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Messi turns fútbol world upside down: World Soccer Talk Podcast

In the NEW episode, number 229, Christopher Harris and guest co-host Kay Murray from ESPN cover a range of topics including:

• What the Messi transfer saga means for the soccer TV networks

• Big changes at beIN SPORTS as their lead analyst Ray Hudson leaves

• ESPN announces star analysts for LaLiga coverage

• We have an exclusive with one of the hosts of ESPN’s LaLiga coverage

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 web@worldsoccertalk.com, via Twitter (@worldsoccertalk) or Facebook. We’ll read them out on-air in the next episode.

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52 Comments

52 Comments

  1. Mercator

    August 11, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    @ Hans, My understanding is Barca thought the CVC deal would make keeping Messi possible. Then they spoke to their CFO who told them its a criminally bad deal, and Laporte had to make a decision. Messi is good, Laporte isn’t going to sell off the crown jewels to keep Messi for another few years. Seems interesting City also passed on Messi, but seem ready to blow £100m+ on Kane. Not sure I see the logic in that, PSG seem to have gotten him for a steal. Where was Edu? It’s not likely he comes to Arsenal, but at least make him an offer.

  2. Hans

    August 11, 2021 at 1:46 pm

    I am taking Gabe Marcotti’s words here “We do not know all the details yet and there has to be more then just the salary caps”. If Barca would have accepted the CVC investment they could have swung the deal but they are still married to the idea of the ESL.
    They knew the numbers, they could add them up, there was a contract to be signed that all parties agreed to, since this is the way it ended only 2 possibilities, Barca is the height of incompetence OR criminal and corrupt details would have been made public. Nothing else makes sense to kick out in a humiliating fashion the star attraction of La Liga.

  3. locofooty

    August 11, 2021 at 9:41 am

    EPL rights will cost even more for the next cycle then.

    Barca gambled and lost. They were waiting for La Liga to lift/suspend the spending limits and La Liga did not. This is more than just Messi. Super League, the latest investment by CVC, TV rights are all involved here (Madrid and Barca are still pissed at the reforms). I’m sure Juventus and Madrid applied pressure as well. It’s all disgusting.

  4. Ra

    August 11, 2021 at 8:10 am

    @Michael Laliga will be just fine, but they lost a major global brand in Messi, comparable to Barca and Real themselves. Messi became a legend, comparable to the greatest footballers in history. Griezman is a great player, but probably no-one will tune in just to watch him play.
    ESPN overpaid for LaLiga rights – it cost them twice as CBS paid for Serie A and comparable to what NBC paid EPL in the previous cycle.
    Without Messi, LaLiga is behind Bundesliga and Serie A in terms of enjoyment. I certainly won’t be tuning in.
    The other question that begs answers – did Barca operate in bad faith? It is inconceivable that they did not know this before early Aug.
    To me, that speaks to their character- they blindsided Messi, the fans, and TV rights holders, such as ESPN in the US. They made a verbal agreement. Their word is not worth anything anymore. Gone are the days (and their President) when words mattered. Barca’s downfall started with their ethics. Barca should be investigated for this.

  5. Michael

    August 10, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    La Liga will be fine. They have been having superstars come and go their entire history. As for ESPN+, Disney knew what they were doing. They aren’t stupid. When they bought La Liga Messi was about to be out the door anyway. He is 34. They bought La Liga at the same time they picked some of the Liga MX and Sign the deal with the SEC conference to guarantee at least 1 game per team per year in football and 7 games per year in basketball. La Liga is a bargain compared to that and the increase in subscribers for the SEC alone will pay for La Liga. Even without Messi Barcelona is still loaded. They will be just fine. After all of this Barca is still the 2nd richest soccer team in the world (second only to Real Madrid) and 6th most richest sport franchise in the world. In addition they have the largest capacity stadium in all of Europe. Messi will hurt temporarily….but they will only drop to #3 (Real Madrid & Manchester United). I will still watch a random La Liga game 100 time out of 100 over any EPL game other than one with Arsenal…but that is just me. That is what is beautiful about soccer in the US. We can watch whatever we want League Un, La Liga,, Serie A, Bundesliga, EPL, Liga MX, Brazil, Argentina, and on and on.

