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Impact of a David Beckham Miami team on MLS and TV ratings: 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 30, Kartik Krishnaiyer and Christopher Harris cover a range of topics including:

• Who will be FOX’s lead commentary team for World Cup 2018,

• Latest news from FOX and Telemundo about their Confederations Cup coverage

• Analysis of the UEFA Champions League TV coverage in the USA,

• Our thoughts on what impact the MLS Miami team can have on the league and TV ratings,

• 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.

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  1. Oliver Tse

    June 19, 2017 at 7:16 am

    Alan Green’s debut on Atlanta United (MLS) broadcast was a borderline disaster.

    1. There is a difference between broadcasting soccer on TV, and broadcasting soccer on “radio with pictures”. Alan Green broadcast “radio with pictures” on Saturday night during Atlanta vs Columbus. He broadcast way “too many words”.

    2. He misidentified the player who scores the goal for Columbus, Federico Higuain, as “(Justin) Meram, I think”

    That is just about as amateur a mistake an announcer could make in a TV broadcast.

    Mr. Green was paid to do play-by-play, not to say “…I, think” after he was not able to identify the goal scorer. He should have taught long ago not to say that. Furthermore, he compounded his first error of missing the goal scorer by committing a second error of misidentifying the goal scorer. That is unacceptable.

    I was warn by at least one U.K.-based contact that Green would have trouble adjusting from radio to TV. Just because he is a legendary BBC Radio “football” announcer, doesn’t mean he knows to broadcast soccer on TV. He will have to make adjustments, and so far, he hasn’t made enough adjustments to be good enough to call MLS matches on TV at any level, not even the regional level.

    Atlanta United will have 2 regional telecasts this week, on both Wednesday and Saturday. World Soccer Talk will be watching.

    It’s too bad Darren Eales was obsessed with finding a British voice for an American soccer club with a distinctly Latin American favor on the pitch.

    There are at least 10 English-language broadcasters in the U.S., with extensive experience calling domestic and international matches, who are better choices than Alan Green.

    beIN Sports USA announcer Kevin Egan, who filled in for Green for 5 broadcasts before Green arrived, is one example. Because Mr. Egan is based in Miami and is under contract at beIN Sports USA, he may not be available to travel to Atlanta to call all matches and travel cost will be an issue.

    FOX Sports Women’s World Cup and NWSL on Lifetime announcer Jenn Hildreth, who lives in Atlanta (no travel cost) and has extensive experience calling matches, is another example. Ms. Hildreth has adjusted her play-by-play style by cutting down on the number of words she uses. She knows how to pick up the pace and raise her volume during scoring opportunities.

    If I were Darren Eales, I would bring Ms. Hildreth in for an interview and audition first for the 2018 season, as she would be the candidate that would bring the most “bang for the buck”. The positive public relations value of hiring Ms. Hildreth to call Atlanta United matches (she would be the first woman to call MLS play-by-play, in an era where ESPN is willing to hire Beth Mowins to call NFL Monday Night Football) simply cannot be purchased at any price.

  2. Oliver Tse

    June 10, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    Looking forward to doing a podcast with Christopher (and possibly Kartik) when everyone returns from vacation in July. I haven’t done a podcast with Christopher since 2007:

    A lot of things will happen in the next month that are worth keeping an eye on, besides Confederations Cup (on FOX and Telemundo) and Gold Cup (on FOX and Univision):

    1. The arrival on June 17 of 64-year old BBC Sports Radio announcer Alan Green, who will start calling Atlanta United (MLS) matches on FOX Sports Southeast and FOX Sports South with former L.A. Galaxy player Dan Gargan. The jury is way out on this hire made by Atlanta United President Darren Eales, as Atlanta United was using a much younger announcer with MLS experience in Kevin Egan (who has been working full time for beIN Sports USA after he arrived in Miami to replace Ian Joy two seasons ago from the Chicago Fire) to fill-in before Mr. Green arrives (and Mr. Egan was solid, as always.). Based on some observations made by listeners in the U.K., I am not sure if this hire of Mr. Green by Mr. Eales will work because Mr. Green hasn’t done much if any TV before Mr. Eales hired him…Our World Soccer Talk colleague Abe Asher alerted me to Gargan a few weeks ago and Gargan has been on my radar ever since, as a potential candidate for studio pundit at Turner’s UEFA on truTV if Gargan were retained by Atlanta United for 2018.

    2. How FOX Sports will use Aly Wagner in the studio during Confederations Cup and the Gold Cup. Ms. Wagner, who is a very busy working mother of 4 very young children (3 triplet 4-year old boys and a 2-year-old daughter; her husband is a former MLS and college soccer player turned mortgage broker based in Silicon Valley,) has done very impressive work so far with isolation analysis of players (such as her analysis of Ronaldo as an efficient, scientific player who acts like a high stakes poker player who doesn’t tip his hand until he waits for the right moment to make his move: ) However, she still has a lot of room to improve, as she hasn’t shown viewers yet that she is able to recognize and analyze modern defensive tactical set ups (positioning of players to “shrink the pitch” and disrupt passing attacks, maintaining defense shape, etc.) at the level her FOX Sports colleagues such as Stuart Holden, Landon Donovan, and Ian Joy are able to do. If Ms. Wagner were able to put in the hours to study and show the viewers that she were capable of reaching this next level, then she will expand her fan base from mostly girls and women to a whole new group of viewers, namely young men.

    3. How will Jorge Perez-Navarro adjust his English-language play-by-play for FOX Sports? He has some work to do as he tweaks his play-by-play style to prepare for Mexico matches during Confederations Cup and Gold Cup. His transition from Spanish-language play-by-play (for Univision Deportes) to English-language play-by-play for FOX Sports remains a work in progress.

    4. The continuing development of Nicolas “Nico” Cantor, the son of the most famous soccer announcer in the U.S. (regardless of language), legendary Argentine sports journalist Andres Cantor, as Nico calls MLS matches on the English-language SAP feed on Univision Deportes Network (UDN). Nico Cantor is a work in progress, as he needs time to figure out how he will call matches (including goals) in English consistently, and he needs to put in the effort to smooth out very rough edges in his English-language play-by-play.

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