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Changes NBC needs to make to improve its EPL coverage next season: World Soccer Talk Podcast

World Soccer Talk is the weekly soccer podcast on the topic of watching soccer on TV, online and apps.

In the NEW episode, number 28, Kartik Krishnaiyer and Christopher Harris cover a range of topics including:

• More examples of how Liga MX is dominating soccer on US TV,

• News about FOX’s plans for the Confederations Cup,

• How NBC Sports can improve its Premier League coverage next season,

• Plus questions from YOU, the listeners and much more.

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

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

Here are the different ways you can download the World Soccer Talk Podcast stream.

• Subscribe to the World Soccer Talk Podcast on Stitcher,
• Subscribe to the podcast via Google Play,
• Listen via the World Soccer Talk website, or visit the World Soccer Talk Podcasts page
• Subscribe to the World Soccer Talk Podcast on iTunes,
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• Listen to the World Soccer Talk Podcast on TuneIn, Soundcloud, YouTube and Audioboom.

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  1. Oliver Tse

    June 16, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    This is what NBC should be doing with Rebecca Lowe and the Men in Blazers, together in studio at Stamford, Connecticut, at least once a week, not once a year.

    Mocking and lampooning divers, cheats, idiot fans, and bad referees works on American sports television right now, as proven by the success of Shaqtin’ a Fool on TNT’s Inside the NBA..

    A full post on this topic is coming in the comments section within the next 48 hours, as Christopher Harris is on holiday in the U.K. and he needs to approve any comments with hyperlinks.

    I will forward my thoughts to Sam Flood, Pierre Moossa, and Rebecca Lowe privately in an email sometime within the next week.

    • Toughest sports TV critic on earth

      December 20, 2017 at 5:25 am


      Men In Blazers 2017 Holiday Special, taped last Thursday in New York and aired on Monday after Everton vs Swansea:

      Time to send Pierre Moossa and Sam Flood an invoice for my consulting fee.

      NBC did what it was supposed to do: send Rebecca Lowe to New York on her day off to the “panic room” so that she can “yuk it up” with the Men In Blazers for a 23-minute “Holiday Special” lampooning the likes of Man Utd defender Phil Jones and Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson

      How will Turner Sports i.e Matthew Hong respond to this in 2018 now that NBC Sports has copied Shaqtin’ a Fool before Turner can get its UEFA Champions League programming out of the gate?

      One other piece of data surfaced last week has changed everything at Turner, which might have no choice but to have either Patrick Snell or Don Riddell host UEFA Champions League coverage in order to provide stability (I still project a single pundit in the studio: Carlos Bocanegra.) There is serious doubt whether the former babysitter for children of Ipswich Town FC players can be trusted to host with $4 million in advertising on the line, as she pulled a “Lara B” last week by systematically butchering names on camera. Someone with 10 years of on-camera experience (with BBC, BSkyB, IMG, and CNN on her resume) has no excuse for such a poor performance.

  2. Oliver Tse

    June 16, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    The video example below is what NBC should be doing with Rebecca Lowe and the Men in Blazers at least once each week at the end of Goal Zone, if not EVERY episode:

    Those 3 should be in the studio, together, at the end of Goal Zone, for a “fun” segment.

    One idea for a “fun” segment is of course Villains of the Week, or Villains of the Day (borrowed from El Villano de la Semana/i> in the show Somos Liga MX on Univision Deportes Network), in which the Men in Blazers can mock and lampoon divers, cheats, and bad referees the way the cast of Inside the NBA on TNT (Ernie Johnson Jr., Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, and Kenny Smith) execute Shaqtin’ A Fool or the way the cast of Monday Night Countdown execute C’mon Man.

    Viewers hate the villains because of their antics and their idiocy. By mocking and lampooning these villains, Rebecca and the Men in Blazers will put themselves on the side of the viewers and will be able to build their fan base beyond what they have now.

    NBC needs to come up with a fun “viral video hit” in order to bring young male viewers (ages 12-34) back to watching Goal Zone. Not doing anything at all after seeing evidence of ratings erosion is not a smart move.

    So what if Villains of the Week (or whatever “fun” segment Sam Flood, Pierre Moossa, and co. will come up with) is not “authentic British” sports television a la the BBC?

    The fortune cookie you see at a typical Chinese restaurant is NOT “authentic Chinese”. Not even close. The fortune cookie was invented by a Japanese-American living in San Francisco at the start of the 20th century. When the U.S. government sent Japanese-Americans to internment camps during World War II, the Chinese-American community in San Francisco stole the idea and invented an automated manufacturing machine to produce fortune cookies in mass quantities so that Chinese restaurants in the U.S. can present an “entertainment product” to the diners as the waiter presents the check to the diners. The messages inside the fortune cookies have evolved over the years, notably the inclusion of 6 “lucky numbers”, as state-run lotteries become popular. American restaurant goers now consume 3 billion fortune cookies every year. They don’t care that the fortune cookie is not “authentic Chinese”, as they like the entertainment value of the fortune cookie.

