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CBS scores home run with Clint Dempsey

In the NEW episode, number 225, Christopher Harris and co-host Kartik Krishnaiyer cover a range of topics including:

• Our thoughts about CBS’s coverage of the Concacaf Nations League
• We look ahead to Euro 2020 and Copa America that begin this weekend
• What we think of fubo’s World Cup qualifying coverage
• Where the US Men’s National Team go from here
• And your feedback in the Listener Mailbag segment.

Listen to the show via the player above or via this link.

Launched in 2006, the World Soccer Talk Podcast is the longest running podcast on the planet. Every week, we share the latest news about watching soccer on television and streaming, in addition to discussing what we like and dislike, and featuring your questions and feedback in our Listener Mailbag segment.

HEAR MORE: Listen to our archive featuring hundreds of soccer interviews

Send in your questions, comments and feedback via e-mail, via Twitter (@worldsoccertalk) or Facebook. We’ll read them out on-air in the next episode.

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  1. Bram Weiser

    June 16, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    Hi, again, Chris, and thank you for including my comments in this week’s podcast episode.

    Your and Kartik’s points about dedicated soccer fans perhaps not being CBS’s intended audience are fair, but I’d note that other sports’ telecasts are critiqued based on whether or not the announcers take the event seriously enough in how they approach the telecast, so soccer shouldn’t be left out of that just because, while its audience has grown in the US in recent years, it still hasn’t reached the heights that those other sports have reached.

    Indeed, as far as soccer telecasts are concerned, I recall other networks (e.g., ESPN and Fox having relative soccer newcomers as game announcers on recent World Cups and Champions League matches, for example) getting flak for their perceived lack of quality, so why not demand the same as a viewer from CBS, too?

    It’s a challenge, I grant you, for a broadcaster to satisfy both die-hard fans and newbies, but, to my ears, CBS missed the mark by adding all of that extra fluff and not giving the event at hand more respect, for lack of a better word, in how it was presented.

    Thanks again,
    Bram Weiser

    P.S. As an FYI, my last name is pronounced as if it were a beer — “Budweiser” — but without the “Bud” (e.g., “WY-zurr”), please, as opposed to “VY-surr”. 😉 Thanks!

  2. Fechin Attuah

    June 11, 2021 at 3:12 pm

    Man do I hate the ESPN+ Multi view

  3. Karl

    June 11, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    I can’t believe the criticism I’m seeing of the CBS/P+ studio coverage in the comments. There isn’t a soul in the world as far as I can tell that likes the Alexi Lalas hot take schtick on Fox and when was the last time ESPN did a standalone pregame or postgame show for a USMNT or USWNT game? For an entire team of people without a ton of time working together and fairly limited TV experience, to put together probably the best USMNT TV product I can recall is a remarkable accomplishment but not a complete surprise considering the way they have handled the Champions League and NWSL. I wouldn’t be shocked to see CBS have part of the MLS rights and for MLS to figure out a way to include 3 English OTA partners (ABC, CBS, FOX), it’s important to remember Don Garber is a former NFL exec and the NFL’s media strategy for decades has been to control all TV rights centrally and have several national partners to maximize OTA coverage.

  4. USAJerry

    June 10, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    It was pretty cringe. Kate Abdo and non-funny, unentertaining panels seems to follow her way. I wanted analysis instead of a bunch of cheerleading. Although it is always nice to see the USA beat Mexico, I felt totally underwhelmed and annoyed at CBS’ coverage.

    Another low bar has been set for soccer coverage in America. Apparently, CBS has decided it is best for them to go more the route of B/R Live/Champions League coverage instead of early NBC Sports/Premier League coverage.

  5. José Cerrato

    June 10, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    Oh, no es original la música. Pero es genial.

  6. disco george

    June 10, 2021 at 12:29 pm

    I was at the USMNT friendly last night, and it reminded me of just how much we miss on TV. Some of the passes and through-balls Musah made in the first half were amazing — his ability to see the spaces developing and put the ball through quickly is really cool to see in person. I was also really impressed with Aaronson and Adams and the work they put in off the ball, much of which you can’t see on camera.
    Overall, I got a much better sense of how Berhalter wants the team to play and how their press works. I am curious to see how the Gold Cup group does with it — if it ends up being mostly MLS players, I don’t know who’s going to fill some of those roles.

  7. Bram Weiser

    June 10, 2021 at 11:22 am

    Thanks for responding to my earlier comments, Chris. (FYI, I clicked on “Reply” to respond to you right there but, for some reason, nothing opened beneath your post so I was left to do this which might appear at the bottom of the list, chronologically, instead.)

    In that case, I apologize for that portion of my comments and withdraw it as I didn’t pick up on it when I heard the episode. The rest of my thoughts, though, regarding the needed improvement in CBS’s studio presentation, stand.

