World Cup 2010: ABC unleashes Another Big Co*k-up

ABC’s Day 2 World Cup coverage, I believe, was appalling. Sure, Marcelo Balboa misspoke and said “Michael Beckham” during the England match, but that was an unfortunate slip.

But what I was more pissed off at was lead commentator Dave O’Brien. First off, his manner of speaking is very slowww and monotonous (great for baseball). It felt like he slowed down the game even when the action on the field was like pinball.

Second, O’Brien was clueless. He referred to Beckham’s cross, which led to the own goal as, quote, “a rocket” and later “a screaming shot.” Sorry ABC, but it was a mild cross, not a bullet.

Third, the man babbles on about stuff which has no relevance to the game (i.e. weaving in references to basketball about Paulo Wanchope). Concentrate on the match. We don’t want to hear nonsense.

Fourth, and finally, don’t talk down to us. Towards the end of the match when Balboa said that Crouch had to be careful when he got his first yellow card, and Balboa went on to say that if he received a second yellow card that Crouch would have been sent off. Duhhhh! Then O’Brien had the cheek to add that if Crouch would have been sent off, England would be down to ten men.

Obviously ABC has decided that the target audience for matches is the uneducated American soccer fan (I mean that in the nicest way, ie someone who hasn’t watched the match before). That’s bloody ridiculous. ABC were taking their name (i.e. A..B..C..) way too seriously!

I watched the Sweden match on ‘mute.’

And I watched the Argentina match on Univision, which was a MUCH better package. The build-up was there (ie national anthems, and the hype before the match), which is severely lacking from the ABC coverage (for the England match, the coverage started literally a second before the kickoff began).

Plus, with Univision, even though I don’t understand Spanish very well, the commentators were far more passionate and exciting to listen to.

I may have given up on ABC/ESPN. What do you think? Am I wrong? What are your opinions regarding the commentating thus far?

25+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
  • Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
  • Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
  • Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
  • Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo.
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
  • $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
  • Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
  • Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family


  1. JC June 11, 2006
  2. Educated Soccer Fan in US June 11, 2006
  3. Yannick June 11, 2006
  4. Anonymous June 11, 2006
  5. Anonymous June 11, 2006
  6. Mr. P.C. June 12, 2006
  7. Anonymous June 14, 2006
  8. Anonymous June 20, 2006
  9. Coach Joel June 20, 2006
  10. Anonymous June 24, 2006

Leave a Reply

Translate »