  6. Fechin Attuah

    August 10, 2021 at 1:16 am

    I know this is a soccer channel but does anyone know if IMSA series will be on peacock in 2022 along with USA network

  7. Toto

    August 10, 2021 at 12:21 am

    Michelangelo, beIN sport is owned by Aljazira, a Qatari news organization and PSG is owned by the Shiekh of Qatar, they have the ligue un broadcast right in US until 2023 so we are stuck with them for now specially if Messi really ends up in Paris. My own view is that Barca and La Liga are negotiating in the background to keep him there and all this shenanigans is to put pressure on la liga. Everyone in Spain will lose big if Messi goes.

  8. Edwin

    August 10, 2021 at 12:00 am

    Ra AUGUST 7, 2021
    @Rich I doubt that. It was not in their long-term plans, but I certainly was in the short-term promo to drive engagement. They certainly were counting on him to jump-start their viewer-base.
    I doubt that Messi wouldn’t make a difference in their valuation.

    @Ra exactly saying that is just something feckless to say to try to silence critics. There’s not much ESPN can say it was a risky gambit to start with thinking you could suddenly double or triple the viewership of La Liga from the historical 150k on BeIn and ESPN to EPL 400k levels. I mean La Liga isn’t even averaging MLS level 250-300k. I know ESPN has bean counters but they must have really drunken the Kool-Aid here. To think they could get that many people subscribed up to ESPN+ off so small a TV engagement base. Maybe if the plan was to go the NBC EPL route and show 30+ late morning early afternoon games I could’ve saw it as possibly viable, @Chris do you have any thoughts or inside insight on ESPN’s thinking on how they were going to make this work besides magic?

  9. Michelangelo

    August 9, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    Serie A is now on Paramount Plus. Their button on the app was posted today since Coppa Italia matches will air this Friday. Excellent. Lets hope for amazing coverage. Thank you. Please Messi come to the Serie A.

  10. Ra

    August 9, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    Kay mentioned that Ray Hudson wanted to retire with Messi. He certainly did not saw this one coming? I wonder if he’d be back to BeIn to narrate Serie Un. Very unlikely, but who knows?

  11. Ra

    August 9, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    @Benfica How exactly would United play hardball and insist that Pogba signs a new multi-year contract? Should they give him a truckload of money now or harass him and bench him and see him sue his way out early? Please enlighten us.

  12. Michelangelo

    August 9, 2021 at 1:47 pm

    Either Peacock, Paramount Plus, or ESPN+ should buy Ligue Un if Messi goes to PSG? Where ever Messi goes broadcasters are going to do everything they can to get viewers and subscribers. By adding Messi to any team will do just that. Bein Sports is doing a horrible job and their coverage is awful ever since they lost the Serie A and La Liga. They don’t have many leagues as it is and they don’t show much live matches anymore. Half of their broadcasting team left completely and joined ESPN+. It is a must to get Ligue Un on a different service because Bein Sports is atrocious and needs to be eliminated just like how GOL TV was. Please Paramount Plus or ESPN Plus please obtain the rights to Ligue Un so we can see the best player in the world. Forza Napoli and Forza Serie A.

  13. José Cerrato

    August 9, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    ¿aumentarán mucho o poco los ratings de LaLiga en EE.UU con ESPN?

  14. Ra

    August 9, 2021 at 9:49 am

    Don’t see any reason why BeIn would sell it. They got the lucky ticket and it is not for sale. Wondering if they were playing the long game on selling LaLiga. It was genius. They sold the overvalued asset and kept the undervalued.
    For those who don’t know, BeIn’s chairman is Nasser Al-Khelaifi, which happens to be PSG’s President. After knowing this, who here still thinks that they will sell it?
    I am actually happy that Messi is leaving – I don’t care for Barca or Real, two of the most committed proponents of the Super Liga. Barca did not play fair with Messi – they wanted to force their hand to make him agree to much worse terms by delaying to the very last moment. Now, that they saw that it back-fired, they are trying to sue PSG to prevent him from signing him.
    Yep. I have no interest in LaLiga besides Messi. If it wasn’t for Bundesliga, I would happily scrap my ESPN+ subscription. I might still do, depending on the month.