  3. eddie

    June 1, 2017 at 9:27 am

    are response my question for media rights for nbc and other networks

  4. Oliver Tse

    June 1, 2017 at 5:28 am

    Some guys just can’t get their heads out of the gutter, can they?

    Seriously, there are simple things the brain trust at NBC Sports, i.e. Sam Flood and Pierre Moossa, can fix with the PL on NBC product, in consultation with the front line talent, especially Rebecca Lowe (who is on the firing line and will be blamed by upper management if viewership continues to erode):

    1. The pundits (2 Robbies and Kyle Martino) need to show more fire and passion during manufactured debate segments (especially pre-match). They are headed in the right direction after they returned from the UK. No one expects them to turn into Alexi Lalas, but they shouldn’t be cordial all the time.

    2. Having Goal Zone in the studio at Stamford followed by a completely detached Men in Blazers from New York City is NOT working. Most viewers are gone by the time Men in Blazers airs. Furthermore, the audience for Goal Zone is skewing older as less than half are in the ages 18-49 demographic. That’s not good. Also, there is nothing in Goal Zone that would make younger viewers want to watch. There is no “payoff” segment such as Shaqtin’ a Fool at the end of Inside the NBA on TNT or El Villano (de la Semana) (The Villain of the Week) at the end of Somos Liga MX on Univision Deportes Network that would show the viewers that the talent hate the villains as much as the viewers do in order for the talent to connect with the viewers.

    3. The 3 talent who are capable of having fun on camera, namely Rebecca Lowe and the Men in Blazers (Roger Bennett and Michael Davies), are NOT interacting. They are not being used properly in my opinion. By sticking with the “authentic British” presentation formula, an ancient formula used by the BBC that doesn’t take into account of the realities of the U.S. market in 2017, the brain trust have forgotten one important guiding principle of this business: sports television is supposed to be fun.

    The fixes I suggested above are not that difficult to implement.

    Getting all the egos involved to be willing to work together to fix the issues, however, is always challenging.

    We’ll find out by the middle of August whether NBC Sports will do anything to address the issues with Premier League on NBC, and how they will implement the changes.

    • Cantona

      June 1, 2017 at 11:30 am


      more blowspeak from the wannabe insider….you have no clue about egos… just stop


    • Stranger Things

      June 1, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      We get it, stop repeating the same things.

  5. francis

    May 31, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Oliver was spreading “fake news” years before it became trendy

  6. Cantona

    May 31, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Lets be honest here… you were pretending to be some insider that could get these women interviews or help them guiding their career with your bullsh*t “inside” connections.. you previously said you had reached out to them. So creepy is probably not even the strongest word that should be associated with you. It was very obvious to readers on other forums that your post had serious sexual undertones. The other crap you spew as gospel is nothing more you guessing, which the past has proven you have been wrong…. VERY wrong.

    So enough with the comments of female talent.


  7. Cantona

    May 31, 2017 at 7:45 am



  8. Oliver Tse

    May 31, 2017 at 4:30 am

    Those of you who keep using the word “creepy” to respond each time I post a comment need to get your minds out of the gutter.

    The reason I keep hammering the point that the female host is the most important on-camera position for soccer TV programming in the U.S., regardless of language, is because the host is the one who connects with young male viewers (ages 12-25 and 18-34) during the first 5 to 10 seconds of on-camera time for the purpose of retaining them for the entire pre-match show.

    The advertising sales account executives need viewers for the pre-match in order to sell the bulk of the advertising inventory to pay for production costs.

    In the case of PL on NBC, there are 38 weeks of matches, with at least 2 30-minute pre-match shows each week (other than week 38.). Sometimes, there are as many as 6 30-minute pre-match shows each week.

    There are roughly 4 minutes of national advertising for each 30-minute pre-match show, for a total of 8 advertising spots. These spots are generally bundled with logo burn-ins next to the scoreboard and clock graphic during the match.

    According to a sports sales advertising executive who did his job well for over 30 years (and I have known him for over 20 years, as we have had many discussions over the years) before he retired 3 years ago, every 1000 male viewers ages 12-49 are worth $40-$60 for every 30 seconds of advertising during premium televised soccer broadcasts, depending on economic conditions.

    So, assume the following for PL on NBC for a quick and dirty analysis:

    – 125 30-minute pre-match shows each season
    – An average of 80,000 male viewers ages 12-49 watch each pre-match show
    – $50 of advertising revenue for every 1000 male viewer ages 12-49 for every 30 seconds
    – 4 minutes of advertising time for each 30-minute pre-match show, for a total of 8 30-second spots.

    80,000 targeted viewers * $50/1000 viewers * 8 spots/show * 125 shows = $4 million

    $4 million is more than enough to pay production costs, including the salaries of all behind-the-scenes production staff, travel costs to put personnel at the stadium site, and the talent fees for all the on-camera talent for the entire PL season.

    Do you now understand why the on-camera host is so important?

    Do you now understand why Rebecca Lowe is worth every dollar NBC Sports is paying her? (She deserves at least $300,000/season.)

    Do you now understand why NBC Sports Group President Mark Lazarus stepped in and force Telemundo Deportes to replace Jessi Losada with Ana Jurka as host?

