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FOX Scores a 1.8 Overnight Rating for 2011 Champions League Final

FOX averaged a 1.8 overnight rating for its coverage of the 2011 Champions League Final between Barcelona and Manchester United, which is an increase of 64% over 2010’s numbers according to a FOX Sports representative.

The best ratings were generated in Washington DC, Seattle, New York, Providence (RI), Los Angeles and Austin. Note that those are preliminary household ratings.

How does that compare to the 2009 Champions League Final on ESPN? The 2009 Final, which featured Barcelona against Manchester United on a Wednesday afternoon, drew a 1.0 rating.

More details to come.

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  1. DCUDiplomat96

    June 3, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    I read alot of these post and i am amazed at the ignorance…..

    1. why are you comparing EPL ratings to world cup to MLS… there isnt even a consistency in that, not close to relation…. EPL is shown early in the morning in most of the country so the ratings arent gonna be as high as your low rating american sports event. MLS is shown during standard US times (afternoon evening Night) plus MLS competes with Major US sports Unlike the EPL or any other euro soccer league.
    2. the Plus and minus on the Champ lg final is that it did much better than it would on any other cable or premium outlet because its on free to air. so thats a Plus. the minus is Fox and to a smaller extent UEFA didnt promote the Champions league final in the USA as much as it should, sure you had to lead in commercials and even Fox sports radio (especially, JT the Brick, and Bruno) gave alot of airplay about Champions league.

    3. Plus and Minus Both Soccer as a sport, and Fox better yet also include ABC/ESPN in this because both dont know how to handle each other… I mean a American Tv network knows how to present its best to the grand American Audience, Fox has yet still trying to figure soccer out where it can benefit and the american audience can like it or give a creditable rating. Soccer organizations like FIFA, UEFA even the USSF MLS have a Hard time presenting a successful product in soccer outside thier core fanbase.

  2. Robert

    June 1, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    I know this is off topic but I hope someone can help me find what I am looking for. Does anyone know all of the EPL ratings on ESPN2 this year? I can’t find them anywhere. I would thank you for an average number or a list of individual games.

  3. Taimur

    June 1, 2011 at 12:16 am

    I do appreciate FOX’s efforts in showing the match for two years in a row. that’s terrific, considering it’s the US and soccer is not amongst the top sports here. But if this is how the sport is going to be treated in mainstream US media like the way it was on Saturday, then I can fully comprehend footie fans in the US wanting it to remain a fringe sport not subject to laughter(Curt Menefee) and contempt(Tim Boltz of Fox 9).

    • DCUDiplomat96

      June 3, 2011 at 7:53 pm

      @ taimur if you talking about the minnesota situation, you cant totally Blame them they are a Fox affiliate its very common over the a local stations have weather advisories, amber alerts etc… also you have to realize it wasnt on Cable or PPV, so you should have been blessed.

  4. Terry

    May 31, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Jerry, well put. As long as I can watch the game I’m happy. I don’t even care if it’s in SD or HD. I know some people do care about that kind of thing. As far as EPL and Champions League games are concerned most of the commentators are pretty good. If there’s any I don’t like then I turn off the sound but do miss the crowd noise. But that is very rare especially for EPL and CL games. The World Cup had commentators I didn’t care for, like John Harkes.

    I’m happy that the ratings are going up yearly. When it starts to go down and nobody in the US shows it is when I’ll be unhappy. Till then let’s just enjoy the soccer on offer.

  5. Jerry

    May 31, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Personally I could care less about who televises what and when. All I care about is that the game, be it EPL, CL, La Liga, etc, is being shown by some TV channel that I can get. If not, then at least it should be available on the internet. The game is more important to me than the studio sets or announcers. If I don’t like what I’m hearing I use my mute button, that’s what it’s there for.

    For all the criticism about Fox or ESPN and their coverage of soccer, we should all be grateful that at least it’s available for us to watch. I’m old enough to remember a time when the only soccer I was able to watch was one game a week on PBS with Toby Charles. And that wasn’t even live.

    I’m glad that the ratings for this year’s CL final went up from last year and hope it continues to go up. But more importantly I just hope somebody will televise it and all the other soccer games we now enjoy.

    • cappa

      May 31, 2011 at 8:15 pm

      Sometime on ESPN3 (at least w the 630am EST Serie A games), itll take 15-20 minutes for the announcer feed to kick in, so all you hear is the game, and its actually pretty cool..

