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CBS will force NBC and ESPN to raise their game: World Soccer Talk Podcast

In the NEW episode, number 184, Christopher Harris and co-host Kartik Krishnaiyer cover a range of topics including:

• Why we believe CBS will force NBC & ESPN to raise their game,
• How the MLS Final did in the TV ratings,
• What we make of CBS going into the 2nd week of coverage,
• The latest news about Scottish, Portuguese and Belgian rights,
• News about Ted Lasso coming to TV,
• Plus letters from you, the listeners, in our mailbag section.

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. Monitor3

    August 20, 2020 at 11:54 am

    Who really cares about the pre game & half time stuff?

    CBS totally ruined their coverage by going with Drury & Tyldesley – 2 of the worst commentators out there. Both suck up to the big/fav team of a game.

    But seriously – people are worried about who is saying the same ol’ stuff before the game and if they have a pretty table and a nice studio? It’s the game itself that counts.

  2. Edward

    August 19, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    Kyle Martino out at NBC Sports

  3. Donald Duck

    August 16, 2020 at 7:48 pm

    Please spend a few minutes on the next podcast discussing Messi going to Man city. There is alot of talk across the pond that he wants to leave Barcelona and the leading odds is Man City.

    • Ritchie

      August 17, 2020 at 10:53 am

      WST doesn’t really talk about transfer news, but seems to focus on TV coverage/contracts/presenters.

  4. BOB

    August 16, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    Has anyone else had issues streaming live UCL or EL matches? EVERY game it plays smooth for like 15-20secs then video freezes for anywhere from .5 to 10secs. The entire match. The audio continues smoothly with no interruption. I missed every goal in the most recent Inter Milan match.
    I stream all the time from other streaming services w/o this problem (movies&TV not sports)
    I now sync the CBS All Access audio with TUDN’s Spanish language broadcast on cable. Glad I’m on a free trial. You’d think CBS could show the matches live on cable too. Then cord-cutters could watch online, those with cable could avoid having to pay for a poor service. They show sports talk shows instead of the matches and only show a replay about 6hrs after kick-off.
    Anybody else out there feel this pain?

    • Tayo

      August 16, 2020 at 6:36 pm

      I experienced that too. A friend of mine who was also watching at the same time said he did not have any issues

    • Marc

      August 17, 2020 at 9:28 am

      I have the same issue while watching with my Amazon Fire Stick, but no issues with my Roku.

    • JP

      August 18, 2020 at 2:45 pm

      While watching on my Fire Stick and through Prime Video, always have the following issue. Stream is choppy heading into commercial break during the pregame show and freezes at what appears to be the final commercial before the pregame show resumes. Always have to exit the stream and reload. While the match starts don’t have any problems until maybe halftime, same thing. Post game show seems to be clear of these issues though.

  5. Edward

    August 14, 2020 at 6:05 pm

    I’d be careful of CBS analysts getting too comfortable with each other and they turn into Hot Take City

  6. Tom3

    August 14, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    It will be infuriating if they put a bunch of the EPL on Peacock and don’t get the app on Amazon Fire and Roku. I don’t want to tell you how furious I will be if that happens. 70% of Americans can’t watch on their televisions. Same with HBO Max but that’s another topic altogether.

    • Jeff

      August 14, 2020 at 3:58 pm

      Upon reviewing the contents in HBO Max, I opted to cancel that subscription within 2 weeks and skipping Peacock all together, I kid you not.

    • Chris Halligan

      August 17, 2020 at 11:43 am

      hi Tom – On Amazon Fire TV stick, one can side load the Peacock app to the stick and can watch in the normal way.

      Fire TV is android based so it is possible.

      • Jesus

        August 17, 2020 at 4:12 pm

        Can you side load Peacock on Roku stick or only Amazon stick?

        • Christopher Harris

          August 17, 2020 at 7:19 pm

          Amazon Fire TV stick only since it runs on Android. Roku doesn’t run on Android.

  7. Donald Duck

    August 14, 2020 at 10:51 am

    Instead of criticizing the FANS why not ask the players why it has to be the National Anthem that they kneel through. The European clubs all take a knee right before kickoff and thus in my eyes they make it about the issue and not the politics.
    At what point can fans show up, here in crazy Illinois my local kids baseball teams have been playing all summer with zero cases since March.
    I love your podcast but I come to it for soccer not politics and unfortunately the podcast left a bad taste in my mouth after over an hour of great commentary.

    • Christopher Harris

      August 14, 2020 at 11:13 am

      Hi Donald, I don’t think we mentioned anything about politics on this episode if I recall. Maybe I missed something?

      • Azer

        August 14, 2020 at 7:48 pm

        NBC is not hiding the big Premier League games behind a paywall. In the beginning NBC offered all the other 10AM ET games free of charge. Two of the biggest clubs in the world played today FC Barcelona vs FC Bayern Munchen and where was CBS and it’s sports network? Even TNT would showed the game. Who cares about a pre-game/halftime/post game show. Many of us can live without those. Yes, CBS is better in that department then Turner was but so what? You guys need to stop fawning over CBS. For years, You and Kartik have praised NBC’s PL coverage, until now. What changed? CBS is hiding the biggest club tournament in the world and somehow they’re better than NBC. I don’t think so, and this comes from someone who has criticized NBC a lot but I can’t run away from what is true unlike you.