  15. UnitedFan 3478

    August 9, 2021 at 9:18 am

    Could ESPN get Ligue 1 next? Just like how they got La Liga, but not overpay for it, so that they can still get the EPL 🤔

  16. Fechin Attuah

    August 8, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Any chance any broadcasters will have a ligue 1 contract buyout to obtain the league to remove it from bein sports like la liga

    • Christopher Harris

      August 9, 2021 at 8:03 am

      We’ll discuss the topic on this week’s podcast.

  17. Michael F

    August 8, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    @benfica 1968. To your opening sentence… 😂. Leave it to a few here that just keep repeating their redundant rant over and over, where the original topic at hand gets completely lost.

  18. benfica 1968

    August 8, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    Not sure how this thread became a contest of who could claim the lowest non cable rates!
    What does Messi going to PSG do to the widely rumored interest of PSG in Pogba. I know the oil billionaires seem to be able to deceive FIFA fair play laws, but surely a small club like PSG must be seen to be breaking all FFP laws just by getting Messi – let alone getting Pogba.
    So is there anyone else out there who can pay Pogba the money to satisfy his ego, or does he have to stay at United? Do United play hard ball and insist he signs a new multi year contract now to avoid losing him for nothing next summer?

  19. Toto

    August 8, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    La liga without Messi is just another league and will loose it’s attraction, on the other hand Ligue un will pick up worldwide viewers. PSG is building the dream team, Messi flanked by Mbape and Neymar with Ramos & Marquinhos in the back and Veratti & Wijnaldum in midfield and Pochettino as the coach would be a amazing team to watch. The bookies already give them 3-1 odds to winning the UCL. Being sport just got another lifeline in US market. Love to hear Phil And Ray commenting on PSG games.

  20. Ra

    August 8, 2021 at 6:13 pm

    @Mercator Hear, hear. When I had Comcast is because I didn’t have any other option. And based on their service, I still hate Comcast and anything related to this day. If you test the address of the closest neighborhood where they have competition, you will see that they charge substantially lower for the same service. I had to be creative with this monopolistic $%@. I canceled one right before going on vacation. I resubscribed and scheduled the ‘install` while still abroad. The other time I subscribed under my wife’s name.
    I always use my own router (nest wifi) so that I don’t have to update all devices in my home, which is quite painful. I instructed the technician to bypass my ATT modem so that its wifi is inactive.
    @Hans Check ATT if available. There are no data caps, at least not where I live. I have the promo rate, but there are no contracts as well. I had FIOS in a previous address and both are comparable in terms of quality.
    ALL – how does Homerun compare to Tablo and Fire Recast? Do any of you use ATSC 3.0 or have a Homerun 4k? Curious to hear your experiences. I have 3.0 in my area, but I am not sure if it is worth the effort at this point. Any soccer in 4k?

  21. Don Dickerson

    August 8, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    I get it Messi is the big draw. But to say the club isn’t worth watching now is beyond dumb. I’ll tune in because they are still a great club that will be at the top of there leagues table and definitely worthy of the knock out round probably round of 16 maybe even 8 if they get a good draw in the next few years of Champions League. Going forward they have 2 great men up front with Depay and Griezmann so long as they stay healthy this club is going to be well worth watching even without Messi.

  22. Hans

    August 8, 2021 at 3:14 pm

    @Michelangeo
    Forza Napoli, the team I support in Serie A since Arsenal in the EPL at the moment is totally abysmal with Dumb and Dumber as DOF and Manager.
    However Messi to Serie A will not happen as the wages he gets paid only 3 clubs could afford, Chelsea, Man City & PSG. Since he has given so much to the footballing world let him play his remaining years in a dignified manner where he is appreciated and towards his liking. We will enjoy him in the UCL.

  23. Michelangelo

    August 8, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    Messi needs to come to Serie A. We need to see Messi v.s Ronaldo for one last time. Please make this happen. Messi if you sign with PSG you won’t win the champions league and you will only win the league. I boring league which is predictable. Please make the dream happen and come to Napoli. Come play as the same club as your idol Diego Armando Maradona. Please Messi come to the Serie A, !!!!!!