    • MG

      May 31, 2011 at 8:43 pm

      VERY WELL said.

      It’s AMERICAN TV. And FOX at that, regular plain old Fox, not FSC or any of the smaller affiliate channels. What do you guys expect? I’m not expecting Sky Sports, I’m not expecting ITV, I’m not expecting BBC.. Of course the coverage is going to leave much to be desired, but the only people that really have a right to complain were the people in the Twin Cities. It’s all about the match and if you can see the match with Martin Tyler or whoever did the commentating for the CL final, then you’re good. If you know about the sport, then the pre-game (and the kind of demographic it’s trying to target) clearly isn’t for you.

  6. soccerreform

    May 31, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    If only we supported promotion and relegation with the fervor with which we bash commentators…..

    Gotta stop shooting at the messengers. Nobody watches the NFL to hear Chris Collinsworth pontificate. There’s some bad announcers out there with English accents too.

    • Red20

      May 31, 2011 at 3:14 pm

      Why do you keep going on and on about promotion-relegation? Can you not see why that would be unbelievably difficult to execute in this country?

      First and foremost the size of this country makes the discussion nearly absurd, and secondly I don’t think ownership of an MLS franchise is horribly lucrative to begin with. Add in the possibility of not being in MLS anymore and losing all revenue associated with it, and how many businessmen will be willing to hop on that train?

      Lastly, teams are trying to get stadiums built from coast to coast. I can’t imagine taxpayers or owners being too exited about building a new stadium in Houston, if there’s a possibility that the team could never again play in MLS’ first division. So many problems, and the only positives seem to be the enjoyment we envision from watching the last few decisive matches.

      • Fate

        May 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm

        ^^^ You’re dead on. Soccerreform babbles without thinking at all. Anyone who knows soccer well in this country knows that promo/rel is most likely never going to happen in this country.

        Furthermore, the idea that not having promo/rel = low MLS ratings is one of the most absurd things I have ever heard. Just because traditional soccer leagues do it does not mean that it is a requisite for success, especially in a unique market like the united states.

        Also to the people clamoring for the schedule to be aligned with the rest of the world, they too are not thinking things through. There are markets in this country where playing in the winter would literally just be an impossibility. There is a very good and logical reason some countries use the different schedule (like Sweden for example). Also consider the major competing sports in the fall (NFL anyone? Baseball playoffs?) and its a recipe for disaster.

        I’m convinced people just look at the EPL, say “Lets copy them!” and don’t think anything through.

        • cappa

          May 31, 2011 at 4:59 pm

          I agree,
          Look at Latin America with their Clausura and Apertura system.

          Although it would be cool if for example MLS/USL could get together and form some kind of a promo system, not sure U.S.A is ready for it yet.

        • Earl Reed

          June 2, 2011 at 8:12 am

          In the current situation, pro/rel would be detrimental. I think my issue comes from statements like yours that outright says that it would never work, which means that you really don’t believe soccer can grow in this country. We have to live with our current landscape, but we shouldn’t sell ourselves short in the long term.

      • Tuttle

        May 31, 2011 at 4:58 pm

        If their fanbase is such crap that they may never play in the top flight were we to go to a promo system, why the HELL are they building a stadium?

        MLS likes to put the cart before the horse. A handfull of dedicated soccer 5,000 seaters would do way more for soccer in this country than one 25k seater will.

        • Heimdall

          May 31, 2011 at 10:11 pm

          Houston’s averaged 15k-19k a year. Last season they averaged over 17k even though they lost two midfield stars and didn’t make the playoffs. They’re promising as a top flight city and are building a new stadium because where they currently are is a dump. Houston is not as promising as a minor league city because metropolitan areas half of Houston’s tend to look down on leagues not in the first tier. If Houston was in D2, a lot of fans will say screw it, I’ll just watch the Astros.

          Look at the Rochester Rhinos right now. They were once a D2 stalwart and used to slay MLS teams. They’re in D3 for the first time and attendance has been really disappointing for their opening games.

          NASL should be the ones filling 5k stadiums for their teams. Putting 5k stadiums in MLS cities is bad because every team has already outgrown that stadium.

          • Lyle

            June 1, 2011 at 12:12 am

            Robertson Stadium is not a dump; it’s just not a soccer venue.