    Do you now understand why Univision Deportes is willing to devote 2 minutes and 40 seconds at the end of Contacto Deportivo on May 15 to lavish 26-year-old Mexican sports anchor/correspondent Ana Caty Hernandez with 2 dozen roses, 1 dozen carnations, a box of chocolate, and a cake for her birthday? She is being groomed as the face of Univision Deportes for the next 15 years, as older talent such as Adriana Monsalve approaches age 40.

    Do you now understand why Turner Sports (i,e. Matthew Hong and Craig Barry) would be smart to talk to CNN head of sports content Bill Galvin first to work out a deal to “borrow” Kate Riley from World Sport to host UEFA on truTV?

    • Stranger Things

      May 31, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      The word creepy keeps coming up because your post are creepy, creepy is probably the nicest way to put it really. From the history of Plexiglas desk to the background of female Univision presenters to your lunch conversation with a commentator in 1980 to you thinking that NBC executives are monitoring your posts here to get ideas, it’s completely bizarre stuff. I know most comment sections everywhere are overrun with nonsense or my club is better than yours and MLS is great and MLS is crap type posts but yours take the reign as the most bizarre crap I have ever read on any forum.

  9. Anthony

    May 30, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Is it me, or were ratings for Premier League on NBC down this year after a few years of consecutive growth?

    A lot of this is out of NBC’s control, but more of the marquee games seem to be on Mondays or early Sundays now, which limit viewership. The Saturday 12:30 PM game in the US has also seemed to decline in importance.

    I’d like to see more studio programming for Premier League on Friday., Also, make Match of the Day and other programming available on-demand from the app.

    NBC should also have bid for one of the cup competitions (Europe, FA, whatever) to add another competition to their roster while keeping familiar teams.

    The team seems fine in general.

    • Oliver Tse

      May 30, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      The FA Cup should be headed to NBC Sports and Telemundo Deportes by default starting January 2019, as FOX Sports/FOX Deportes have chosen not to renew the rights past 2018 and ESPN, Inc. has too much college basketball inventory to be able to fit the FA Cup into its linear TV channels.

      The UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and the UEFA Europa League will be split between Turner Sports (English) and Univision Deportes (Spanish) starting August 2018.

      Univision Deportes has already announced that U.S. Spanish-language TV coverage of the UEFA club competitions will be split between UniMas and Univision Deportes Network (UDN), with Univision Network airing the UEFA Champions League final.

      Several industry observers, including Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News and me, are expecting Turner Sports to put the best UEFA Champions League matches live on truTV.

      • Eddie

        May 30, 2017 at 8:45 pm

        welcome to my world for media rights.
        about nbc sports how much they will contine to bid more live sports like indycar and soccer and collage sports and other many sports. plus the pga tour can opt out next year in 2018 of nbc. who will win the rights like turner,espn, fox, cbs, nbc and they can start own network.
        the fa cup soccer is coming to nbc sports in 2019 and what else they can air more soccer coverge.

      • Eddie

        May 30, 2017 at 8:54 pm

        what about turner sports coverge and you just said about more about univison deportes and less about turner sports and what next for them. p.s that not gonna happan to air free tv on cbs sports due pga tour and it will air on trutv. plus it could use teamcast like ncaa tourment of tnt/tbs for the uefa champions or eurpopa finals. if the could bid together like cbs/turner sports for uefa soccer in 2021.

    • Oliver Tse

      May 30, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      The Saturday 17:30 UK time slot has very few good matches. Only 1 or 2 marquee matches end up in that time slot, usually in August or September.

      Traditionally, the PL puts the best matches in either a Sunday time slot i.e 13:30, 14:05, 16:00, or 16:15 London Time, or in the Saturday 12:30 or 12:45 London Time slot.

      The early time slots, especially Saturday 12:30 or 12:45 London Time, is the time slot that the PL can use to maximize TV rights value worldwide (in addition to dealing with crowd control issues for high risk matches.) That time slot translates to 19:30/19:45 or 20:30/20:45 in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore.

  10. Oliver Tse

    May 29, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Craig Burley is NOT going anywhere. I understand that he and his family like Connecticut. He will be in Bristol working for ESPN as long as ESPN is willing to pay him.

    Frankly, the “back up the Brinks truck and hire a bunch of Brits” approach to produce English-language soccer TV in the U.S., for any product other than English Premier League, is an unimaginative and lazy approach.

    ESPN took that approach with the World Cups and Euros after the Dave O’Brien fiasco in 2006 because ESPN was able to afford to do so (ESPN can’t do that anymore starting with Euro 2016 due to cord cutting, as we have seen ESPN having to hire affordable talent from the U.S. Women’s National Team pool past and present to staff on-camera positions.)

    The approach that Eric Shanks and company is now taking at FOX Sports, by hiring a mix of Americans, Latin Americans, and British talent in front of and behind the camera, takes imagination and guts. He will strike out with certain hires, as he did with Gus Johnson. He will also hit home runs, as he has done so with Alexi Lalas and John Strong. He has hit for singles and doubles, as he did with Stuart Holden, Brad Friedel, and Ian Joy (all solid hires). He is also willing to develop talent by giving them the resources to succeed, as he did with Julie Stewart-Binks (who moved on to ESPN in January.)

