FOX may argue that it’s only a handful of games, so what’s the big deal? It’s not the quantity of games that is the issue. It’s the principle of the matter. FOX is moving into dangerous territory with its viewer base who will go where the games are. If the quality of the commentators is sub-standard, we’ll still watch the games but we may choose other methods to pipe in higher quality commentating to make our experience the best that is possible.
FOX Soccer has managed to take the English out of the English Premier League. We tune in because it’s a uniquely English experience enjoyed by Americans and other nationalities from around the world. By substituting an excitable American into the broadcast, they have the potential of destroying the experience. If an American behind the mic is ultimately their business decision, then choose the best American. Don’t get someone just because you think you’ll strike a ratings bonanza. Go with quality and experience.
Gus Johnson will make his debut next Wednesday on FOX Soccer at 2pm ET in the game between Real Madrid and Manchester United. FOX Soccer 2Go will also be broadcasting the game live (they typically use the world feed).