          • kelly h

            June 1, 2011 at 2:35 am

            yeah i’m not too sure anyone is trying to go out of their way to watch the astros lately.
            hell tonight’s game was the first i’ve sat down and watched all the way through in a month.
            and that’s just to see a 20 year old kid make his debut.
            but i see your point, just couldn’t help commenting about that.
            i’m a die hard astros and texans fan, and it hasn’t been good for a few years now.

    • Tim

      June 1, 2011 at 1:43 am

      I had no idea the Champions League had Pro/Rel

    • Gaz Hunt

      June 1, 2011 at 12:31 pm


      Just like getting the best commentators out there won’t increase interest in the game, promotion and relegation will only create a new type of league that Americans aren’t supporting.

      This is an American league and, thus, it takes on the structure of American sports. The league structure, however, has little to do with the ratings or attendance – MLS could switch to promotion / relegation but it wouldn’t fix anything. If anything play-offs / knock-outs may attract more people.

      The league has to grow – it’s as simple as that. As more connections are made between the people and clubs, the interest will increase. With better connections and increased exposure, a soccer fan an hour or two away from an MLS club will realize that this is his club not Chelsea.

      But you have to give this time – a league less than 20 years old is not going to have an automatic fan-base. The English league is supported so well because it has had generations of exposure and, thus, made these deep connections to people.

      • thomask

        June 1, 2011 at 9:00 pm

        you are both right and wrong at the same time about promotion/relegation.

        You do not know and cannot say whether it would attract or shed interest because there is no directly comparable example.

        However the closest example of Japan’s J-league does prove you right that the game needs to grow before it could ever be implemented anyway.

        The question to be asked then is how will the MLS league structure cope with 20+ teams unless that growth comes from below (MLS’ 16, 17, 18 & 19th teams all came from below), and if growth does come from below how can it be integrated without accepting aspects of promotion/relegation (just talk to any Portland fan and they’ll tell you firmly they aren’t an expansion team)?

        So if anyone asks just say NASL needs 16 teams before it can happen.

        • Gaz Hunt

          June 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm

          You didn’t tell me what I was wrong and right about!

          My comparable example would have been the J-League. A better example, however, will be Australia’s league if they decide to implement promotion / relegation (as they have talked about).

          I think we’re talking two different things here. When I say “grow” I mean fan base – I don’t mean grow the number of teams. I don’t think a MLS league with 20+ teams is that difficult given that they only add one team per year, though. They’re probably looking at the NFL with 32 teams and the NHL, MLS, and MLB with 30.

          Saying that promotion / relegation will make people watch MLS is down-right silly. There are so many things to improve that will have a more positive impact on the interest level before we need to even consider this.

          I’m not against promotion / relegation but I think MLS should focus on growing interest and making connections to the communities to have a greater impact. That’s what will make people watch – after that we can argue about silly logistics like this.

          Also, Philly was number 18 and did not come “from below”.

          • thomask

            June 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm

            Yes, I did. You just can’t read properly without people signposting everything.

            A-League has 10 pro teams including Wellington. There is no prospect of pro/rel until that figure reaches 30.

            J-League has had two divisions and pro/rel since 1999 (six years after inception), with 38 pro teams currently.

            Growing the number of clubs and the fan base of the sport in the US are intimately intertwined – it’s not just about TV audiences, it’s mostly about fans in the stadiums. With the phenomenon of travelling fan groups taking off proximity is becoming a massive benefit and market development only increases as infrastructure is built and local relationships cemented.

            But it’s also about creating a more valid competition by succeeding on the international stage, which requires a better player pool with more higher quality homegrown players.

            Philly was #16.

            Seattle was #15, Vancouver #17, Portland #18, Montreal #19. All potential future expansion candidates agree that community connections are vital which mean relocating a club is growing more unlikely, so having a successful minor league team is key to entry.

            That is promotion by any other name.

            Even after an official contraction it is likely those community links would wish to keep the club running at a lower level, just as Rochester and Charleston have.

            That is relegation by any other name.

            So pro/rel already exists and it is only a matter of time (and continued overall growth, and greater lower league stability) before conditions make it inevitable across the pyramid – how else will they weed out the deadwood?

          • Gaz Hunt

            June 2, 2011 at 1:52 pm

            Yes, I did. You just can’t read properly without people signposting everything.

            Whoa, mate. Let’s keep it civil here. 🙂

            A-League has 10 pro teams including Wellington. There is no prospect of pro/rel until that figure reaches 30.

