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Inter Milan v Bayern Munich, Champions League Final: Open Thread

 Inter Milan v Bayern Munich, Champions League Final: Open Thread

Ladies and gentlemen, this is it. Although there are no English clubs in the Champions League Final, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan are ready to fight for victory in one of the biggest club competition finals in the sport of soccer.

While many eyes will be fixed to what happens on the field, I’ll be particularly interested in seeing how the Fox Network pulls off the first live telecast of a Champions League Final on US network television. From 1 to 2:30pm ET, Fox Soccer Channel will feature Bobby McMahon, Warren Barton, Eric Wynalda and Jeremy St. Louis live from Madrid for the pre-game show. And then the telecast moves to the Fox Network at 2:30pm ET for the game itself which will be presented by Curt Menefee alongside Bruce Arena.

Before, during and after the game, feel free to add your comments into the section below. Let’s hope it’s a spectacular final!

2:17pm ET: Bobby McMahon and Warren Barton sign off from their pregame duties to make room for Curt Menefee and Bruce Arena. Fair play to McMahon and Barton who have done a brilliant job all season and have yet again done a superb job today. No pressure Arena and Menefee. But the nation is watching!

2:33pm ET: Lovely. Menefee, Arena and Wynalda spend the first 1-2 minutes basically convincing those American viewers at home why they shouldn’t change the channel. Let the soccer do the talking rather than your words, gentlemen. Don’t sound so desperate.

2:44pm ET: First FAIL from Fox. The presenter and analysts were discussing the formations, but Fox failed to put them up on screen until a couple of minutes later. A little slow on the trigger button from Fox.

2:45pm ET: Not a smooth transition from the presenter/analysts to Martin Tyler and Andy Gray. Thankfully, Tyler and Gray will be in charge here for the next 45 minutes.

2:46pm ET: So much for the Champions League Final being shown in HD as it has been promised. It’s supposed to be in HD, but either the HD picture is poor for me (and others) or it’s in SD. It’s definitely not high quality HD.

3:19pm ET: Route one football, and Inter Milan’s Diego Milito scores to make it 1-0 to the Italians. Will that be the only goal of the game?

4:13pm ET: Diego Milito makes it 2-0. Jose Mourinho just increased his salary offer from Real Madrid.

4:35pm ET: Full-time. Inter 2-0 Bayern Munich. Congratulations to Inter Milan on a convincing win. But where was Bayern Munich today? At times, it was a lame performance by the German team who couldn’t seem to break down the Italian team. No surprises here. Congratulations to Jose Mourinho.

4;44pm ET: Nerves or a flub? Menefee pronounces Mourinho as “Ma-ran-yo”

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 →

60 Responses to Inter Milan v Bayern Munich, Champions League Final: Open Thread

  1. Lance says:

    I’m just glad that it is on a major network! Not too thrilled by the choices of commentators, but there’s always the “mute” button!

  2. Ma Oh Zeruge says:

    I remember in the past,one time a US commentator said “whoa look at the skills!” of an unknown average Celtic player during their tour there. I imagine its different now as people get exposed to the truly awesome skills of Zidane,Messi,Ronaldo and the way teams like Barca and Arsenal play now. Now thats the real skills.

  3. JW says:

    Along the lines of TV coverage, I think ratings-wise it’ll be interesting today to see how this final matches up on network TV with the Stanley Cup game–they’ll be going pretty much simultaneously. For everyone who says soccer is grabbing a foothold in the U.S., I think it would be big for it to out-rate hockey, which is admittedly not as popular as it once was but still kind of a “big 4″ American sport.

    Either way, I’m pumped for the match!

  4. Joe says:

    Typical Yanks put on some bs advertisement half an hour before the champions league final…why not Seinfeld,Family guy,King of Queens etc?

    Obviously worried about accidental soccer fans.
    Joe(English) in Las Vegas.

  5. CTBlues says:

    I thought we were going to be listening to Martin Tyler and Andy Grey for the game and Curt Menefee and Bruce Arena were doing the pregame show.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Correct. Tyler and Gray will be doing the commentating, but Barton/McMahon/Wynalda did the pre-pre-game show, and now Menefee/Arena will be doing the pre-game show.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  6. mary says:

    inter will win……………………….

  7. man99utd says:

    We’re not in HD on the FOX HD channel…is this match not being shot in HD in Madrid?????

    • The Gaffer says:

      The game has been promoted as being in HD. It’s on a commercial break right now, but it looks like it’s HD for me. If it’s not being shown in HD, you may want to call your local Fox affiliate to see what’s up.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • man99utd says:

        I have the black bars on the side and it is certainly not HD, and I’ve dealt with my affiliates enough to know they couldn’t care less.

        Cheers

      • man99utd says:

        Not even close, this is a big let down….please ESPN take this back, FOX have made a complete hash of this if it is left up to local affiliates tomake a decision like this…..

        • Terry says:

          HD in Silver Spring MD (DC suburb). Can’t blame FOX here. It’s gotta be your local affiliate.

