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Give Us Our Yanks!


Jason Davis of Match Fit USA is leading a collective effort of those of us in the blogosphere who cover and support the USMNT to take action to help ensure maximum exposure for the US-Mexico qualifying match at Azteca on August 12th.

As our readers are by now well aware, NBC/Universal through an agreement with the FMF has secured the Spanish and English language rights for this match. The usual USA broadcast team of ESPN (English) and Univision/Telefutura/Galavision (Spanish) will not be broadcasting this match. As if now the game broadcast is set for MUN2 (English) and Telemundo (Spanish). We are seeking to have NBC/Universal air the English broadcast on a platform in more homes than MUN2.

Here is the online petition. Please sign it.

Some other thoughts:

USA Network has some experience showing Soccer albeit much of it in the distant rear view mirror. The network showed NASL and MISL games consistently throughout the 1980s. NBC showed the 1986 World Cup but aside from Olympic Football, has not shown the sport since. Still with plenty of experience airing sporting events at 4pm ET on weekdays, USA would be a logical fit for this match.

Telemundo’s pro Mexican commentary team is problem for US oriented viewers. Unlike Telefutura/Univision/Galavision that has well prepared commentators and knowledgeable football producers, Telemundo simply produces a pro-Mexican telecast. Andreas Cantor during the Honduras-Mexico game in March did not even know all the Honduran player names and in their petulant whining about a call that went against Mexico they missed a Honduran goal.

Their is also the classic screaming of PENAL PENAL by Cantor anytime a Mexican player dives in the box but the dismissive NO FALTA when a Honduran or Salvadoran player is taken down in the box. The broadcast is geared to a Mexican-American audience with little consideration for the immigrants that live in the US from Central America or the Caribbean who may be watching the game. Thus it is clearly a non-starter for American oriented viewers.

MUN2 is not available in most homes, but I am suspecting that NBC/Universal is testing whether there is a bigger market for Latin football in English (especially FMF) by placing this critical qualifying match on this channel. A soft landing would be for NBC/Universal sports to show the match on their digital channel (for example, here in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale market it is channel 6.3) .

NBC/Universal now has the ball in their court. Perhaps the US success in the Confederations Cup has them sold on this sports long term prospects or maybe they are simply protecting their Telemundo broadcast by denying ESPN the English language right as well. Either way, football fans need to be vocal in the next few weeks to ensure this match is seen by as many people as possible.

We’ve had prior experience with this: a 2007 friendly at Azteca was cancelled because of a similar dispute. The 1997 qualifier from Azteca was only shown on Spanish Language televsion even though every other US qualifier that year was shown on either ESPN, ESPN 2 or ABC. But with the national team now enjoying remarkable recognition in the mainstream sporting press thanks to the remarkable Confederations Cup run, we must ensure maximum exposure for what is the biggest US game in any World Cup qualifying cycle.

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  1. zhe fulano

    January 18, 2010 at 10:04 am

    You guys missed the point.

    Who cares what language the commentary is in? It is superfluous. It does not matter. It is the play on the pitch that I want to see.

    Hit the mute button and WATCH THE GAME!

  2. CoconutMonkey

    January 18, 2010 at 2:14 am

    And I will still be wading through piles of crummy links on this summer.

    Horray internet!

  3. Chris

    July 17, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    So this game will be on telemundo…?…if so thats okay i just dont want to hear the mexican language hahahah but oo well…id rather it be on ESPN or ESPN2 so i can see it in HD but oo well

  4. soccer goals

    July 17, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Telemundo has several knowledgable announcers if they use the Argentine one who calls the MLS games on Sundays.

  5. Chris

    July 16, 2009 at 10:40 am

    @ Foot Fan, Hey man, we live in the USA we dont have to speak another langauge if we dont want. I for one think Spanish SUCKS!!! and it drives me nuts to listen to it ,all it sounds like is somebody jibbering like a baby..If i want to learn any language it will be Brasilian Portuguese or Italian. Get off your high horse. As Americans wanting to see thier National team play its only right for them to show the team on English TV and in English.