            J-League has had two divisions and pro/rel since 1999 (six years after inception), with 38 pro teams currently.

            Yup. I only mentioned the Australian league as they are considering a future promotion / relegation system. If that happened, I think they would be a better comparison than the Japanese league.

            Growing the number of clubs and the fan base of the sport in the US are intimately intertwined – it’s not just about TV audiences, it’s mostly about fans in the stadiums. With the phenomenon of travelling fan groups taking off proximity is becoming a massive benefit and market development only increases as infrastructure is built and local relationships cemented.


            But it’s also about creating a more valid competition by succeeding on the international stage, which requires a better player pool with more higher quality homegrown players.

            But a dictionary-definition promotion / relegation system is not the only way the US can create a valid competition, create a better player pool, and produce higher quality players.

            Philly was #16.

            My mistake – but my point was that all the teams you listed (16-19) weren’t “from below”. There are only a small handful in the entire league.

            Seattle was #15, Vancouver #17, Portland #18, Montreal #19. All potential future expansion candidates agree that community connections are vital which mean relocating a club is growing more unlikely, so having a successful minor league team is key to entry.

            That is promotion by any other name.

            Even after an official contraction it is likely those community links would wish to keep the club running at a lower level, just as Rochester and Charleston have.

            That is relegation by any other name.

            Okay – but that is not the promotion / relegation we are talking about here. My comments were directed to Soccerreform – he thinks we should implement promotion / relegation (going up and down a league not developing and maintaining teams in communities).

            What you suggest is very sensible and smart and are good examples of one of the many better ways to improve the league than splitting the league into two (or inviting NASL) and promoting and relegating teams. The only things I would mention is that expansion teams without a successful minor league team can do this too through supporters groups and such. Look no further than Philadelphia for evidence.

  7. Harry

    May 31, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    I watched it…but the wrong thing to do to try and win fans (myself being a new convert) is to try and mix AMERICAN football players to comment on World football. it still comes off as trying to get LeBron James to comment on Derek Jeter’s batting average.

  8. Greg Freuler

    May 31, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Am I the only one who noticed that FOX put Messi’s Jersey next to Fabregas’ jersey in the pre-game show, rather than a United player’s jersey? How in the hell could that happen? Embarrassing and unforgivable lack of journalistic professionalism.

    Oh, and could Michael Strahan please explain the benefits of a short corner? I am still unclear on this.

    • nicc

      May 31, 2011 at 4:31 pm

      it was a photo of the shops around London… nothing deliberate from Fox.

  9. Attaturk

    May 31, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Next year Fox is going to get rid of the Tackle Football guys and have Dale Waltrip explain the difference between Soccer and NASCAR.

  10. David G

    May 31, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Fox always dumbs things down, no matter what they’re presenting. Lowest common donominator is a bigger number than the inverse. Look at their baseball coverage, they used to (maybe they still do) have a baseball tell viewers all kinds of great things about baseball like what the bats are made out of and what’s the green stuff the outfielders are running on. Don’t expect to turn into any pre-game show to see anything intresting unless it’s the NBA and the game’s on TNT

    • MJD

      May 31, 2011 at 4:42 pm

      And don’t forget Scooter the talking baseball!

  11. Stephen

    May 31, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    I am an avid Arsenal fan (from Ireland) and live in virginia. It would seem logical to follow DC United, but they’re 4 hours away (however, I’m a cowboys fan…). I really want to support the MLS and would like to ‘pick’ a team – but that seems like cheating just to pick one that I have no relationship to. I seem to gravitate towards a team that presents even the smallest bit of familiarity to me, like Red Bull NY (Henry), Seattle (Drew Carey) etc.

    Anyway, the MLS schedule is a big drawback. I mean, they were playing DURING the world cup for goodness sake! Talk about setting yourself up for failure. They’ve cheated themselves out of the summer excitement of tournaments and transfer seasons that the rest of the world is synced to, and because of that and other reasons I feel the league doesn’t sync with world football. The MLS is not a ‘bad’ product and is actually quite good considering the age of the league, but it is hard to watch with bad TV production and over-zealous but somehow hollow commentary. They do need to think about adjustments, and quickly.

    It is tough to get into without a club locally, even though I want to see it do well. I’m going to give ‘soccer night in america’ a try and see what it does for me.