    We have pretty much figured out that AT&T will squeeze every penny it can from Turner. That means Turner will NOT be able to “hire a bunch of Brits” and fly them into Atlanta from London. The likes of Matthew Hong and Craig Barry are going to have to “squeeze lemon juice from rocks” by 1) asking CNN head of sports content Bill Galvin to “borrow” a World Sport anchor (presumably Kate Riley) as host, and 2) hire affordable freelancers as studio pundits, especially Atlanta-based talent such as Dan Gargan and Carlos Bocanegra (if he can obtain permission from his Atlanta United bosses to take 46 days off from his day job as technical director.)

    • Stranger Things

      May 29, 2017 at 7:48 pm

      Did Craig send you signals via the TV of what he wants to do?

  11. R.O

    May 29, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    “Craig Burley would be my first choice” Oh jezz NO! Why do so many people like hosts/analyst that like to shout and yell, talk over others and be obnoxious? I can’t stand that trend. It’s like watching a reality show. What happen to the days when 2 or 3 analysts just talked normally without being an a**s ?! The NBCSN studio hosts act professional. I’d be ok with Brian McBride.

    • Oliver Tse

      May 29, 2017 at 8:00 pm

      Univision Deportes Network (UDN) marketing slogan:

      Vivimos Tu Pasion

      (Translation: We live your passion.)

      UDN Station ID:

      An older UDN affiliate sales promo video from March 2012, again stressing “passion”, the word Univision has used time and time again in its marketing collateral:

      This is the U.S., not the U.K.

      Young men in the U.S. like sports TV personalities with FIRE and PASSION, regardless of language.

      FS1 General Manager Jamie Horowitz looks for debaters with fire and passion for his shows. He put together First Take when he was at ESPN with Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless (Bayless has since jumped to FOX Sports.) Now that he is in charge of FS1, he has put together Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock, as well as Bayless and Shannon Sharpe.

      Now that Tommy Smyth “with a y” has been booted out of ESPN, the top American soccer pundit is Alexi Lalas of FOX Sports.

      Lalas has made it pretty clear that he is looking forward to debating against the likes of Jermaine Jones, who should be available to join FOX Sports a lot sooner than Jones wants to because the LA Galaxy appears to be better off without Jones in its lineup.

      • ribman

        May 29, 2017 at 8:37 pm

        aren’t all of these fake confrontational hot take shows tanking? Fox is horrible at this so no don’t take anything from their presentation. Bottom line EPL not much excitement we had 6 decent to goods teams a few mediocre teams and a lot of crap teams playing crap uninteresting football. The top 6 were not even that competitive for the overall championship, despite a nice run from Spurs Chelsea had it pretty early on. The others stumbled into their top 5 spots based on who could give it away more not who was excelling. Relegation/Promotion is supposed to make things interesting at the end right? not this year, so many teams tanked down the stretch. Championship league had more excitement and interesting subplots.

        In the end NBC has almost perfect coverage – don’t dumb it down for the instant gratification crowd.

        • Oliver Tse

          May 30, 2017 at 3:13 am

          Another one who is in the “viewers will come back by themselves as competition improves so don’t change anything” crowd.

          That crowd would still be voting Franklin Roosevelt as POTUS.


          No one can dispute the following:

          Univision Deportes figured out how to produce fun and informative soccer television in the US before many of today’s viewers were even born.

          Yet Univision Deportes did not sit still and let it’s product go stale (the way Telemundo Deportes did under Jorge Hidalgo until Mark Lazarus from NBC stepped in to force Telemundo to make changes, including replacing Jessi Losada as host with Ana Jurka.)

          Univision Deportes shook things up several times this century:

          1. Getting rid of the entire Jorge Hidalgo regime in 2000, including purging the most famous soccer announcer in the US regardless of language, Andres Cantor, from the company. Hidalgo and his men all migrated to Telemundo.

          2. Hiring David Downs away from ABC Sports so that the company would have an executive with experience conducting business with FIFA directly (Univision was part of the OTI consortium during the 20th century.)

          3. Brought in David Neal (who has since moved on to FOX Sports) to work on the look of Univision Deportes Network prior to launch.

          4. Hired Sharon Van Zwieten and Simon Carr away from what was ESPN STAR Sports (now FOX Sports Asia) to revamp programming and talent prior to the launch of UDN. They hired 3 female anchors (2 have since left for ESPN and have been replaced) for Contacto Deportivo so that at least one anchor each night is female.

          5. Bringing in an absolute maniac, Juan Carlos Rodriguez to run Univision Deportes 4 years ago. Rodriguez will attack any one at any time (including FIFA). He made more changes to push the edge of the envelope further.