        • Christopher Harris

          August 14, 2020 at 8:19 pm

          Azer, we’ve been criticizing NBC’s coverage on the podcast for the past two years, so no one should be surprised by what we said in the latest episode. NBC Sports does great work, but we’ve mentioned for the past two years that it’s been stale and we’ve gotten burned out on it at times.

          Our feedback on CBS Sports is based on the pre-game, halftime and post-match coverage. We’re not talking about the paywall.

        • Rich

          August 16, 2020 at 8:58 am

          “Cable” is a paywall. You can get all the CL games live for $6 a month with no other commitments. You can’t do that with the EPL.

          • Barry

            August 18, 2020 at 5:45 pm

            Well said, Rich. For me to get the CBS Sports Network I would have to upgrade my Directv package by $16 a month. So even if they put all the games on that network I’d still be paying almost three times what All Access costs. On top of that my wifi stream from All Access is a cleaner picture than Directv.

      • jason

        August 14, 2020 at 9:10 pm

        No doubt I am on the side of the Texas fans in Frisco for booing. Big applause to them. The MLS players, especially Reggie Cannon are fools. The issue Chris is very very political. By its nature it can’t not be political. I have decided to boycott attending or watching any US soccer for the next two years. Hope to see the USA at the 2022 World Cup. Won’t tune in until then.

        I don’t like the English teams taking a knee before kickoff but at least you can press the forward skip button on your remote which is usually 10 seconds each click and you can get on with it.

        • James White

          August 20, 2020 at 2:55 pm

          That is sad, your bigotry will be sorely missed.

  8. rkujay

    August 14, 2020 at 6:33 am

    Well, they’ll force them to raise prices, to be sure…

  9. Brendan

    August 14, 2020 at 6:03 am

    I e-mailed them twice on their non – existent customer service and of course no reply .They are just like Turner . No idea . They send u a great e-mail welcoming u and then disappoint u in the next sequence

  10. Brendan

    August 13, 2020 at 10:28 pm

    I think CBS have raise their game .They do not make the Pre-game & half -time show available on Demand .Only the game itself & post game are available .What kind of amateurs are they .They should re name their service CBS 75% access

    • FlatBackFour

      August 14, 2020 at 2:12 am

      I agree 100%. As someone who can’t watch the game live, what’s the point in not having the pregame and half time show available on demand? Surely it’s a click of a button. It’s crap. All credit to CBS for their cast, but if you can’t be bothered to upload the pregame and halftime show to stream on demand, then what are they thinking?

  11. Donald Duck

    August 13, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    All i want is something with 60FPS and 1080, HDR or 4k. Anything more is juat icing on my cake.
    Oh and for Premier League how about making ALL the matches available not just the ones that are not on cable.

  12. Yespage

    August 13, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    Didn’t NBC already “raise the game” a good deal?

    This is football, not a Broadway Production.

  13. Ritchie

    August 13, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    There were several mentions of NBC possibly basing coverage out of London next year to start the season. Doesn’t Lowe live in the US now? I’m pretty sure Earle and Martino live in LA.

    I wouldn’t mind having an England-based broadcast (and possibly having another play-by-play team to rival Arlo and company) but it is easier said than done.

    • Jeff

      August 13, 2020 at 9:41 pm

      “There were several mentions of NBC possibly basing coverage out of London next year to start the season. Doesn’t Lowe live in the US now? I’m pretty sure Earle and Martino live in LA.”

      NBC has flown the US team to the UK several times over the past few years to present a week or two of their coverage ‘on location’ (including to begin last season). Unless they use Sky Sports talent, wonder whether Coronavirus travel restrictions/measures might hamper the US team being able to broadcast from the UK anytime soon

      • Rich

        August 14, 2020 at 7:09 am

        Yes, they’ve had isolated weeks where they based coverage from the UK. That’s far different from permanently basing coverage in England (and moving dozens of jobs over there) in order to have access to more talent.

  14. MDFootball

    August 13, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    One recommendation I would have for NBC to freshen it up is to take a page out of ESPNs book and have a round table discussions using local (UK) journalists as they provide a much different perspective than ex-players. I always think the discussions on ESPN FC are always more interesting when they include Laurens, Lowe, Marcotti, etc.

    For ESPN I’d like to see a Saturday and Sunday ESPN FC morning preview show that sets the stage for the day’s matches for the just the European leagues they cover – Serie a, Bundesliga, Eredivisie – perhaps with some on site reporting every now and then for big matches (like they did at Wembley for FA Cup. Follow that up with the regular ESPN FC show in the evening for highlights..

  15. Ritchie

    August 13, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    I’m still listening to the podcast, but I fail to see why NBC will have to “raise their games” when the two services don’t compete against each other.

    Hell, we aren’t even sure what the CBS coverage will look like when and if the coverage is based out of NY and not IMG London. So far, I think CBS has only committed to carrying Kate Abdo into their standard coverage.

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