mic.
After watching most of the Champions League matches shown by Fox Soccer Channel this season, I’ve come to the belief that the majority of commentators used by UEFA are absolutely dreadful. Tim White is one of the worst football commentators I’ve ever heard. Martyn Hindley is not as bad, but he’s close. The others are passable, but there definitely aren’t any excellent ones except for maybe Richard Kaufman.
My recommendation to Fox is that beginning with Matchday 5 of the Champions League on November 24 that Fox uses its own crew to commentate the games. While they’re not in the same class as Martin Tyler or a Jon Champion, they are light years more accomplished and better than hacks such as Tim White, Martyn Hindley and the other commentators hired by White. To be honest, I had no idea how poor they were until I heard them with my own ears.
That means that Fox should choose between the following commentators to share the workload:
- Max Bretos,
- Christian Miles,
- Keith Costigan,
And, if available, they should try to add a co-commentator to each game such as:
- Christopher Sullivan,
- Nick Webster,
- Brian Dunseth.
Now I know that some of you are not big Max Bretos fans. But you can’t fault his enthusiasm, and that’s what shines through when he commentates on games. Sure, it’s not to everyone’s taste, but he’s far more competent than Tim White. And, after all, he’s American – which means the experience of commentating a Champions League game is only going to make him improve and to expand his talent.
As far as the co-commentators go, I would highly recommend that Fox Soccer Channel considers including them in the games. Reason being is that the usage of a solo commentator is quite out-of-date and it’s often too much for the listener to take in, hearing one commentator babble on for 90 minutes. The two commentator system makes a massive difference.
Who’s with me? Post your comments — either in favor or opposition to the recommendation below.