          Bottom line:. Univision Deportes didn’t sit on its hands to wait for viewers to come back by themselves (Liga MX viewership in the U.S. is down 40% compared to the peak in 2007, primarily due to a shift in demographics as younger Hispanic male viewers prefer to watch something other than Liga MX )


          The brain trust at NBC Sports will work to tweak PL on NBC over the summer. They are not the type of executives that will sit on their hands

      • R.O

        May 30, 2017 at 10:32 pm

        “This is the U.S., not the U.K.” What the hell does that mean? I don’t know how old you are but back in the 70’s and 80’s sports review and analyst shows were KISS. Back in the late 60’s and throughout the 70’s one of the best review/analysis and highlight show was “This Week In Pro Football” with Brookshier and Pat Summerall No fancy stuff or yelling or “reality show” crap. Just good and enjoyable highlights and talk.

        This has nothing to do with “this is the US and not the UK” We in the US used to have excellent shows. Quite frankly the “US not UK” is pure nonsense and … well not going to say more on it.

        • Oliver Tse

          May 31, 2017 at 2:04 am

          Funny you would bring up the name Pat Summerall.

          Many of today’s English-language play-by-play commentators (for many sports) in the U.S. have forgotten about Pat Summerall, who used a minimalist style of play-by-play.

          Summerall (and Ray Scott before him) preferred to let the TV picture do the talking.

          Summerall and John Madden were the #1 NFL broadcast team for the 1980’s and 1990’s, first for CBS Sports, then for FOX Sports, before age caught up with Summerall and he started “losing it”. His reaction time was the first to go.

          The same thing that happened to Summerall late in his broadcast career is now happening to Martin Tyler, who was AWFUL during the English FA Cup broadcast on the Input Media world feed which was picked up in the U.S. by FOX.

          Trained eyes and ears have now figured out that Tyler needs his spotter to relay information to him before he can even identify a simple touch.

          Tyler will sometime go for 30-45 seconds without saying a word because he has lost track of everything.

          Tyler is now a shadow of his former self.

          Any producer who still wants to hire Tyler to call a match is not paying attention.

          Thankfully, ESPN figured out a way to dispose itself of a bad contract with Tyler prior to World Cup 2014 in order to make room for Ian Darke.

          Of course, Summerall was working before 24/7 sports channels, the Internet, and smart phones existed.

          Those types of highlights/analysis shows don’t work in the U.S. (or almost anywhere else) anymore because:

          Everyone now has a smart mobile phone and can access highlight clips via social media literally seconds after an event has happened.

          Unless there is a compelling reason for me to sit through 30 minutes of a linear highlights/analysis show on TV, I am not sitting through the show.

          Goal Zone on NBCSN does NOT offer me anything I can’t get with my phone.

          Viewers are willing to sit through Turner’s Inside the NBA on TNT for 25 minutes before getting to Shaqtin’ a Fool because they know what they are getting with Shaqtin’ a Fool: a fun segment which mocks and lampoons the villains: the divers (i.e. Marcus Smart), the lazy defenders (i.e. James Harden), the clumsy players (i.e. JaVale McGee for many years before he and Shaquille O’Neal got into a Twitter war and their mothers had to step in to stop the feud), and the referees who don’t bother to call blatant traveling anymore.

          The viewers at home hate the villains and their antics.

          Shaqtin’ a Fool works because Shaq, Charles Barkley, and Kenny Smith are able to show the viewers that they hate the villains as much as the viewers do. They are able to connect with the viewers because they put themselves on the side of the viewers.

          I hope Sam Flood, Pierre Moossa, and especially Rebecca Lowe (who will be blamed by management for losing viewers because she is on the front line) are reading this thread and are thinking through everything.

          (Ditto for the group at Turner who will be stepping into battle against Univision Deportes 14 months from now, especially Kate Riley, who is getting a crash course in the U.S. market as she prepares for her audition and interviews to try to win the studio host role for UEFA on truTV.)

          The group at NBC Sports have ridden the “authentic British” presentation train for 3 years with success. But that has run its course. The cracks in the foundation are now showing after season #4.

          How will they respond to the challenge of having to stop rating erosion for the first time?

          We’ll find out in August when PL Season #5 starts for NBC.

          • Oliver Tse

            May 31, 2017 at 3:00 am

            A video clip of Pat Summerall calling Super Bowl XXIV for CBS Sports.


            Notice how few words Summerall uses to describe each play. He was one of the few American play-by-play announcers who used the minimalist style that one would associate with British commentators.

            The #1 complaint viewers of English-language soccer telecasts in the U.S. has of commentators, British or American, is “too many words”.

            Arlo White is guilty of “too many words”, as many of you have already complained.

            • R.O

              May 31, 2017 at 5:22 pm

              Didn’t need to watch clip or notice “minimalist style” Watched the show every Saturday during NFL Football season. Great show. Also watched “This week in Baseball” with Mel Allen (not the crap with Ozzie Smith or others after Mel no longer did show).

              • Oliver Tse

                May 31, 2017 at 9:22 pm

                You are outside the 12-25, 18-34, and the 18-49 demographic.

                Once you reach age 50, your viewing preference no longer matters to sports TV executives.

                Less than half of the viewers of Goal Zone on NBCSN are in the 18-49 demographic. Unless there are a large group of viewers in the 12-17 demographic that don’t show up in a typical report found in trade publications, the viewership of Goal Zone skews older than the viewership of the matches themselves.

                That is not good.

