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Ranking the best soccer broadcasters on television

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World Soccer Talk has ranked the best commentators, co-commentators, studio analysts and presenters from world soccer. Up until now, each of the categories was separated, but we’ve decided to combine the best presenters and soccer analysts in order to compile a list of the best soccer broadcasters on television.

With the ranking being based on presenters and soccer analysts, it gives us the best idea of which broadcasters have the best studio talent available in world soccer. We didn’t factor in the commentators and co-commentators because so many of them work for several different broadcasters.

To compile the list of best soccer broadcasters, we took the presenter and studio analyst lists. And then we awarded each individual listing based on 10 points for first place, 9 points for second place, and so on until the tenth place received 1 point. We did this for both Kartik Krishnaiyer and my individual rankings.

In total, 8 soccer broadcasters from around the world were included.

Here’s our list of the best soccer broadcasters in world football:

BroadcasterPointsStudio talent recognized
1ESPN83Taylor Twellman, Adrian Healey, Alexis Nunes, Dan Thomas, Mike Tirico*, Brian McBride, Shaka Hislop, Julie Foudy, Stewart Robson, Craig Burley, Michael Ballack
2NBC Sports51Arlo White, Rebecca Lowe, Steve Bower, Kyle Martino, Robbie Earle, Robbie Mustoe
3FOX Sports26Ian Joy, Eric Wynalda, Rob Stone
4Sky Sports22Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, David Jones
5beIN SPORTS20Terri Leigh, Kay Murray, Jeremy St. Louis
6BBC Sport10Gary Lineker
7BT Sport7James Richardson
8Premier League Productions1John Dykes

The studio talent recognized are the stars of the networks that were featured in the top 10 lists for the best commentators, co-commentators, studio analysts and presenters from world soccer.

* For World Cup 2016 coverage.

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Edgar Jascot

    May 19, 2019 at 6:54 am

    beIN Sport is the best broadcaster among all

  2. Mac Baumgartner

    March 8, 2017 at 2:46 am

    And it’s not fair to list all those ESPN commentators since they’re only there once every 4 years. I guess you’re describing international content, but for basic US channel it’s not relevant. You should do another ranking for basic available content ON TV, cuz BeIn has to get points for all their basic content on US tv. Very much appreciate the article tho, your content is unlike any other.

  3. Derek

    January 8, 2017 at 5:52 am

    I do find it very hard to believe BBC, Sky and BT Sport are below ESPN, NBC and Fox. Remember a lot of the talent on USA channels are their cast offs. Arlo White and Rebecca Lowe used to be with the BBC, Ian Darke, Warren Barton and Craig Burley were from Sky.

    • Mac Baumgartner

      March 8, 2017 at 2:39 am

      Thank You! How anyone could rate ESPN or FOX above English channels is mind bending. For me ESPNfc is unwatchable, they argue & make fun of each other way more than any valuable commentary. I don’t mind Darke since he’s knowledgeable, but that’s it…& FOX is a tad better but still annoying due to their blatant bias. I like NBCSN best for US (BeIn has so much content tho,) but at least NBC’S talk is about the game, knowledgeable, & they don’t argue (even tho they obviously don’t agree oftentimes).

    • Jon

      March 8, 2017 at 3:20 am

      Agreed. Mark Chapman should be noted on this list among the top studio presenters. (Caroline Barker is an entertaining studio host as well)

  4. Derek

    January 8, 2017 at 5:25 am

    If I was building a perfect TV team would be James Richardson main presenter because not only is he highly informative and knowledgeable about culture generally he has a really unique witty style of presenting. Rebecca Lowe as his co present as she is extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of soccer. Lead Commentator is Ian Darke. For me he is the best commentator in soccer. He is informative, funny, calls the game in a way that makes it exciting and has great lines. Martin Tyler has lost it as he has become far too reserved and low energy and only really gets excited when Man Utd score. Arlo White is also in that traditional British reserved style where they are passive and only get excited when something major happens. Ray Hudson is too far the other way with too much hyperbole. He sounds like he should be calling a WWE match not a soccer game. For pundits you want a mix of Sky and ESPN. ESPN have the best and most entertaining pundit banter, Sky have best recently retired top players with the relevant knowledge of the modern game. Sometimes you have players who played soccer in the 70s, 80s and 90s and their experience is irrelevant because the game has changed so much in the last 10 years.

