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Commentator Derek Rae announces return to United States

Commentator Derek Rae has announced that this season will be his last for BT Sport, and that he’ll be returning to the United States this summer.

The accomplished professional, who has commentated on international soccer for more than twenty years including calling the World Cup, Champions League, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Europa League, is one of the leading commentators in world soccer. Given his vast experience, he would be an ideal acquisition for ESPN, FOX Sports or beIN SPORTS. Turner Sports may also be interested given their acquisition of the UEFA Champions League beginning with the 2018/19 season.

“After much deliberation, I have decided that this will be my final season based in the U.K. with BT Sport,” said Rae. “As of this summer, we will be returning to our home in Massachusetts.

“We left a big part of our lives in the USA when the opportunity to work on live Scottish and European football arose here with ESPN UK. For family reasons, it’s the right time to move back after eight wonderful years broadcasting on TV across the U.K. and Ireland.

Rae’s professional broadcasting experience dates back to 1986, when he made his debut with BBC Scotland, while still a student at Aberdeen University. The following year he was named “Sony British Sports Broadcaster of the Year” for his work as a soccer commentator. While with BBC Scotland, Rae was assigned to matches in 19 different countries, and was behind the microphone at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.

After leaving the BBC in 1991, Rae moved to Boston, initially to serve as a Venue Press Officer for the World Cup USA 1994 Organizing Committee. In 2010, he moved back to the United Kingdom to focus primarily on his role with ESPN UK. He joined BT Sport in 2013. While working for BT Sport, Rae took the summer of 2014 to commentate games for ESPN during its coverage of the FIFA World Cup (his seventh World Cup).

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. eddie

    May 5, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    i think he might come turner sports for the soccer coverage in 2018

  2. Oliver Tse

    May 5, 2017 at 7:44 am

    If you take Derek Rae’s announcement on face value, then his “CEO/CFO/COO/Executive Chef” (long running joke I have with Derek, who is married to a Boston-area native with an undergraduate degree in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University) put her foot down and demanded that she wants to return to living in the Boston area by May 29, or else.

    This is the 21st century and those of you guys with wives know who the boss is.

    • cm asia

      May 5, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      Oliver,
      So true.
      Just ask Paul Buckle.
      At least EPL fans in the US are the beneficiaries of Paul’s decision to follow his wife!

    • Cantona

      May 5, 2017 at 3:17 pm

      Again a exchange doesnt mean he is your best friend. Your stalking skills are still impecable .

      Cantona—

      • Cantona

        May 5, 2017 at 3:19 pm

        twitter exchange

      • Oliver Tse

        May 5, 2017 at 3:46 pm

        For the record:

        1. I paid for our dinner when Derek was in San Jose in the summer of 1999 to call the MLS San Jose Earthquakes vs New England Revolution matchfor what was then FOX Sports Net New England (now CSN New England and soon to be NBC Sports New England.) We went to HomeTown Buffet on El Camino Real in Santa Clara on a Friday evening after I got off work as an information technoogy from a dot-com startup located in Menlo Park.

        2. I sat down for coffee with Derek and University of Washington women’s Associate Head Coach Amy Allmann (now Amy Griffin) at a restaurant inside Terminal C of San Jose International Airport in June 1999 on an early Sunday morning, the day after they called a Women’s World Cup match involving China. They were booked on a United Airlines flight on their way to call their next match. I handed Derek and Amy two Sam’s Army T-shirts before they boarded the plane.

        (Getting demoted to the #3 team was the best thing that happened to Amy, as she was free to express her opinions as a co-commentator/match analyst without having to worry about offending someone associated with the U.S. Soccer Federation. To this day, Amy remains the only soccer co-commentator in the U.S. to have ever called soccer matches, in English, with 3 legends of the business: J.P. DellaCamera, Derek Rae, and Andres Cantor. You may recall that Cantor called Olympic soccer for NBC in English in 2000 after Univision booted him and his boss Jorge Hidalgo out of the company; Hidalgo’s entire team would all migrate to Telemundo.)

        • Cantona

          May 5, 2017 at 5:44 pm

          Amazing you are willing to up the bullsh*t story.. as you are very well aware what you just quoted did not happen… incredible you take a chance meeting with someone and make it like your best friends.. same thing like you “promoted” female talent based on your ehem “reputation” for certain on camera jobs with mini skirts and plexi glass tables.

          Your bullsh*t should be banned from this site along with your stalking of females that happen to report on football… you have a serious problem..’same problem that got you BANNED from other football sites.

          You have absolutley no credibility.. and im shocked Chris would even entertain an article by you after the crap you have posted previously.

          Cantona—

          • Liguy

            May 11, 2017 at 8:14 am

            Well this is weird now, maybe disregard my previous comment ?

    • DJ Zac

      May 15, 2017 at 10:38 am

      This ass clown is still giving opinions. When he says friends, that usually means that either he has a poster of him or he tweeted at him. This little grimy freak has done all types of publicity stunts and has demanded for work at networks as VP. Shows how generous the soccer is in that country.

  3. Cantona

    May 4, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    One of the best… has done it in the Usa and the UK… willbe missed on BT SPORT.. my guess back to ESPN… some surprises still to happen

    Cantona—

  4. Kevin Barnes

    May 4, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Great……..another Brit taking opportunity away from an American broadcaster. This is getting boring.

    • vsqzzzzvsssqz

      May 4, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      HAHA an MLS freak, I’m sure he won’t be on MLS matches, your daddy Strong and Twellmanns job’s are still safe.

    • David

      May 5, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      That’s a shame isn’t it? I was crossing my fingers Gus Johnson would return to the booth for soccer matches but that’s probably not happening now with Derek Rae returning to the states /s

  5. Mccort912

    May 4, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Hopefully turner has already called him.

    • Oliver Tse

      May 5, 2017 at 8:03 am

      I do know for certain that Derek has known Turner Sports Coordinating Producer Deaton Bell for 22 years, since 1995 (the same year I met Mr. Bell in person a day prior to the US vs Nigeria U.S. Cup match at Foxboro.)

      Before Mr. Bell jumped to Turner (along with J. P. Dellacamera) prior to the start of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) in 2001, Mr. Bell produced feature stories for ESPN’s domestic soccer broadcasts.

      Mr. Bell was involved with the production of the 1999 Women’s World Cup preview show on ESPN2 (with Rob Stone as host), in which two memorable feature stories of two very short international players (no taller than 5′ 2″ tall) with fun personalities aired:

      1. The feature on Norway sweeper Linda Medalen, a former policewoman. At the end of the feature, Ms. Medalen sang a cover to the theme song for the TV show Cops:

      2. The feature on Mexico midfielder Laurie Hill and her mother. The idea for Mr. Bell to do a feature on Ms. Hill came from former Soccer America Magazine reporter Dean Caparaz and me (and boy, did I get into a LOT of trouble for that, as I got skewered on a email list.)

      Because UEFA on truTV will only be on the air for 46 days each season, Turner will NOT be able to offer any broadcaster a full time contract unless he or she were to also work on other products at Turner, including at CNN (domestic or international.)

      We’ll have to see how everything will play out.

      • Liguy

        May 11, 2017 at 8:12 am

        You should write for this or another site, you seem to have a lot of background. Not sarcasm btw.

    • David

      May 5, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      I would actually prefer him to go to Fox. With Fox having the rights to the World Cup, that would be awesome if Derek Rae was in the booth.

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