          • R.O

            May 31, 2017 at 5:18 pm

            To your comment:”Those types of highlights/analysis shows don’t work in the U.S. (or almost anywhere else) anymore because: Everyone now has a smart mobile phone and can access highlight clips via social media literally seconds after an event has happened.”

            Well I guess I’m in the minority. I don’t use my smart phone to watch highlights, TV, movies or other such things. As for “anywhere else” Unless you have many contacts around the world who communicate that feeling to you, I’d say that’s a very broad statement not substantiated. I have friends in Europe who enjoy watching simple non-soap opera/reality type highlight shows.

            Next: “Unless there is a compelling reason for me to sit through 30 minutes of a linear highlights/analysis show on TV, I am not sitting through the show.”

            Well that’s your problem then. True, in today’s world people have a very short attention span. Want immediate gratification.

            I still enjoy the highlight show. Premier League in review (now that’s a 1 hr, which must really drive you crazy). They changed look and format a few years ago. Not a fan of the new format.

            • Oliver Tse

              May 31, 2017 at 9:28 pm

              This is not about short attention spans.

              This is about the shift in viewing habits caused by technology.

              ESPN had to completely revamp SportsCenter into a talk show with fewer highlight clips because highlights clips are now available instantly on smart phones.

              I can get any highlight of any PL match literally seconds after a goal or a big save. I don’t need to wait until Goal Zone airs, especially since Goal Zone has no payoff at the end.

              Fixing Goal Zone is not difficult. One possible fix: have Rebecca and the Men in Blazers mock and lampoon the Villains of the Day during the last 5 minutes.

  12. Eddie

    May 29, 2017 at 10:21 am

    what wrong with overflow nbc chaneels during the soccer coverge

  13. Oliver Tse

    May 28, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    There is more than one way to produce soccer television successfully.

    The so-called “authentic British” way, namely the way BBC did it years ago, with the “proper” British decorum (stiff upper lip, standard OxBridge accents, and British vocabulary) isn’t the only way.

    British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) doesn’t do “authentic British” sports TV. BSkyB borrowed many techniques from the Australians. The Brits who were imported by FOX to launch FOX Sports Americas (in Spanish) and FOX Sports World (in English) in the late 1990s, Dermot McQuarrie and Simon Green, don’t do “authentic British” sports TV.

    Simon Green has taken that Australian influence to BT Sport, where he is the head of content.

    ( I had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Green in December 1997, when he was based in Los Angeles. His influence on FOX Sports’ soccer programming the U.S. is still felt to this day, as FOX Sports in the U.S. will go completely opposite what ESPN did with the 2014 World Cup by hiring mostly American announcers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.)

    The one Brit who was hired by Univision to revamp Contacto Deportivo prior to the launch of Univision Deportes Network (UDN), Simon Carr (who still works for Univision, but for its English-language Fusion Media Group), doesn’t do “authentic British” sports TV. Carr and his then boss, American TV producer Sharon Van Zwieten (both were hired from Singapore, where they were working for what was known as ESPN STAR Sports, the present day FOX Sports Asia), completely revamped Univision Deportes, putting young female talent on the front line. Contacto Deportivo always has at least one female anchor, and has two female anchors half the time.

    • Stranger Things

      May 28, 2017 at 8:05 pm

      Your post are so bizarre, your constant posting about female talent, what the female talent should be doing and saying is also weird to say the least. You have no 0 knowledge of anything broadcasting related stop acting like some insider when you are not, you have pulled this nonsense on other sites, why they are letting you write columns here to pedal your garbage is mind boggling.

  14. Brendan Soraghan

    May 28, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Get rid of Robbie Mustoe & Robbie Earle and that moron Kylie Martino . They need Steve Nichol & Craig Burley & Paul Mariner who know something about the Premier League . . Rebecca Lowe is too modest for a Soccer show even if she is a big fan of it . Don Thomas would be a perfect host

    • LIguy

      May 28, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      So basically transfer over all of ESPN FC to NBC?

      • Brendan Soraghan

        May 30, 2017 at 9:15 am

        Yes that’s right . ESPN have the best soccer analysis available in the US . Apart from Warren Barton at Fox the rest are clueless . They played the game , understand the game , and won trophies . So they would be perfect

        • Oliver Tse

          May 30, 2017 at 3:48 pm

          Warren Barton had a reputation of not preparing enough for TV a few years ago.

          He seems to have shred that reputation.

    • Oliver Tse

      May 28, 2017 at 6:36 pm

      Disagree with you.

      NBC Sports will keep its on-camera PL talent as they are all under contract. Rebecca Lowe isn’t going anywhere. Nor are the three pundits.

      However, the ratings are down. The novelty has definitely worn off.

      Specifically, the post-match programming need work. Having Goal Zone in the studio at Stamford, Connecticut, followed by a stand-alone Men in Blazers from a dungeon in New York City (with no interaction with the studio), is not working.

      Turner’s Inside the NBA post game show on TNT puts Goal Zone to shame.


      Goal Zone has highlights and analysis. Standard stuff. Nothing that one would want to stick around to watch in real time after a match. Viewers will DVR it (and skip the commercials) or worse, not watch it.

