Connect with us


Dempsey and Dolan On Song for Setanta Sports

This past Saturday was a perfect example of the gulf between the pundits on Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports.

During the pre-match, half-time and post-match of the Derby County against West Ham United game, pundits Paul Dempsey and Pat Dolan (pictured) from Setanta Sports asked pointed questions about the juvenile defending of Billy Davies’s side. 
Dempsey asked what Derby had been doing in training this past Monday through Friday because they obviously looked like a team that are getting worse, not better.
The pointed analysis was refreshing to hear.
Compare this to Fox Soccer Match Day where pundits Nick Webster and Keith Costigan often read from teleprompters and provide a very hyped analysis of teams with very broad strokes. To me, the show feels very American while Setanta’s Dempsey and Dolan (live from their studios in Dublin) concentrate on being more direct and simple. 
In this particular instance, simple is much better.
200+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
  • Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
  • Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
  • Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
  • Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
  • Price: $4.99/mo
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
  • 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


  1. Simon Burke

    November 13, 2007 at 11:54 am

    I disagree Corey as in England we also get blanket coverage before and at half time, we are berating the quality of it here as its so studioised and bland. The pre Premiership show at 9.30 ET on a Saturday has analysis but its boring, its so bland – I dont think FSC with a higher budget would be any less boring but would just haev more horrible graphics like FOx’s ridiculously over the top NFL Coverage where player lineups look like they are in spaceships…

  2. Corey

    November 13, 2007 at 2:41 am

    The whole “this is American” explanation is wrong in that it is an incomplete answer to this issue…the problem isn’t that the FSC approach is American but that the approach is the normal American approach to soccer.

    If you watch any other sport in America, you would be inundated with analysis of the game before, at halftime, and at the end. Anybody (I’m looking at you tyduffy) who says that American sports coverage doesn’t have substance hasn’t watched a good American Football preview show (like Monday Night Countdown)…sure, there is a lot of hype in those shows but they also have a lot of analysis.

    Stop calling this an American issue…the issue is that FSC & GolTV have low budgets and thus they use their on-air personalities as low-rent teleprompter analysis also. If either channel spent the money then I am sure you could get a good American color analyst that wouldn’t sound like a muppet.

  3. Anonymous

    November 12, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    Interesting comments. Dolan is great-no doubt. So is the bald-headed dude who is the guy who asks the questions. And I understand that you have to dumb down things for Americans in order to appeal to them and make them understand the game.
    I don’t know what Sky Sports has to offer(I know Andy Grey is amazing), but Setanta’s analysis is pure quality-Friday Football Show is well worth the time with the interviews and the guests they bring.

  4. Simon Burke

    November 12, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    I agree with everything here except for anyone praising Tim Sherwood who ranks up there with the all time worst pundits. He is so bitter and deluded that he gets a point and just runs with it. THe home based programs are always better than the FSC based stuff which is passable and at least doesnt have GOL TV’s English nightmare: Ray Hudson.
    I love proper half time chat in games, something we lack here 🙁

  5. MJ

    November 12, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    Exactly, FSC doesn’t want to bring in a bunch of guys who will talk about the X’s and O’s and the nitty-gritty stuff; those kind of things aren’t the way to appeal to a casual audience. You have to simplify things and dumb them down to reach the masses. If that’s what it takes to spread soccer to fans who don’t really know too much about the game, I’m fine with that.

  6. Anonymous

    November 12, 2007 at 10:20 am

    The Setanta shows are made for the UK & Ireland audience, here in the States they just rebroadcast. Whereas the FSC show is produced here for the US audience.

  7. Anonymous

    November 12, 2007 at 8:40 am

    Dolan sure knows his football. I am very impressed by him and the level of Setanta analysis-on Friday Football Show and Macca’s Monday Night. Les Ferdinand, Macca, Tim Sherwood, etc. also know their stuff.
    FSC thought that by just bringing in bunch of guys with British accents, that will make them legitimate pundits. The quality of Sunday Plus(not sure of the name) is dismal: Costigan and the other two blokes are bona fide retards. You might as well bring anybody who follows the Premier League and they will do the same, if not a better job with this. FSC is still light years away from quality but at least they are trying…

  8. tyduffy

    November 11, 2007 at 11:10 pm

    I’ve noticed that that phenomenon extends to all American programming, not just soccer.

    I normally watch Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares on BBC America. But, the show has been re-edited for Fox Reality Channel on American TV. All of a sudden it has crazy intros and a whole lot of flash without substance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in General

Translate »