During an exclusive interview following a press conference to announce beIN SPORTS’ coverage plans for La Liga, Serie A and Ligue Un, beIN SPORTS lead co-commentator Ray Hudson revealed to World Soccer Talk that the plan is for him to be sent on-location to co-commentate el Clasico games this season from Spain, as well as select Serie A games in Italy for beIN SPORTS.
As the exclusive rights holder to Serie A and La Liga, beIN SPORTS is planning on following up on the success it had when the network sent Ray Hudson and Phil Schoen to cover el Clasico earlier this year. The trip to Camp Nou was the first time beIN SPORTS USA had sent its English-language to call a La Liga game from Spain.
SEE MORE: View the Serie A TV schedule for viewers in the US.
“We’ve been talking about it. Not just Spain for el Clasicos, but hopefully Italy,” said Hudson. “It would be wonderful to see Juve against Internationale or the Milan derby, Roma, any of the the big games from the big teams; it would be magnificent. The plan is that we will do games on location. Not just the game, but like we did in Barcelona, you get to sense the whole vibe and the club’s connection to the people.
“It was a wonderful adventure (at el Clasico in Spain earlier this year) and a great success. It certainly felt as if we were bringing something a little extra to the 90 minute game. At that level, it was pretty engaging and enthralling for me to attempt to bring that through the camera on-site in the different locations, and to bring some flavor to the TV audience.”
On the topic of La Liga, Hudson discussed what makes the league so special to him and millions of other soccer fans around the United States.
“It depends on what you want. If you want a time that presses for a title in Europe, then I think Sevilla has a great set of players and wonderful coaches, and will enthrall you about their push into the top three.
“Having said that, I don’t think that’s what La Liga is all about. It’s the players, for me. The types of players that are in lesser-liked teams such as Rayo Vallecano and Celta Vigo. There are players that make up those teams that are wonderful players. They have that latin flair and ability, which for me has always been the favorite part of the game. That’s my type of football. I really enjoy that type of approach.
“When you see Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico, the physical attributes have been wonderful. It’s been so predominant in European football and the national team has been that way. Fifty percent of the winners in the Champions League during the last 10 years have been from Spain, and that’s not accidental. It’s got more to do with pure skill and ability, and a level of understanding between those latin players of how to achieve the result and a far better understanding between the Spanish players. I think you’ll find that when [the Spanish players] go over individually to clubs in England, it’s self-evident. A lot of the time they don’t hit the highest point. I blame the other players, not the individuals, because they don’t play on that same level of understanding as the latin players do.
“Whether it’s a national team level or club football from South America and the Libertadores tournament, there seems to be that umbilical cord that connects South America to Spain. And it’s an umbilical cord that I never want to see cut.”
SEE MORE: Where to find soccer on US TV and Internet.
Hudson also discussed another aspect that makes the La Liga viewing experience unique.
“It’s so much of a local type of league. You don’t see many traveling fans. I’ve always found that an odd quirk. You have these tremendous atmospheric places without the away fans. The local connection is a wonderful thing. You see the lads, the wives, their children and their girlfriends, and the football backs it up in an amazing way.”
Last but not least, Hudson shared his expectations regarding how David Moyes can do in his second season in charge at Real Sociedad.
“I think that if he can get in the top ten, that would be an achievement in itself,” said Hudson. “He should be able to do it with the squad he’s got. Everybody is looking forward to the next stage of Moyes’ development with this team. We’ll see if he can at least mold it into a Europa League team.”
beIN SPORTS has exclusive rights to La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and several other leagues from around the world.