    • Jon

      March 8, 2017 at 3:08 am

      Rebecca Lowe does a really fine job of presenting in the studio. She is knowledgeable but keeps the focus on the pundits alongside her. I also agree that it would be nice to hear more Ian Darke.

    • Burnsie

      March 8, 2017 at 8:34 am

      “Arlo White is also in that traditional British reserved style where they are passive and only get excited when something major happens.” What???? Are you serious?? He never shuts up. He’s smug, loud, overbearing, and smothers the broadcast.

  5. Bruce Wayne

    January 7, 2017 at 6:04 am

    Arlo White is the most annoying commentator ever. He’s obnoxiously loud voice and unrelated ramblings to what is going on on the pitch make him unbearable. I tend to mute the TV whenever he is commentating.

    What’s even more annoying is that NBC assigns him ALL the big games unless it’s a double header.

    • Murica First

      January 8, 2017 at 10:14 am

      Yeah, he is too Americanized for your taste, isn’t he? Long live the Brits!

  6. edailysports

    January 6, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    In Asia especially India, Bangladesh and Pakistan region, SOny ESPN, Sony kix and also star sports is popular for LA liga and English League games.

  7. Distin

    January 6, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Yet again a complete load or rubbish. ESPN Shaka Hislop are you being serious?

    • Mad About ManU Mourinho

      January 6, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      It’s no one’s fault but yours if you can’t appreciate the excellent analysis of Shaka Hislop.

  8. Charles

    January 6, 2017 at 8:42 am

    While their studio coverage is all their own NBCSN’s Prem match coverage is actually provided by IMG:

    “The Premier League has come to a new agreement with IMG that will see the two organisations continue to work together to operate Premier League Productions (PLP) for the next three seasons (2016/17 – 2018/19).

    “PLP produces and distributes all of the Premier League’s international programming. This includes the broadcasting of all 380 Premier League matches, seven magazine shows each week, and the 24/7 Premier League Content Service, run by some of the League’s broadcast partners as a full channel.” (http://img.com/news/article/?id=premier-league-and-img-to-continue-premier-league-productions-partnership)

    As for BeIn, they do remote coverage, meaning Phil Schoen and Ray Hudson et. al, are just watching and commentating on a match they’re watching on monitors rather than being there in person. In fact, Ray Hudson made an homage to Camp Nou and his beloved Barça for the first time only a year or two ago. For me, that diminishes their coverage greatly because you can see things in person that aren’t visible on the network feeds and bring attention to it. By being remote, that element is missing and it shows.

  9. VicBklyn

    January 5, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Bein sports is hands down #1. Ray Hudson above all. the Monotone and American biasness of nbc/espn/fox broadcasters puts me to sleep.

    • Mad About ManU Mourinho

      January 6, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      Your opinion is incorrect.

    • JBManUnited

      January 6, 2017 at 11:55 pm

      For me, Bein Sports is at the bottom of the list. I download every Barcelona game from the Internet, just to avoid Ray Hudson. I cannot stand a single minute from that man.

  10. Soccertvblog

    January 5, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    Hands down the best I have access to has to be beINSport-11 which is their English-language channel in the MENA (Middle East – North Africa) region. Daily shows by Richard Keys and Andy Gray are a must. Since they own basically all rights to the top leagues in the region, there is ample coverage and the analysis is top notch.

    Well worth mentioning also are SkyCalcio from Italy. Their Sunday coverage and analysis goes all day (and night) and yes, Ilaria d’Amico, who many will remember from her RAI Int’l days is still easy on the eyes. Sky Deutschland (SkyBundesliga) has excellent coverage and analysis as well as FoxSports in the Netherlands. Lately I have access to ESPN and FOX channels from Brasil and that seems to be non-stop analysis as well.

  11. Chris

    January 5, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    BeIN should be above Fox Sports… especially with the budget constraints of beIN compared to Fox.

  12. JG123

    January 5, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Why just Sky and BBC for foreign? Is that the only ones your illegal VPN picks up? No BT, Canal Plus, Eurosport, Sky Deutschland, Tyc Sports ChivasTV etc?

    • Christopher Harris

      January 5, 2017 at 7:41 pm

      I’ve watched BT Sport, Sky Sports, BBC and TyC Sports. Nothing stands out at Eurosport. I haven’t had a chance to watch ChivasTV.

      I’ve included channels I’ve been able to watch while traveling and via VPN.

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