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Euro soccer leagues breaking US TV records: World Soccer Talk Podcast

World Soccer Talk is a weekly podcast about watching soccer on TV, online and apps.

In the NEW episode, number 124, Christopher Harris and co-host Kartik Krishnaiyer cover a range of topics including:

• NBC’s Premier League coverage breaks a new record,
• Univision and TNT break records too – this time for the Champions League,
• MLS makes an interesting deal to appeal to cord cutters,
• And we have a bunch of letters from you, the listeners, in our mailbag section.

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

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. Cpcva

    May 19, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Since I don’t have cable I don’t know about nbcsn but on ota NBC they’ve never had any pregame ceremonies with their premier league coverage..

    • NashRambler

      May 19, 2019 at 1:32 pm

      Regular season premier league games don’t have all of the traditional pregame ceremony and build up that the FA Cup Final has.

  2. NashRambler

    May 18, 2019 at 12:32 pm


    I had the stream turned on this morning to watch the FA Cup Final and ESPN turned on the broadcast just in time for “God Save the Queen” right before kick off. No “Abide with Me” and no pre-match build up from the host broadcaster. Absolutely disappointed in ESPN to be so disrespectful to the occasion to not include all of the pre-match spectacle. I will be sending an email to to complain. Of course ultimately for the viewer it’s about the match but this is an event with over 140 years of tradition and the pre-match ceremony helps to convey to viewers outside of England that they are watch a big event with a special place in British culture.

  3. NashRambler

    May 17, 2019 at 12:58 pm


    You sounded hopeful that ESPN+ will stream the FA Cup pre-match ceremony but still of the mindset that we will have to wait and see. I will be deeply disappointed if ESPN+ doesn’t show the performances of “Abide with Me” and “God Save the Queen”.

    While I appreciate that FOX showed the FA Cup on over-the-air broadcast television for the past several years I was always very annoyed that as far as I can remember they never showed the performance of “Abide with Me”. They may have shown “God Save the Queen” in some years but in others did not. Considering that I am paying the extra $5 per month on top of a cable subscription for ESPN+ I will be even more annoyed with ESPN than I was with FOX if the pre-match ceremony is not shown.

  4. JP

    May 17, 2019 at 10:36 am

    Few things that stand in the way of MLS or any other American sports league from doing away with playoffs. But I’ll focus on MLS

    1. Requires a balanced schedule, playing everyone at least twice (home/away). With MLS expanding to 30 clubs in the coming years it would require a 58 match schedule. Unless pro/rel is introduced to keep the league near 20 clubs this is likely unworkable.

    2. American fan sentiment. Playoff qualification keeps fans of mediocre clubs engaged (just qualify and there’s always a chance!). If the league winner became obvious midway through the season then fans of the teams out of contention will stop following or attending games.
    This isn’t as much of an issue in Europe since there’s also the race to qualify for champions league (akin to playoffs) or avoid relegation if your club is below mediocre.

    In my opinion, MLS either needs to introduce pro/rel or break up the league into regions. Regional winners (or top 3 etc) could then qualify for a concurrent nationwide tournament like the Champions League for the following season (playoffs!).

    • Yespage

      May 17, 2019 at 3:17 pm

      I think the trouble is the MLS owners didn’t buy into a regional setup… or especially Promotion/Relegation. The MLS is stuck in the direction it is heading.

      • Monte Reed

        May 18, 2019 at 11:21 am

        which is why nothing will change………

    • Monte Reed

      May 18, 2019 at 11:19 am

      I like your thoughts,
      With Pro/Rel, I would also add that there should be pro/rel base on attendance. If you can not average 14,000 fans, you should be rel (College D1 FBS football is 15,000 and there is 130 FBS teams). Teams like NE Rev (13,519), Save the Crew (12,833), Colorado Rapids (12,690), Chicago Fire (10,585) all should be rel. FC Dallas (14,465) and Houston (14,922) current bubble teams that should go down also. This would give teams like Indy Eleven (12,434) and New Mexico United (12,299) and Sacramento Republic (10,742) who has the best attendance in USL an opportunity to play in the MLS (MLS teams in these cities should have larger attendance). This would also encourage USL teams to have larger attendance in order to become MLS clubs. Precourt should be worried about his future Austin FC team when Austin Bold is only averaging 2,600.
      I understand that the MLS is more concerned about TV markets but poor attendance with these teams bring the entire league down and watching matches in empty stadium does not increase viewership.
      As far as playoffs, regional winners would be best. Too many teams in the playoffs currently.

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