    Bram Weiser

  8. José Cerrato

    June 9, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    Me gusta la música de introducción, ¿es original de World Soccer Talk?

    • Christopher Harris

      June 9, 2021 at 4:48 pm

      It’s not an original. But we love the music too!

  9. Roberto

    June 9, 2021 at 8:54 am

    A week or two ago Clint Dempsey was on a soccer pod called “The Crack” he was very interesting and seemed ready for the spotlight. So, he was getting ready for his network debut!
    Watching all the other countries leagues is entertaining but like Donald says above there are many excellent games, weekly by MLS teams.

  10. Donald Dickerson

    June 8, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    Great Pod this week as usual.

    I do wonder if your take on being burnt out with all the matches especially post Covid with the condensed schedule could be the reason why MLS isn’t considered great amongst most here.

    After a Saturday morning or early afternoon of Man City, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, PSG, Juventus and Barcelona plus all others we watch. I wonder if that takes the air out of a (Seattle, LAFC, Philadelphia, New York) MLS game late afternoon or late night if it’s a west Coast start.

    There is nothing MLS can do but I do wonder if people pay attention more in the morning because we are hyped up on coffee. By 6pm everyone is done and dinner has set so all you want to do is chill with the family thus you miss any great things that happened in the MLS.

  11. Brendan

    June 8, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    should have interviewed the coaches from both teams and some of the players . Instead of listening to some one else saying what they said . Kate Abdo does not belong as a anchor she has not a clue constantly gets mixed up and cannot get one sentence out . She should try watching Rebecca Lowe , Kay Murray ,Kelly Kates how they handle themselves very professional and confident and know what they are talking about. .I have IPTV so i do not have to listen to her nonsense but CBS was the only network to watch the game

  12. Jasinho

    June 8, 2021 at 8:59 pm

    Something just came to mind vis-a-vis the National team rights for the US and Mexico. If the National team rights expire after ’22, and North America hosts the following World Cup in ’26. What would be the point of trying to get the home matches if the US, Mexico, and Canada will play a boatload of friendlies outside the Nations League and the Gold Cup between now and the ’26 World Cup? With that said, CBS is already in a decent position regarding the CONCACAF National Team competitions.

    I think for CBS to build upon its potential with MLS, they would be best suited for the FOX portion of MLS rights, the CONCACAF Champions league and the Leagues Cup.

  13. Mercator

    June 8, 2021 at 7:56 pm

    Glad to hear I’m not the only one loving the CBS presentation of the USMNT. I get it’s not everyone’s taste, but CBS has a home run here. Remember the most popular sports pre/post game in the US is NBA on TNT, with a few former stars just cracking jokes while the host tries to bring it back to Basketball. This crew will be a hit with casual sports fans – I was at a party and managed to get everyone to leave the US/MX game on TV almost entirely because everyone loved Davies doing the stanky leg when bringing out the trophy. Again, not everyones taste, but this will be popular and will grow the game. I don’t mind the lack of a whiteboard, these guys are ex players I want to hear their honest views, not a detailed tactical breakdown. Really enjoyed the exchange between Dempsey and Davies on Sargent as a striker (and if a striker can ever be good without scoring many goals).

    Kartik, enjoy the overanalyses of England for the moment. They are like the Cowboys, big team that never goes anywhere. The more they hype it up (as the English do before any tournament), the funnier it is when things go sideways. England underperform, Germany overperform, death and taxes.

  14. Eplnfl

    June 8, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    Gaffer and KK what a show. The USA victory has energized me and with all the great international soccer just ahead I have my soccer life back again. The last few years with USMNT and my local MLS club down the drain it has been hard for me to get excited but Sunday night has brought it all back. I agree with most of your comments on the CBS broadcast team but would mention while Kate Abdo is extremely professional she needs to be more of an American Network commentator and less of a Sky Sports sounding broadcaster. Client Dempsey with his Texas twang may be a big hit before the summer is over.

    I thought the USA showed more of an European flair to their game and I think that will frustrate Concacaf opponents who want to make things a track meet. In the past the past the US was terrible from in front of the goal and I see that changing.

    It feels like old times guys! ⚽️😊.

  15. vinnie jones

    June 8, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    I just remember dempsey thinking he was great when at fulham, demands a move to a big club, ends up at spurs, and hardly got a start, and departed after 1 yr of his 3 yr contract….to the MLS. just hope some of the new kids make more of an impression in europe.

  16. nickp91

    June 8, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    Clint Dempsey is very good on TV

  17. Rich

    June 8, 2021 at 2:36 pm


    On the broadcast of the CNL final, Kate asked the guys where they wanted to originate the WC Qualifier coverage from. She said they could be in CT, NY or Miami. I looked up CBS Sports in Miami and was surprised to find out that they have a studio in FtL.