    • soccerreform

      May 31, 2011 at 3:05 pm

      Was just talking to someone about how weird it was that UEFA Champions League makes better American TV scheduling decisions than MLS. Our league is just too busy compartmentalizing soccer to actually promote itself.

      • Tim

        June 1, 2011 at 1:41 am

        Yes because 2:45 in the afternoon in the middle of the week would sure bring in the ratings for any league.

        • Earl Reed

          June 2, 2011 at 7:57 am

          I think he was referring to the date and start time for MLS Cup 2011, Tim, and comparing apples to apples.

    • nicc

      May 31, 2011 at 4:30 pm

      MLS took like a 3 week break during the world cup.
      once your past the group stages the games arent every day…

    • MG

      May 31, 2011 at 8:39 pm

      I’m not entirely sure it NEEDS to ‘sync’ with world football. In fact, it doesn’t. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the MLS schedule and the time of year its season takes place. Also, if you’re from Virginia, what exactly is your relationship to the Cowboys? You might as well pick an MLS team to follow. Pick the Red Bulls.

      • Stephen

        May 31, 2011 at 9:39 pm

        Had a family from fort worth in ireland who taught me the game. So most of my early years of NFL was watching the cowboys. It does need to sync. The transfer season being out of whack will make it hard for mls teams to acquire European talent that’s not over 30. the whole Donovan beckgam loan spells to keep fit for international duty also show it to be I’ll advised for the league. I know many decisions were made when the league was on life support, but with solid ticket sales now they shouLd concentrate on the tv market. Relegation couldn’t work here, but it does raise a good question. If you’re out of the title race whats there to play for towardsvthe end of a league season?

        • Heimdall

          May 31, 2011 at 10:31 pm

          How long did it take for you to like the NFL once you were able to follow the rules and everything? Which version of the Cowboys did you fall in love with? It might be easiest for you to be a DC fan since they’re the closest to you and it’ll make things easier if you ever want to go to a game, but if not, hopefully a team out there will grab you. Do you have family or travel often to other MLS markets?
          I liked the Beckham and Donovan loans because their success in those leagues showed that MLS does demand more soccer aptitude than what people overseas expect. If I were a Galaxy fan, I’d hate it though, but it was good for the league.
          Because half of the teams get in the playoffs, with a month left in the regular season, only the feeblest teams are eliminated and have to play for pride. Even with two weeks remaining, .75 of the teams are still playoff contenders and those who have already qualified are jockeying for position. So there’s lots to play for.

  12. King Eric

    May 31, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    The coverage was simply awful and meant for someone who has never watched the game at all. Why would they market to that kind of audience when the only people who would follow and tune-in to watch the final are those who actually know/follow the game? Looks like I’ll be watching on Univision if possible the next few years until their contract is up and hopefully sold to ESPN or something better.

    • Earl Reed

      June 2, 2011 at 7:53 am

      Agree, but also slightly disagree. I didn’t see the coverage, so I’m assuming that most of the discussion was too fundamental. I don’t think it would be unacceptable to run a typical pregame show, but have a 2-3 minute segment tailored to the novice. I know I could understand that most Americans with no exposure to soccer would be confused about offsides, and perhaps even the concept of a “Champions League.”

      So if I were giving advice to FOX for the future, I’d say treat the broadcast like you would your NFL Sunday pregame show. Even a dolt like myself can get hooked on the sport by insightful analysis and a firm reason to root.

  13. Taimur

    May 31, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Well, what can you do? I guess soccer is not everyone’s cup of tea. The best way of promoting any sport is not by talking down to the audience and treating them like 5-year olds, but by presenting it just like any other sport that the audience is familiar with. For example, If I wanted to get into rugby, I’d watch a match where the commentators are presenting it naturally and not forced.

    • FC Asheville

      May 31, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      Unfortunately Fox does that with a lot of sports. My buddy is a big college football fan and he was always irate when they would do a segment explaining how college ball is different than the NFL!

      Don’t forget….Fox Sports once tried the glowing puck in hockey!

  14. Dmendez

    May 31, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    the truth I’m not impressed with the ratings, I was expecting more than that, considering that a year ago with the final of the world cup ABC had 8.1

    • Mike

      May 31, 2011 at 1:53 pm

      your expectations are way too high then. The champions league final will never come close to world cup ratings in this country. in fact the ratings arent even close around the world.

