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The Worst Soccer TV Shows Of 2010

Looking back at the year 2010, there have been some wonderful soccer moments on television. The broadcast of the 2010 World Cup was incredible to see as was the exciting 2009-10 Premier League season. But there was also a lot of bad television. The type that makes your remote control finger itch as you’re tempted to fast forward or delete.

If soccer had its own Rotten Tomatoes, they would look something like this.

With that said, here are the top 5 worst soccer TV shows of 2010 as well as several honorable mentions:

  1. Soccer Talk Live (Fox Soccer Channel). The first two minutes of the show screamed train wreck. Kyle Martino walked through a door and on to the set as if it was an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Would you be Fox’s neighbor? It got worse from there. The cheap set, Martino learning his ropes live on-air, a sidekick comedian who was unfunny, guests who had no clue about soccer and cringeworthy segments featuring Temryss Lane reporting from the fast lane on topics that often had little to nothing to do with soccer. It’s amazing the show lasted just less than three months before being canceled.
  2. Ticket to South Africa (Fox Soccer Channel). Put Andy Gray and Richard Keys together, two of the most successful faces from Sky Sports’s Premier League coverage, and you would imagine that they would operate a decent show for Fox Soccer Channel in its quest to capture at least a portion of the World Cup 2010 viewing audience in the United States. Unfortunately it didn’t work. Fox’s show was blown away by the wall-to-wall coverage from ESPN. But competition aside, Ticket To South Africa suffered from a bizarre clique that was played before our eyes. It seemed that Gray and Keys seemed so full of themselves that they would often talk over or seemingly disregard the analysis from the other experts around the table, namely Fox Soccer Channel’s Christopher Sullivan and Warren Barton. The bias by Gray and Keys against Sullivan and Barton was revealing because the two full-time Fox employees often knew more about what they were talking about during the show than the two Sky celebrities.
  3. Football Superstar (Fox Soccer Channel). The reality TV show followed the lives of several Australian footballers as they embarked on their dream of getting a contract with Australian professional team Sydney FC. The premise sounds intriguing, but the show itself was a chore to watch. Maybe it was the fact that Fox Soccer Channel launched the show this past summer despite it being two years old. Or maybe it was that the prize seemed too gimmicky especially when you consider the excellent TV documentary GolTV showed a couple of years ago where they followed French youngsters going through the system at Clairefontaine, which was a lot more interesting rather than a show that was created for television.
  4. 2010 Champions League Final Pre-Game and Halftime Analysis (Fox). I’ll give you two words: Bruce Arena. The former US national team manager and current L.A. Galaxy gaffer is an expert at being a manager, but he was awful in front of the camera for the final between Bayern Munich and Inter Milan. Why Fox decided to use Arena instead of the soccer encyclopedia Bobby McMahon, who is much more comfortable in front of the camera and has a great personality, I do not know.
  5. Oh My Goal (GolTV). It’s hard to take a soccer goal highlights show and make it difficult to watch. Every soccer fan loves watching goal highlights. But this new weekly series from GolTV is a tough one to watch. Poor dubbed commentary mixed with comic book graphics make for an embarrassing program. OMG.

Honorable mentions:

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  1. Sylvia

    January 31, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Wow, only someone with absolutely no sense of humour would dislike Oh My Gol! (check your spelling!) It’s campy, it’s funny, and it covers the best football in the world (i.e. not the EPL). It’s like watching footy with the funniest person you know. Not to be missed!

  2. Logan

    January 6, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Number 1, spot on. That was so terrible. However I actually really enjoyed n.3, Football Superstar and wish we could get one of the big networks to do something like it here in the states. The closest we get is Sueño MLS which is short and doesn’t have the kind of coverage or interest about it that this does. GolTV had the similar Soccer Aces [Futbol Cracks] that was fun to watch, though a bit harder since it was in Spanish with English sub-titles. Again, something like this would probably work here in the US where Biggest Loser and other competition reality shows do well. Could be some mainstream light to shine on MLS.

  3. Ken

    December 22, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    I’m so glad someone picked up on that Casey Conor gaffe as well. My jaw dropped to the floor when I saw that on TV.
    If there was a worst moments list, losing Fox Football Fone In would be at the top of it. It’s terrible that a smart, funny, insightful host like Nick Webster has been pushed to the sidelines. I miss hearing his take on things each week. His blog is only updated once every few weeks.