      Inside the NBA has highlights, analysis (usually by Kenny “The Jet” Smith), and fun segments featuring two bigger than life personalities, Charles “The Round Mound of Rebounds” Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal.

      Viewers are willing to sit through 25 minutes of Inside the NBA, late into the night (after 1am Eastern Time on Thursday night/Friday morning) to get to the payoff: Shaqtin’ a Fool, which mocks and lampoons divers (most notably Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart), lazy players who don’t defend (namely Houston Rockets guard James Harden), bad referees who missed obvious traveling calls (as well as the offenders who walk multiple steps with the ball,) and clumsy/boneheaded plays (by the likes of Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard and current Golden State Warriors backup center JaVale McGee.)

      The issues with NBC’s post-game PL programming can be fixed.

      One possible fix:: integrate Men in Blazers into the Goal Zone itself so that Michael Davies and Roger Bennett can 1) mock and lampoon the divers and cheats (knowing that the two Robbies and Kyle Martino won’t do it), and 2) interact with Rebecca Lowe in real time.

      There are many dimensions of Rebecca Lowe the trained thespian actress that viewers don’t get to see during PL on NBC.

      Go watch videos of Rebecca Lowe when she appears on The Dan Patrick Show. Dan Patrick and his assistants, the “Danettes”, all work together to bring out the fun side of Rebecca Lowe that Rebecca does not show when she is hosting PL on NBC studio shows.

      Here is one example, the infamous “Valley Girl” imitation that Rebecca Lowe was working on two years ago:

      The brain trust at NBC Sports, namely Sam Flood and Pierre Moossa, will have all summer to figure out what issues to fix and how to fix the issues.

      • eddie

        May 30, 2017 at 10:18 am

        what about goal zone on TV like CNBC or USA or NBCSN to air multiple live games on whip-around TV during Epl soccer and it might help the fans get happy to see multiple games on TV.
        For Example : Fox sports does the multiple live games on whip-round during the Uefa champions league and europa league on fox soccer plus. , (Multi-match 90) it could use for NBC sports coverage or turner sports coverage of uefa soccer. that all i have to say about my option and opinion.

        • Oliver Tse

          May 30, 2017 at 12:30 pm

          NBC offers Premier League Productions’ Goal Rush whiparound program on one of the Premier League Live Extra channels (usually DirecTV Channel 491 or 492) and via streaming at and the NBC Sports Live app.

          Goal Rush is active on Saturdays at 10am-12noon Eastern Time (or 11am-1pm on some Saturdays in March, when the U.S. is on daylight time and Europe is on standard time).

          Goal Rush is hosted by John Dykes, who returned home with his family to London to become the face of Premier League Productions (world feeds available to all Premier League rightsholders outside the U.K.) after spending many years in Singapore as host of English Premier League, English FA Cup, and English National Team coverage on what was then ESPN STAR Sports, or ESS (the present day FOX Sports Asia.)

          My boss here at World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris, really like John Dykes the broadcaster.

          However, I cannot recommend the likes of Turner to hire John Dykes, because 1) Turner will be squeezed by AT&T for every penny of profit, and 2) Turner already has Kate Riley as part of its family (anchor/correspondent for World Sport), and Ms. Riley is a much better fit for the U.S. market (in my opinion), as she will be asked by Turner Sports to fight a war against Univision Deportes to connect with and retain young male viewers ages 12-34 who are bilingual by choice or by birth.

  15. Oliver Tse

    May 27, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    Couple of things NBC can do with its EPL studio coverage:

    1. The pundits are beginning to fire themselves up a little more, as they were a bit too cordial through much of the season. Some of the manufactured debate segments this past season were a little flat.

    2. Don’t be afraid to have a little fun in the studio, especially at the end of Goal Zone. The EP and CP need to loosen the shackles on Rebecca Lowe. She is the star in the studio and is the face of the product. Let Rebecca be Rebecca (the trained Shakespearean actress with the full range of skills). Sports TV is supposed to be fun, as Univision Deportes has demonstrated night after night with its on-camera talent (especially the female hosts and reporters.)

    • Stranger things

      May 28, 2017 at 9:38 am

      Creepy is a word that comes to mind reading your long posts.

    • Sargento

      May 28, 2017 at 11:19 pm

      This comes from the mind that wanted a clear desk so dudes can check out the females legs. No wonder he wasn’t brought on as executive producer at one of the networks he crawled and begged to for a job.

      • Stranger Things

        May 29, 2017 at 5:33 pm

        Exactly but he thinks they are monitoring his posts here to implement his ideas. Bizarre stuff.

      • Oliver Tse

        May 30, 2017 at 7:09 pm

        The “plexiglass desk” (from FOX Sports Latin America North/South) and the copycat “plexiglass podium” (from ESPN Deportes/ESPN Dos Latin America North) gimmicks died a natural death in 2014, when FOX re-designed the studio for Central FOX in both Mexico City and Buenos Aires..

        The gimmicks couldn’t have died soon enough. Whichever “evil” executives at FOX and ESPN who came up with them should burn in you know where.