  15. soccerreform

    May 31, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    UCL and EPL are vaulting ahead in ratings. MLS stays at .2. Perhaps it’s time to draw a couple of conclusions, or maybe ask a few questions?

    • Phenoum

      May 31, 2011 at 1:43 pm

      JP Dellacamera and John Harkes are absolute crap commentators. The thought of having to listen to the adulterer Harkes is disgusting.

      • Gaz Hunt

        May 31, 2011 at 2:02 pm

        The commentators aren’t that bad and definitely not the sole reason the ratings for Major League Soccer is so low.

        I honestly think the problem is that people don’t feel any more connected to their local Major League Soccer club than a distant European club.

        Unless you attend matches and / or live near a club, Americans haven’t yet got that passion for the “local” club. If you’re two or three hours from the closest MLS club, it’s easy to see why you might as well support a team in Europe.

        • Clampdown

          May 31, 2011 at 2:07 pm

          Uh-oh, Gaz. You may have just opened a can of worms. You just gave Soccerreform the opening he was looking for.

          • Gaz Hunt

            May 31, 2011 at 2:19 pm

            In other words, I just fed the troll, huh?

          • soccerreform

            May 31, 2011 at 2:56 pm

            Maybe there’s something about that oldfangled promotion and relegation system that ties supporters to clubs. Call me a nutty troll, but maybe the fast food business model MLS employs only engenders a relationship with fans as deep and wide as the average Taco Bell drive thru.

        • FC Asheville

          May 31, 2011 at 2:09 pm

          ^^^ This ^^^

          Living in NC has made it very difficult to find any reason to watch the MLS. The game is slower and the talent level sub par, but if there was a Charlotte team I could ~maybe~ show an interest.

          The announcers and ridiculous playoff system don’t help.

          • Clampdown

            May 31, 2011 at 2:29 pm

            @Gaz, I would not call Soccerreform a troll at all. But he has a religious fervor for promotion/relegation in MLS, which plays into the point about those in smaller markets not having a club to support.

            @FC Asheville, the talent is sub-par compared to the top leagues, but it most definitely is not slow anymore, and it is a very physical league. But, i get where you’re coming from.

          • FC Asheville

            May 31, 2011 at 2:44 pm

            One more thing about MLS is the late start times for the big games. A lot of people really like the Sat and Sun morning games in Europe. MLB and other US sports are killing thier younger fan base with games ending at 1am. MLS could make some very smart moves right now….dump the playoffs altogether, play more games during the day, hire different announcers, and get thier season in line with the rest of the world.

          • cappa

            May 31, 2011 at 3:36 pm

            +1 on start times,
            One of the reasons I got into watching European soccer was the times. When you have kids of a certain age, its hard to watch night time TV. Between nap time and early morning, those are my best chances to watch anything, so am EPL and Serie A games keep me sane. Sorry, no college football here, takes too long…

          • thomask

            June 1, 2011 at 11:23 am

            soccerreform isn’t a troll, but he’s not interested in discussion or debate around the issues he cares about.

            This is a shame as his inability to open up to debate undermines any claim to a serious commitment to open leagues, and his consequent failure to make effective arguments is taking his cause backwards.

        • Sterling

          May 31, 2011 at 3:03 pm

          I’m sorry but Dellacamera and Harkes are terrible commentators IMO. Soccer has its ebbs and flows, and the best commentators can find things to talk about during the ebbs. There is just a lot of times where there is just silence for 15-30 seconds at a time. There is no chemistry whatsoever.

          MLS broadcasts would be more enjoyable if you had someone excitable like Ian Darke, not the current snoozefest.

          • chuck

            June 1, 2011 at 9:13 pm

            Take a shot every time Harkes says “cool, calm, collected.” You’ll be drunk by halftime.

        • chuck

          June 1, 2011 at 9:00 pm

          Amen. I’m 3 hrs. from Chicago and Columbus in Indianapolis. Neither club, nor the MLS in general, has ever given me a reason to support it over, say, Barcelona or Velez. Best people can do is say, “Its our domestic league.” BS. It isn’t “ours.” It belongs to a group of wealthy investors who have no desire for it to be “ours” in any meaningful way.

      • Dave C

        June 1, 2011 at 10:13 am

        “The thought of having to listen to the adulterer Harkes is disgusting.”