          • man99utd says:

            Which is FOX so I can blame them for not sorting this out. Do you really think this would be an issue with ESPN? NO

        • sucka99 says:

          Wouldn’t ESPN have the same problem with ABC affiliates? Local HD transmission on Cable networks is an ongoing problem and not just limited to FOX. If you want real, uncompressed HD, put up an antenna.

  8. Joe says:

    Correct Inter will win…1-0….Theyre not gettin’ past Lucio today.
    Jose will also have a plan to cope with Robben…He’s a master tactician.

  9. Kautzie says:

    Giant slap in the face to Mcmahon and Barton by pulling them off and putting on idiots like Arena and Menefee.

  10. Joe says:

    Holy shit an English referee…Nice one Blacpool!!

  11. rej4sl says:

    It’s in HD here in Minneapolis – no black bars at all … ss you are not getting it as it should be shown

  12. man99utd says:

    FOX local blames it on Comcast and Comcast blames the network… I cannot believe this…oh wait it’s FOX, I can….big let down lads.

    • The Gaffer says:

      man99utd, same here. Watching the game on Fox HD on Comcast, and the picture definitely isn’t a high quality HD image. No black bars, but disappointing picture quality.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  13. Wow this game is shit. What the hell are these two teams doing in the final. Boring as hell, no wonder no one goes to watch games in italy, it’s like watching paint dry

  14. man99utd says:

    Gaffer,

    Just went HD of a sudden. Finally sorted out. FOX is still rubbish, come on ESPN please buy back….Funny how this never happens for American football or redneck racing (NASCAR)

  15. matt says:

    The half-time advert from Nike was incredible… ready to skip ahead 20 days and get the World Cup started already!

  16. Al says:

    The game was in glorious HD on the FOX affiliate in Green Bay. Sounds like the HD issue could be with certain providers, not the network.

  17. SSReportersq says:

    Menefee was decent but Wynalda is terrible and Arena sounds like a complete retard. He’s just brutal on TV.

  18. jk says:

    I had HD. I have a 720 tv, but it was as good as any hd game (any sport) that I get. Thought Meafee was fine. He doesn’t know much soccer so I don’t blame him for mispronunciations. But it does show that FOX took this serious and brought in their lead NFL guy. He plays the mediator role anyhow. His job is to keep the analyst talking so it really doesn’t matter his soccer background. Arena sounds incoherent at times for a guy who has always been around the game. I wouldn’t complain too much. FOX bumped there Saturday afternoon Yankee game to accommodate for a Soccer game with no American interests playing. That is pretty monumental. I watch a lot of sports and FOX is treating this like any other final they carry. It’s acutally quite impressive. I am most impressed that they flew their team to Madrid. I have never seen that. That beats ESPN broadcasting games from Bristol “uber-lame”.

  19. jdk says:

    I had HD. I have a 720 tv, but it was as good as any hd game (any sport) that I get. Thought Meafee was fine. He doesn’t know much soccer so I don’t blame him for mispronunciations. But it does show that FOX took this serious and brought in their lead NFL guy. He plays the mediator role anyhow. His job is to keep the analyst talking so it really doesn’t matter his soccer background. Arena sounds incoherent at times for a guy who has always been around the game. I wouldn’t complain too much. FOX bumped there Saturday afternoon Yankee game to accommodate for a Soccer game with no American interests playing. That is pretty monumental. I watch a lot of sports and FOX is treating this like any other final they carry. It’s acutally quite impressive. I am most impressed that they flew their team to Madrid. I have never seen that. That beats ESPN broadcasting games from Bristol “uber-lame”.

    That being said this game did not help soccer in America if non-fans watched it. Inter was very negative and played exactly how the USMNT plays against better teams. Bayern looked uninterested and completely lacked any killer instinct.

  20. jdk says:

    I had HD. I have a 720 tv, but it was as good as any hd game (any sport) that I get. Thought Mecafee was fine. He doesn’t know much soccer so I don’t blame him for mispronunciations. But it does show that FOX took this serious and brought in their lead NFL guy. He plays the mediator role anyhow. His job is to keep the analyst talking so it really doesn’t matter his soccer background. Arena sounds incoherent at times for a guy who has always been around the game. I wouldn’t complain too much. FOX bumped there Saturday afternoon Yankee game to accommodate for a Soccer game with no American interests playing. That is pretty monumental. I watch a lot of sports and FOX is treating this like any other final they carry. It’s acutally quite impressive. I am most impressed that they flew their team to Madrid. I have never seen that. That beats ESPN broadcasting games from Bristol “uber-lame”.

    That being said this game did not help soccer in America if non-fans watched it. Inter was very negative and played exactly how the USMNT plays against better teams. Bayern looked uninterested and completely lacked any killer instinct.