        For illustration only:

        Plexiglass desk from FOX Sports Latin America North/FOX Deportes, May-June 2012: (Evening edition May 28, 2012) (Afternoon edition, June 5, 2012.) (Newsroom desk, June 6, 2012) (Newsroom desk, June 6, 2012)

        Plexiglass podium from ESPN Deportes/ESPN Dos Latin America North: (July 11, 2012)

        (ESPN’s production partner in Mexico, Argos Comunicacion, designed the plexiglass podium for Karina “Kary” Correa for one reason only: she had another job hosting a music show while wearing a swim suit: )

        At least one female sports anchor, Argentine sports journalist Viviana Semienchuk (formerly of FOX Sports Latin America South, based at the studio of Torneos y Competencias in Buenos Aires, Argentina), hated the plexiglass desk because no one could take her seriously as a sports journalist as long as she was sitting behind that desk. (From International Women’s Day: March 8, 2013. Semienchuk was the lead anchor seated in the middle of the desk.)

        When Semienchuk was given the assignment to go to Mexico to cover a Lionel Messi charity match from the touchline in June 2012, she wore a long sleeve blouse and a pair of blue jeans. She wanted to be taken seriously, and she chose a much more dignified outfit for that assignment.

        FOX Sports Latin America (North and South) got rid of that plexiglass desk when it introduced a new set in 2014: (From October 19, 2015 as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month)

        One other thing: sleeves on female sports anchors are back in fashion in 2017.

        The ridiculous trend of female sports anchors all looking like body builders has finally run its course.

        If you need to blame someone for starting that ridiculous trend in the first place, blame my former client. She was the first female sports reporter in the U.S., regardless of language, to take her jacket off and report from MLS matches wearing halter tops when she was hired by Univision Deportes in 1996. (I did not start representing her until 2008. long after she made the switch to poker.) Skip forward to the 4:07 mark of the video below:

    • Tim

      May 30, 2017 at 11:28 am

      I tend to agree. Watching the studio shows put me to sleep. Too much jerking each other off. Controversy and heated debate sell and they want none of it. Look at this site….Any time there is a controversial post about American soccer or one like this, people light the comments section up and that is a good thing. The coverage is great but it can always improve.

      • Oliver Tse

        May 30, 2017 at 2:43 pm

        The PL on NBC pre-game studio show has plenty of insightful analysis in addition to solid news reporting.

        Steve Bower is an underappreciated and undervalued asset. He is a jack-of-all-trade utility man, able to play any position at any time. He can fill in for Rebecca Lowe (when she needed to take maternity leave), Arlo White (when he needed time off to be with his wife after surgery), or the pundits.

        The manufactured debate segments (yes, they do exist during PL on NBC pre-match shows) were too cordial until very recently, no doubt because the EP and CP (i.e. Sam Flood and Pierre Moossa) have finally asked the pundits to fire themselves up.

        However, the two Robbies and Kyle Martino are not naturally fiery people so there will be a limit of how much fire and passion the 3 pundits will eventually be able to show. They are NOT FS1 style debaters and they are definitely NOT going to turn into Alexi Lalas overnight.

  16. cliff

    May 27, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    NBC needs more EPL shows to fill the down time from most Sunday’s thru the following Saturdays.Trying to draw a new audience with just two game days won’t work. Why not pick up a nightly (Mon-Fri) Sky, BBC, etc PL talk show such as Premier League News, team news updates (rather than trying to squeeze all the news of the week into a 30-60 pre-game show on Saturday & Sunday. This is how they handle another sport “new” to the American scene, NHL but because there’s usually an NHL game on 5 or 6 nights a week that pretty well covers the average week keeping the NHL, unlike the EPL, in daily sports news rotation.

    • Oliver Tse

      May 28, 2017 at 6:42 pm

      I used to believe that Premier League News would be worth watching.

      Not anymore.

      Not after watching an episode in February 2016.

      The 2015-2016 version of Premier League News has everything that gives local news programs such as bad reputation among young viewers, starting with reporters doing stand-ups in front of empty stadiums in the dark of night.

      The presentation of Premier League News in 2015-2016 was tired, very tired. It was like a bad local TV newscast. NBC should not air it.

  17. Eddie

    May 27, 2017 at 8:25 am

    what about they mess up the overflow coverge on msnbc to unversal hd due president speak in tv. we need overfow channel. to step up on tv

  18. Great Idea

    May 26, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    They need to hire Kartik for the studio and Oliver Tse to run the programming it would be the best soccer show in history in any country, ratings would surpass anything ever seen in any sport.

  19. LeaveItBe

    May 26, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Don’t overthink it.

    Don’t mess with success.

    Don’t tinker for the sake of tinkering.

    • Oliver Tse

      May 28, 2017 at 6:46 pm

      Disagree with you.

      Ratings are down.

      Novelty has worn off.

      Young “fan boys” who want to imitate Brits by saying “brilliant” and “lovely” in fake British accents, wearing scarves, and marching to MLS matches with drums from the pub, are moving on to other fads.

      Some parts of the PL on NBC presentation, notably post-match Goal Zone, are NOT working and needs to be tweaked.

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