        I know! Perish the thought of listening to an adulterer while simultaneously watching adulterers play football! (Or are there no adulterers in the MLS?)

        Also, are you Angela from the Office?

        • Phenoum

          June 1, 2011 at 10:20 am

          Well I dont know of one who did so to his teammate while on US international duty. And no – I’m no Angela, but I am one who believes in having a moral compass. That’s becoming less and less common these days I guess…

    • Tim

      June 1, 2011 at 1:39 am

      Mind pulling up West Brom-Blackpool ratings Ted? I mean they are products of pro/rel and open leagues.

      People don’t care about Pro/rel, they care about big names. You mind showing me for all these big ratings, what is the debt incurred by the clubs?

      Ted, perspective is needed because you can’t see the forest for the trees.

      • chuck

        June 1, 2011 at 9:10 pm

        Do you mean Americans don’t care about pro/rel? Because you can’t tell me that the supporters of Leeds, Norwich, or infinite other ‘bubble’ clubs don’t care.

        Pro/rel has nothing to do with debt. Poor business practices (and often wise ones), not the structure of the league, are the cause of debt.

      • Earl Reed

        June 2, 2011 at 7:40 am

        There are two separate issues at work. One is promotion/relegation, that plays a minor role. The major role comes from a conservative financial system that attempts to protect the league and the clubs who have purchased the right to said protection. If the American people care about big names, then why doesn’t Red Bull New York and Thierry Henry sell out every match?

        The fact is that every popular sport in this country benefits from exclusivity. Yes, there are other baseball leagues, other basketball league, and other hockey leagues in the world, but none of them can sustain a salary level commensurate with the US in those sports.

        Tim, I’ll let you in on a little secret: Even Ted doesn’t believe MLS can afford to go to pro/rel and an open financial system in 2012. The thing that is tough is to hear MLS bigwigs talking about pro/rel never happening, when realistically that’s not their decision to make (USSF defines the soccer pyramid in the United States).

        • Tim

          June 4, 2011 at 12:54 pm

          Chuck where are these supporters of the bubble clubs you speak of? I’ve only met 2 Leeds supporters in my venturing to pubs. Everyone else is Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton, and Fulham. It is rare that I run into a non-Big 4/American player clubs supporters. There are too few non-big club fans. Pro/Rel has everything to do with debt. To stay up in the division, smaller teams have to incur debt to buy players to compete with the big teams because the bigger teams are making much more money with bigger stadiums and bigger sponsor checks. To say Pro/Rel doesn’t lead to financial mismanagement is thick.

          Actually if you pull up the attendance shifts, NYRB and LA Galaxy away matches usually cause an increase in attendance for the home team.

          The leagues here don’t suffer from exclusivity, rather the sports were developed with media. College football was popular because of the connection people made with the teams, and other than that, baseball was king until the TV satellite began orbiting then the other sports caught on. As for the financing, the Russian hockey league will likely pass NHL in terms of salaries sometime this decade and the owner of CSKA Moskow’s basketball team offered LeBron $50 million for a one year contract.

          As for the who runs what: look at the heads of USSF, SUM and MLS, there are many names repeated.

    • Robert

      June 1, 2011 at 7:50 pm

      Well, since you seem to know, what are EPL’s ratings on ESPN2. And, what kind if numbers do they get on ESPN Deportes? 2010-2011 numbers are what I am looking for — the whole season not just a few marquee matchups.


  16. FC Asheville

    May 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I’m really happy Michael Strahan explained the differences between scoring in football and football. I was lost!

    • ArsenalFC

      May 31, 2011 at 1:09 pm

      Dont worry. next year, you’ll get Brian Urlacher to teach you the differences between a linebacker and a centerback!

    • Terrence

      May 31, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      Well, if they left in the segment where Strahan said “And about scoring outside of the game, in Football, a Running Back like Tiki Barber cheats on his pregnant wife. While in Futball, a striker Wayne Rooney cheats on his pregnant wife. Hey, I guess they’re not that different.” Alas, that part was left on the cutting room floor.

  17. ArsenalFC

    May 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    This is bad news because this means that FOX will most likely get the rights to the Champions League final for next season as well. I know that ppl in Minnesota will turn their heads in disgust. My condolences to u guys…I’ll probably fly to London to watch it on Sky Sports. I hope they are enough complaints and criticisms of Fox’s coverage of this game to get them NOT to broadcast this event next year.

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