  6. Jammer

    July 16, 2009 at 10:30 am

    You are a joke. I do speak Spanish. But many people are busy earning a living, others have learned one of the other thousand human languages. Can you write software, fly a jet, perform surgery, lead a platoon, and speak Chinese? Why is Spanish the one and only requirement for being a man? You are the one with a pathetically narrow worldview.

  7. Adam Edg

    July 16, 2009 at 8:16 am

    Footyfan, see my previous post. This country has more languages than English and Spanish. Some of us speak multiple languages. Regardless, this IS an English speaking nation. We have helped make English the de facto for the world. By regulation, FIFA refs all have to speak English to work the World Cup.
    You are the narrow minded one, my friend.

  8. Footyfan

    July 16, 2009 at 3:38 am

    You people are a bunch of whiny crybabies. Only idiots are monolingual. Work the brain God gave you and learn Spanish.

    And Telemundo is NOT biased, they are top notch professional broadcasters. You people not welcoming this opportunity to watch football in a different language absolutely sickens me. A true man looks to broaden his horizons. You all are not true men

  9. Jammer

    July 15, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Kartik, objectors are more likely to respond than supporters. I often read comments and wonder how the writers deal with so many contrarians. Don’t let it get to you.

    I have watched cable or satellite in several different parts of the country, by no means a comprehensive survey, but I have never heard of mun2. Telefutura is available everywhere but in some places you have to buy the Spanish package, and very many people don’t enjoy watching in an unintelligible language, especially with soccer where they may need a lot of commentary to understand the game. Much less pay for a Spanish package for one game. And it’s hard enough asking a bar to put on soccer, much less a Spanish channel.

    I think the poor Telefutura commentary is a distraction from the main point about English language. Although you might look at the combination of the most biased Spanish broadcast and the nearly invisible English broadcast as NBC’s way of buying favor and avoiding anger among the Mexican Americans (many bilingual and even prefer English) for whom this is the biggest and most emotional sporting event of the year, at a relatively cheap cost of annoying a relatively few real USMNT fans and losing ad revenue from casual ESPN viewers who would watch it. It’s a little upsetting to have the biggest US network broadcast the game in a de facto anti-US team manner, which this is regardless of Telefutura’s level of bias, but pushing corporations to pursue principle or patriotism over profit is tilting at windmills. Yet I sign the petition.

  10. Chris

    July 15, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    And everything about this game to begin with the Mexican team and fedration are possibly doing anything they can to get an advantage. am i the only one that thinks this…why not play this game later in the night when its cooler when our team is comfortable…hell at least we put it in the night where it was cool…it might have been to cold…but so what…being cold beats the hell out of sweating like crazy from the sun beating down on you like god knows what

  11. Chris

    July 15, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    You know why dont somebody get on these news channels and or sports news channel and bitch about it….I know somebody would be watching and find this fustrating to…its a slap to the USA mens team….they have played so hard to get where they are now and they done what they did in the confedrations cup and they are getting put on the back burner again. i really hope something changes between now and August 12th….I was really looking foward to watching this game and also watching it in HD lol…

  12. eplnfl

    July 15, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Having NBC in the mix is good. It is the Olympic network and soccer is a major Olympic Sport now. Showing it in Enlgish on a channel few get is a negative. The best solution would be to show it on NBC/Unviversal digital sports channel which most everybody should get.

    I am a big fan of the NBC family of networks and their very forward looking media ideas. Maybe they could put the English language broadcast online as they do with their NFL broadcast. So, lets make it known to NBC we want a` bigger stage for the game and I for one think they will respond.

  13. Chris

    July 15, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Hopefully it’ll somehow get on NBC. It’s one of the three meaningful channels I sometimes get since the awesome DTV transition. If not it’ll be back to a crappy stream.

  14. Pat

    July 15, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    This is annoying, but the biggest frustration for me is how early the game is. I suppose it’s their call, but it sucks. Maybe we should do the next home qualifier in February in Columbus at 3 am. It would be especially cold, then.