  24. Hans

    August 8, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    @Ra
    I hear you loud and clear and you are correct in assuming that my bill is too high. I am with Verizon FIOS and the only way to get a lower deal is using their promotions, for which I am not eligible. I checked every avenue and the only way to do this is to get out of the Verizon’s system and then get the promotional deal. That means either no Internet Access for at least a few days OR switching to Comcast. From my comments you know that will never happen.
    There is one other factor and that is the monthly consumption of Bandwidth. Both AT&T as well as Comcast would love to meter that access, FIOS does not do that, so my Terra Byte traffic per month is fine and Verizon doesn’t care. Doubt if that would be the same with AT&T or Comcast.
    My two year deal will be renegotiated in a few months and I will see what can be done for a new two year deal.

  25. Mercator

    August 8, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    @Ra Comcast is the only provider, $65 (1gb down /30 up) on the promo rate and $25 for unlimited. I’ve taken to calling on Christmas day to get a foreign call center who can give me the promo rate for another year. The US based ones refuse to do it unless you are in a market where you have other options apparently, which I am not. Hopefully AT&T will expand fiber here soon, I’d pay a premium to never have to deal with Comcast again.

    You can get away with $15 a month for ESPN+, Paramount+ and Fanatiz and get basically everything except the EPL, and you can get the EPL for $15 if you are willing to use the Peacock and churn sling accounts. There is no NEED to spend $200. Most of my spending is just to ensure the family can still watch everything without much complexity, otherwise they would start asking where the cable went, so that’s my ROI justification. I watch almost everything on the IPTV anyway just for the convenience.

  26. Ra

    August 8, 2021 at 11:30 am

    @Hans @Mercator Your internet bill seems expensive to me.
    I am paying $60.75 (incl all taxes, equipment rental and fees) for 1gig (both upstream and downstream, HBO Max included). I could get a 300/20 connection for $30/mo. I chose the 1gig because of home office and Stadia.
    Have you checked what would be the promo introductory rate for your address? I usually check once per year by selecting as if I was moving to my own address. And then I call them and negotiate to what I was paying or current rates, whichever is lower.
    It worked every time but when I lived in PA and had Comcast. I this case I canceled and my wife subscribed. Still got the promo rate.
    If I was to do the same today, ATT would even send me a $150 gift card, but I would have the inconvenience of returning and installing equipment and would lose HBO Max.
    I can see how you can get the bill to $200, but I would not think I would get a sound ROI on my $s.
    I pay half of this and still think I am wasting money. There is just way too much content to watch, and time is limited.

  27. Michelangelo

    August 8, 2021 at 11:14 am

    @Emmett- Livesoccertv has all the information on all the league and where matches will be taking place. I just checked and I don’t see any matches televised in the U.S.

  28. Emmett

    August 8, 2021 at 11:10 am

    Anyone know if Austrian Bundesliga (Salzburg) is broadcast in the US this year? Forthefans.com streamed a handful of games last season

    • Christopher Harris

      August 8, 2021 at 4:01 pm

      No news yet. We hope to hear something soon.

  29. Mercator

    August 8, 2021 at 10:37 am

    @Ra You can pretty easily get to $200. I personally cut the cord not to save money but for greater options in content, better playback features (like Multicast) and so I can deal with Comcast less. I spend $45 on streaming services, $30 on YTTV and IPTV and another $90 on the internet itself. If I wasn’t splitting the YTTV subscription the total would be more than $200. But, my cable and internet was $200+ before and I basically only got the games shown on US TV. Now I can watch basically any game, at any time, often with several choices of broadcaster. Of course I can’t watch every game and I don’t, but I usually have the football or the news on in the background, so its an immense upgrade to have that background be live matches from around the world and not another replay of an FA cup final from the 90s. Amortising the cost of Apple TVs and HDHomerun, I probably haven’t saved any money yet and would only save $20-30 monthly compared to cable. But I have infinitely more options and its much more convenient, even 10 years ago I couldn’t watch all the Arsenal games.

  30. Michelangelo

    August 8, 2021 at 9:41 am

    @rkujay-it’s ashame not to see Messi have his farewell match without a crowd. This is how the message should have been delivered but not like this. Thank you Messi. Please come to Serie A. If Messi goes to Ligue 1 and Paris St. Germain, Will Bein Sports still exist or will another carrier will buy the rights?

