The much-hyped match between Chelsea and Manchester United is over, and it was definitely one of the best matches of the season. Six goals, plenty of talking points and an amazing comeback, this is a game that we won’t forget for quite some time.
For TV viewers in the United States, here are the highs and lows of FOX’s live coverage of the game on the free-to-air network.
- FOX’s decision to continue giving us the Sky Sports audio commentary feed for matches. FOX deserves a thumbs up for giving us the treat of hearing Martin Tyler and Alan Smith instead of the international feed. The commentary is always the best available.
- FOX for showing the game live on free-to-air network TV. Not every station showed it (more about that later), but hats off to FOX for showing it on national TV to an audience of 1-2 million.
- Eric Wynalda. The opinionated pundit was straightforward, intelligent and listenable. He’s the best thing that FOX has going for it right now.
- Dear Super Bowl, Top That. Rob Stone’s line immediately after the game ended seemed sincere, unrehearsed and in your face. I loved it.
- Production quality. The on-screen graphics, camera angles and overall production value were well done and very professional.
- Piers Morgan. I’m not a Piers Morgan hater, but he seems to like being antagonistic — whether it’s trying to bait people on Twitter, or saying stupid things like David De Gea is the worst goalkeeper in the Premier League (like he said on before the match kicked off on FOX today). When he makes silly comments, it hurts not only his credibility but also that of FOX.
- Rob Stone. He’s only been on the job for a few weeks at FOX, but he’s already made a few flubs. The most noticeable one today was where, in the opening minute, he thought Gary Cahill was Tim Cahill. I would excuse him for that, but he’s made other flubs in previous weeks such as not knowing how to pronounce Norwich, and thinking that Robert Huth played for Sunderland instead of Stoke. At least Christian Miles wouldn’t have made those mistakes.
- The 16 FOX stations that decided to show the game on tape delay instead of live.
- Switching to the Tyler-Smith commentary one second before kick-off. You would think that FOX would have learned by now that we soccer fans like hearing the crowd noise and commentators a few minutes before kickoff. But FOX, as they always seem to do, ended up switching to the audio feed of Tyler-Smith one second before the ball was kicked. FOX, learn from ESPN.
- Post-match highlights. Unless I missed it, the post-match coverage was rushed and too short. ESPN gives us post-match interviews and highlights from the game. FOX gave us Wynalda and Morgan talking.