    Maybe CBS’ Serie A studio shows will be done from FtL. Maybe they poach Ray Hudson from Bein down the street and use him, Dre Cordero and Mateo (though Mateo and Kay are now living in CT with ESPN).

  18. Bram Weiser

    June 8, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    Sorry, but no…

    Chris, as much as you and Kartik have regularly pilloried broadcasters like NBC based on how they present their studio programs (i.e., perhaps not being sufficiently analytical), I’m very surprised to see you rave about what transpired last Thursday & Sunday nights on CBSSN.

    There was FAR too much “bro talk” among Oguchi Onyewu, Clint Dempsey (perhaps the worst offender) and Charlie Davies (although he seemed to try more often than his colleagues to offer thoughtful analyses at various points about different aspects of the match they were discussing) for my taste.

    Sure, Oguchi & Clint gave SOME analysis, but they should have probably cut the side chatter at least by half, if not more, and stuck to breaking down the weekend’s games for the benefit of their audience who (I presume, as I’m among them) didn’t really care so much about such topics that they actually DID take time to talk about like a recent fishing trip they took.

    USA-Mexico is, as was mentioned during the weekend, the pre-eminent men’s soccer rivalry in this part of the world, and, by giving in to all of that unnecessary side talk, CBS missed out on a terrific opportunity that (take your pick) fell into their lap by signing on to broadcast these finals, or was part of the anticipated and hoped-for benefit of doing so.

    I wonder how many people interested in the matches tuned out from these distractions and switched to Univision’s networks to watch the matches, instead. If I wasn’t actually watching the games on my DVR instead of live, I might have done likewise.

    Bram Weiser

    P.S. By the way, I might have missed it in the podcast episode, but I didn’t hear much commentary about the actual game telecast as announced by Andres Cordero & Maurice Edu. I thought Maurice did OK though he could improve upon his work in these finals, but Dre was terrific! CBS could do MUCH worse than to have Dre be their lead play-by-play announcer for games in the future, and, based on his work over this weekend, I hope they don’t even try to find someone to take his place anytime soon.

    • Christopher Harris

      June 8, 2021 at 1:14 pm

      Hi Bram, we discussed Maurice Edu and Dre Cordero a few times throughout the podcast. We kept on returning to the topic of the CBS broadcast even after the first initial segment.

  19. Michael

    June 8, 2021 at 10:03 am

    @Chris Guardiano. If CBS gets MLS, they are going to have to over pay for it. ESPN is an original stake holder with MLS and they make good money off being able to put their games of ABC OTA TV during the summer in that period after NBA finals and before College Football in September. ABC has 35+ OTA games year in addition to ESPN+ having all the out of market games. I seriously, seriously doubt that ESPN will give that up. As Fox has given up on European Leagues, but as of yet they haven’t given up on domestic leagues.. I don’t see them giving up MLS either. Now, that being said they (CBS) do have the money allocated that they could bid for it. They would only have buy the English half, as the Spanish half will be on OTA Unimass/Univision. We shall she. If CBS steps up and outbids ESPN & Fox then that would show that they are serious.. This is all assuming that EPL stays with NBC. If ESPN pays for EPL, that may change things…but then again it is apples and oranges. They are different season during different times of the year. We shall see.

  20. Chris Guardiano

    June 8, 2021 at 3:13 am

    Hi guys,
    When it comes to CBS’s coverage of the CONCACAF Nations League, I thought they did an absolutely excellent job of analyzing the US-Mexico final in an objective way. I agree with Chris that Clint Dempsey hit it out of the park when it came to his analysis and his personality in the studio. CBS for me has become to go to network when it comes to soccer along with ESPN simply because they treat the sport regardless of league with the respect and quality coverage it deserves. It reminds me a lot of what Fox used to be like growing up as a kid watching the Premier League and MLS on Fox Soccer Channel in the mid to late 2000’s. I really hope that CBS picks up MLS in 2023 and helps grow the league the same way they have done with the NWSL.
    When it comes to Fubo and their coverage of the South American World Cup qualifiers, I have to say as a loyal customer of theirs for the past year and a half, their coverage was poor with the exception of Melissa Ortiz and the commentary during the match I watched between Venezuela and Bolivia. There is a lot that needs to be improved on their end between now and when the qualifiers begin again in September.
    Lastly I have a question about the FA Cup rights in the US going forward. My question to either of you is: Who do you see picking up those rights when the current deal ends? Thanks and keep up the great work.

  21. jstrummer

    June 7, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    Normally don’t watch much pre/post match stuff but wanting to soak in the victory for all its worth, thought Kate was in her zone and enjoyed some of the banter and enthusiasm of the others, the whole apology thing was also very well done.

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