  31. rkujay

    August 8, 2021 at 8:53 am

    Wait for it. La Liga will have to cave, or watch the best player they had…Cristiano already left…walk out the door. If you’re old enough, reflect upon a James Brown concert. ‘I can’t go on…’ throw the cape over him. Watch as he collapses. Then…as if a miracle…he’s back on his feet.’ The ‘encore’ will commence. Bet on it. Then it’s a matter of money. If PSG wants, If City want…then the battle commences.

  32. Michelangelo

    August 8, 2021 at 8:27 am

    It hurts to see Messi like this it really does. Messi is one of the best players on this planet and he dosen’t deserve this. Messi will go to PSG. I want him to go to Serie A but it’s never going to happen. Best of luck to Messi and thank you for everything that you do for the beautiful game.

  33. Rich

    August 8, 2021 at 7:19 am

    @Ra, @Hans
    All I said was that the deal wasn’t predicated on whether Messi stayed or left. Remember, all that static about him possibly going to City was 8 months before ESPN made the deal. There was no guarantee that he was going to stay, even if it was just for the kickoff of the contract.
    Yes it will hurt LaLiga in the short term if he actually leaves , but it isn’t as if ESPN was blindsided by the possibility.

  34. Hans

    August 8, 2021 at 12:21 am

    To get a grip on the cost of your sports packages often depends on where you live. When I bought my house on the U.S. East Coast the NUMBER ONE requirement was Fiber to the home, couldn’t give a hoot of anything else. Next criteria where the layout, rooms and location then the money. So I pay $60 per month for 100MB up and 100MB down more then fast enough.
    Next Antenna in the attic hooked to a HDHomerun tuner $150 one time expenditure that gives me 60 channels over the air including all the major networks and all the TV channels are on my WiFi and network on EVERY device in the home.
    Next the streaming packages, ESPN+ $50 per year (will go up next year to $60), Paramount+ $60 per year (Initial offer with free live TV local station) with a renewal in 2 months for $50 with no live local TV station. Peacock+ $50 per year.
    Total for streaming services $160 for a year or $5 per month for 3 streaming services plus $60 for Internet Access Total $65. It is the CABLE PACKAGE that kills you.
    My sports interest now is mainly all things Rugby, Serie A, EPL and Bundesliga and in that order and the streaming services provide those competitions.
    Job Done up yours Comcast.

  35. Ra

    August 7, 2021 at 11:55 pm

    @Jason. I absolutely agree. My must-haves are UCL and Bundeliga. Nice-to-haves: EPL, Ligue 1, Serie A Brasileirao and Lalita.
    I can cover my soccer needs with $11 (Paramount essential + ESPN), but my overall expense is higher because I care to having ad-free content. My total expense is:
    $60 1gig ATT fiber + HBO
    $10 Paramount premium
    $20 ESPN+, Disney+ and ad-free Hulu
    $5 Sling World Sports (BeIn + Premiere) annual
    $20/yr CuriosityStream
    I don’t see how someone can watch content worth $200 per month. Unless watching TV is your full-time job.
    I think mine is already too indulgent and I will cancel and resubscribe based on my agenda.

  36. jason

    August 7, 2021 at 6:25 pm

    @Roberto An ESPN+ subscriber here. Will watch most of the EFL and German Bundesliga games. When time is limited I prioritize the Bundesliga. That used to not be the case. In the 2000’s I followed nothing but English football. Starting in late 2010’s my primary viewing changed over to Germany. Started to find English game a bit boring. German stadium atmospheres are far superior to England now.

  37. Roberto

    August 7, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    Do any of you actually watch the games?

  38. Chronos

    August 7, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    Assuming we require internet access for other reasons, I don’t get the $200 number. $6 for ESPN+, $10(?) for Paramount+, $5:for Peacock plus $10 for Fanatiz plus $65 for YouTube TV equals $96. What am I missing? Even if we include internet in the cost, it is still less than $200, with vastly more matches than cable, ever offered. And I don’t even subscribe to all of these services, as I can only watch so many matches in a week.

    Of course, none of this applies to those who live in areas without solid internet access, but that is larger problem than just streaming.