  15. Adam Edg

    July 15, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    As some one that understands English and Spanish, I say not showing the USMNT vs Mexico on a regular, widely distributed channel like ESPN is stupid. In case this is your first day in the US, English is our de facto national language. Sure there is no law on the books, but there are a couple of centuries of history supporting that. Since the bulk of the population here does not speak Spanish – they speak English – and not everyone is Latino, why should the citizens of this country accept this stupidity from NBC-Universal? With the potential cash cow that is the USMNT, not showing it on a traditional network – NBC, USA, even Bravo – is a dumb move.
    For those that say we should learn Spanish or shut up, how racist are you? What other immigrant group has a single nationwide channel, let alone the multiple channels in Spanish? What about Arabic speakers? Asian or African languages? European languages? Where are their channels? Where are their broadcasts?
    English is the common language of the land. We deserve to watch OUR team in OUR language. I support the Spanish broadcast on Telemundo, but at least give the English version the same level of distribution.

  16. Chris

    July 15, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Well I have no clue why they wouldnt show this game on ESPN thats stupid…thank god i get telemundo….i do not know spanish so this is a good thing..since everybody says thier basis and everything. I do not see why we can watch the USA game when they travel to El Salvador, Costa Rica, T&T..So the problem is they wont be showing it because its in Mexico…? lol Well This pisses me off…if we sign this petition where you taking it…I hate not being able to watch our team play and espcially with it not being in HD.

  17. Soccer Guru

    July 15, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Kartik, it’s the Spanish language rights Telemundo took from Univision. That’;s why the 07 game wasn’t played but this being a qualifier the FMF held the rights. So you’re stuck with ESPN since you brag about always watching TF or Univision. I know you hate Cantor, this is nothing new your vitroil towards him personally and Telemundo in general.

  18. The Gaffer

    July 15, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    ESPN won’t be showing the game. It’s only available on MUN2 (which hardly anyone gets) and Telemundo.

    For one of the biggest games of the US calendar year, I think it’s a disgrace that the game isn’t available on an English-speaking network in the United States. MUN2 doesn’t count. I didn’t even know the network existed until yesterday.

    The Gaffer

  19. ERT09

    July 15, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    No big deal. Univision has a contract to show all US games so you can still get your precious Jorge Ramos or whomever else you like and avoid Cantor whom I agree sucks and is pro Mexican.

    English language will be on MUN2 with JP and Balboa.

  20. Kartik

    July 15, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    screw this, I get both channels, including mun2.

  21. Chris

    July 15, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Well i have no clue what this is about…but the game is being showed on ESPN 2 I checked again…if ESPN made a crap load of numbers on this match then i dont think they are going to not show the game.

  22. KT

    July 15, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    You know…it’s not going to kill you to watch a game where announcers speak a different language.

    I mean, you get that now with Harkes anyway, right?

    “We must ensure it?” Holy cow. Get completely over yourself.

  23. J

    July 15, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    LOL at the pro Mexican announcers.

    Cantor hasn’t been pro Mexico since Lavolpe left. I’m actually surprised he is still there to be honest. And yes they knew all the Honduran players more so than JP and Harkes.

    Plus they missed the first Honduran goal because the world feed was in a replay. And no they didn’t harp on blown calls, in fact they never even mentioned how Costly handled the ball with his hand on the first Honduran goal or that Pavon was offside in the third Honduran goal.

    Your spanish is very good amigo.

  24. Chris

    July 15, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    what i just said was already said in this article that just goes to show you how much i read this…but i would have swore i seen on ESPN wesbite that the game would be shown on ESPN Classic…i know i said in HD but i went back and looked…. But what is MUN2..?…and id rather not watch this in Spanish. Id rather FSC get ahold of all of the rights and show all the Qaulifers but this means less viewers because not everybody has FSC. But oo well.

  25. Kartik

    July 15, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    is mun 2 available on verizon fios in florida?

  26. Eric

    July 15, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Just moot the TV and watch the game on Telemundo instead of whining about the pro Mexican announcers. Think about it from a marketing standpoint. What % of viewers of the game you cite were mexican origin and what % were Honduran? The breakwon is probably 90-10.

    I’m personally relived that ESPN isn’t getting the rights. I’ll be anxious to see how MUN2 does in its broadcast. FSC is so much better than ESPN without that crawl on the bottom and the Sportscenter ingame to update some stupid Baseball score. I’ll give MUN2 a chancve. You seem to not want too.

  27. Chris

    July 15, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    This game is going to be on ESPN right ?…..and in HD. at least i thought ESPN has the rights to the World Cup Qaulifying games.

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