  4. John A.

    December 21, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Whatever became of Fox Football Friday with Steven and Nick?

    • sucka99

      December 21, 2010 at 7:25 am


      It became Fox Football Fone-In. Nick Geber was replaced with Nick Webster 2 years ago. Then this season it was replaced with the #1 on this list.

  5. John

    December 21, 2010 at 1:24 am

    FSC is an embarrassment for sure…but, they do make sure we see every EPL game, so consider the channel like a fat chick that gives the best blow-job of your life…

  6. Nick

    December 20, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Fox dominating the top 5? Looks like FSC needs to clean house and hire new producers, etc. All of their shows and graphics look like a 90’s home video some kid shot in his basement. Granted they’re the only 24/7 soccer channel aside from GOL, but come on, just because you have no competition doesn’t mean you have to embarrass yourselves. They better pray ESPN doesn’t get an itch and create a dedicated soccer channel.

    • sucka99

      December 20, 2010 at 1:32 pm

      The ESPN Soccer channel idea is the greatest fantasy amongst American soccer fans. Look at the quality of GolTV and Fox Soccer XXX (and Setanta before that) – THOSE are the standard for what an all-soccer channel in the US looks like. THAT is the kind of budget that that channel can expect when you consider the amount they spend for properties. ESPN would NEVER get into that market given the standards they have with all their channels. These are not channels with a league behind it like the NFL Network. This is a low budget outfit that understands that the games are why we tune in.

      I suspect an official ESPN Soccer channel would only exist online where it can be delivered via a Roku box or something where carriage agreements would not be a problem. But even that goes against their model for ESPN3.

      IOW – FSC and GolTV have only each other to worry about.

      • BD

        December 20, 2010 at 7:21 pm

        Bingo. The U.S. soccer pie is only so big, and a lot of people are demanding a slice already.

        ESPN didn’t even outbid Fox for the Champions League. We’re not going to see ESPN-S (or ESPN-F, for those who want to rewrite the 19th century) anytime soon.

  7. PHRC

    December 20, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    It may not be a popular opinion, but I find the FSC/FSWC Fox Soccer Report to be amateurish at times…..Bobby McMahon seems to be the voice of professionalism in the show and the antics and off the cuff comments by Jeremy St. Louis can be cringeworthy.

    Having said all that one show I don’t miss is the show on Gol TV that was obviously dubbed where 4 analysts talked about soccer news, games etc…they seemed to be standing up behind that was bad.

    • Red20

      December 20, 2010 at 12:57 pm

      It might not be ‘popular opinion’ but there’s absolutely no way to argue that. That show is like a HS audio visual club’s work. Their ‘set’ is hysterical, and the Canadian accents talking over highlight packages that are essentially useless makes for a craptastic experience. I could get over the fact that it’s not HD if it wasn’t for the fact that it looks like it was filmed through a dryer sheet.

  8. BD

    December 20, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I believe that wasn’t ESPN with the “Casey Conor” foul but a sponsor.

    Not 100% sure, but you might want to check.

    • Robert Hay

      December 20, 2010 at 11:23 am

      You’re right, it was the Volkswagen representative presenting the award, but that doesn’t excuse it. Imagine if Joe Buck said Tim Brady when handing over the Super Bowl MVP award.

      • The Gaffer

        December 20, 2010 at 6:32 pm

        I believe that one of the ESPN hosts made the same name flub either later that night or early the next morning too.

        The Gaffer

        • BD

          December 20, 2010 at 7:18 pm

          On SportsCenter, you mean? That’s a different animal.

  9. Robert Hay

    December 20, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Thanks for mentioning the “Casey Conor” incident, when you can’t even name the MVP for your championship game, that’s really sad.

  10. sucka99

    December 20, 2010 at 7:34 am

    LOL@ #1

    Couldn’t disagree stronger on #2. I thought the chemistry there was OK and the level of analysis “the information and the use of the telestrator” there IMO blew away anything that ESPN had with the exception of ESPN’s one hour World Cup Live shows (forget the name of it) that appeared after the first game on the weekends, usually on ESPN2.

    ESPN had a lot of people and a lot of match video, but they did little analysis and had surprisingly little on-the-ground insight. Sky Sports News and Univision had way more feature pieces.

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