  21. Duex says:

    It was in HD in Los Angeles. I think Fox did a good job. All the people bitching about Menefee are just nitpicking. I do agree Bruce Arena was complete rubbish and frankly had no reason to be there. If Fox is going to show the final again next year they should ditch Arena and bring in McMahon and keep Menefee and Wynalda if they feel they must balance out the Brit accents for the general American audience.

  22. RedMD says:

    After all this effort, we couldnt get one or two of the skysports post match interviews? Some words from Jose? Fox still doesnt seem to quite get it…I will say though menefee did his role alright. Wynalda and Arena were far from the best two americans even that they could have found as analysts…pretty poor from those two.

  23. UpTheBlues says:

    Menefee was fine, even with a couple of mis-pronunciantions…but Wynalda and especially Arena were awful. I couldn’t even understand what Arena was saying half the time! Plus the constant Heineken ads were incredibly annoying.

    • Bob says:

      Seriously? complaining about the Heineken ads? Maybe you should watch more Champions league games, and do some research on champions league advertising….

  24. F1Mikal says:

    The match audio was HORRENDOUS!
    The mix was not enough stadia atmosphere; I love Martin’s commentary but we got crap atmosphere on Fox. My wife watched at home and she txtd me that the audio was perfect on FSCEspanol.

    WHY CAN’T WE HAVE A PERFECT TELECAST?
    grrrr

  25. JC says:

    I thought Fox did a good job of getting out of the way of the broadcast. Sure, they could have spent longer than 10 seconds on each team’s starting eleven, and Arena makes Corky from Life Goes On seem smart (seriously, does Arena have a head injury?), but it was better than some of the atrocious performances by ESPN/ABC (Dave O’Brien, I’m looking at you).

    The match itself was brutal, though. Neither team is exciting to watch on a good day and put them together, blech! Plus, Howard Webb seemed to be calling too many ticky-tack fouls in the first half (second half was better, to his credit).

  26. Orlando says:

    Fox Sports Espanol had a great pre-game from 11:30am now that is class, too bad channel is not HD yet.

  27. Bob says:

    had it in glorious HD in LA

  28. tlas says:

    HD over here in NYC. Then again, it is a FOX O&O plus it beam through the HD-ready box from TWC.

  29. Trent13 says:

    It was in HD the entire game here from the Birmingham, AL affiliate. The Game was still hard to watch though. I can’t wait til Premier League Fixtures are drawn in June!

  30. It's pronounced yoo-EFF-a says:

    Menefee was horrible. He twice said that the winner of the match is best in the world. That can’t be true until Inter finishes the job at the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi. For now they’re champions of Europe and Europe only.

    The way they pronounce UEFA is shite. It’s UEFA, not UAYFA. What the hell.

    • jk says:

      Really that bothers you. Who cares enjoy the game. UEFA is not even a word. It’s an acronym. Some people really need to relax and enjoy the game. This is the definition of nitpicking.

      • It's pronounced yoo-EFF-a says:

        I know it’s an acronym, but still. Would a guy named Jeff want to be called Jayf? Would a girl named Stephanie want to be called Stayphanie? I could go on.

        Btw, the rayferee called a good match.

  31. The Gaffer says:

    Regarding Curt Menefee, this was honestly the first time I’ve ever seen him on television (I don’t watch the NFL), so I was able to watch him with “new” eyes.

    Without a doubt, the guy is a smooth talker and has a great personality. BUT, I don’t believe he was the “soccer aficionado” as Fox’s press release claimed he was. Sure, he knew quite a bit about soccer but there were several instances where he made mistakes and technically he wasn’t on air *that* long.

    Many of the mistakes are listed above such as calling the winner of the Champions League the best team in the world (not true), mispronouncing The Special One’s last name, etc.

    As for Arena, the less said the better.

    But was it really *that* important to have Menefee and Arena on? Did they really add that much? I still think it should have been Wynalda, McMahon and Barton. They were brilliant all season and during the pre-game on FSC.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  32. Efrain says:

    I believe Fox broadcasts in 720p HD. Supposedly that is better for sporting events than 1080i HD. I definately disagree with that. ESPN’s 1080i HD looks a lot better than Fox’s. The difference in quality is most noticeable on close up shots. Wide angle is not as bad. For example, when they show a player moving around in a close up, or you see the Fox logo fly through the screen, you see that distortion. Annoying as hell. The audio was poor as the commentating on center channel was loud enough, but crowds on left/right/surrounds were too low.

    But, with all the gripes….. I am just happy that it was in fact in HD and not in SD. Still hope that one day Fox decides to change over to 1080i and drop their 720p standard.

  33. deddyudvian says:

    bravo intermilan…………..Diego Milito makes it 2-0. Jose Mourinho just increased his salary offer from Real Madrid.

  34. muse says:

    Inter Milan win with no pride because the play defensive and at one time there is 10 man at their D area when bayern attack….so bored game….same when they play barca too…..

  35. Jordan Acker says:

    Gaffer, any news on the overnight ratings for this game? Really curious how that shaped up.

  36. jk says:

    Why is this here??? Not football related.

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