  39. Michael

    August 7, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    Paying $15 for the streaming packages is more than fair. Get rid of the $150 a month cable. I cut the cable and lowered my bill over $100 dollars a month and I am not missing any of my teams. 1. Disney+/HULU/ESPN+ Bundle ($15.00), 2. Amazon Channels ($17.00), 3. Sling/Locast ($10.00) 4. Paramount+ ($5.00) 5. HBO Max ($0.00 with At&t fiber) 6. MLB.TV ($0.00 with T-Mobile) that is less than $50 a month. Many people are realizing that they don’t need cable and the companies are listening. In 20 years the only people that still have cable are people in rural areas that don’t have access to High Speed internet. The shift has sailed. The world has changed the way they consume content and the amount they are willing to pay for it. It is not going back.

  40. Margaret

    August 7, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    Thank you. As someone on a fixed income and passionate about football the move to streaming services for the most important games is totally unfair.

  41. Barbara

    August 7, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    Absolutely Hans! I agree wholeheartedly!! Further, the diehard football/soccer fans who are paying over $200 per month for cable soccer channels before streaming began, are left paying the same when most of the channels in the tier are gone streaming way!! It’s doubly hard for the person who’s on fixed income and cannot afford to pay the monthly charges for the streaming services. Further, just the same as the cable shannigans, the streaming services at times, drop some services when a particular service is not living up to its billing!! And, here’s the catch, neither the streaming service nor cable lowers the monthly charge accordingly!! Totally unfair!!

  42. Hans

    August 7, 2021 at 9:55 am

    @Rich
    Every credible pundit including those from ESPN-FC have concluded that this will hurt La Liga more then Messi. La Liga no longer has the stars that draw viewership of 100 million from across the globe seeing Messi vs. Ronaldo. My excitement watching La Liga has taken a dip and that leagues status among the European leagues in my opinion now puts them behind Serie A and Bundesliga just ahead of Ligue Un. ESPN certainly rolled out the red carpet for La Liga and found out it’s greatest star is gone. Messi was responsible for 620 mill income for Barca that tells you his worth for that league.

  43. Mercator

    August 7, 2021 at 9:19 am

    Very cool having Kay Murray cohost and really looking forward to her and Dan leading the la liga presentation. I think we all really need Ray to stay, at least until Messi well and truly retires. I would love to hear him on PSG games next year. The ESPN multicast feature really allows you to see more of the smaller clubs on a regular basis, so I’ve enjoyed 20 / 20 coverage of some of the smaller clubs.

    Barca is an absolute disgrace. The Financial Times recently had an expose and their incompetence in the last 5 years has been truly staggering. For all we mock the oil clubs, Barca spent over a billion to get worse, with no one bankrolling everything. Now they have to let Messi go in embarrassing fashion, he deserved better from the club. La Liga doesn’t look much better, the CVC deal is terrible. You finance that from the bond market or a bank loan, you don’t give away 10% of your revenues for 50 years. Seria A and Bundesliga turned down a similar offer, and I’m glad Madrid is suing over this. Reminds me of Ligue 1 picking Mediapro, after Seria A turned them down, failing to get any guarantee, and then having it blow up in their face. How can someone like Barto walk into a negotiation with a max price of €80 million and walk out paying twice that? You really wonder who manages some of these football clubs, it’s absolutely unprofessional at best and grossly incompetent in many cases. These are not small amounts of money. Kane needs a real agent as well, he embarrassed himself and achieved nothing.

    I feel like an inordinate amount of games have gone to PKs during the summer tournaments. I have no numbers or evidence, but all summer it has felt quite the norm for a game to be settled in PKs, or at least extra time. Let’s see how BRA-ESP will finish.

  44. Ra

    August 7, 2021 at 8:56 am

    @Rich I doubt that. It was not in their long-term plans, but I certainly was in the short-term promo to drive engagement. They certainly were counting on him to jump-start their viewer-base.
    I doubt that Messi wouldn’t make a difference in their valuation.

  45. Rich

    August 7, 2021 at 7:34 am

    @Hans
    It has been said numerous times on these forums and again by Kay during the podcast: an eight year commitment from ESPN was NOT predicated on whether a 34 y/o Messi stayed or left Barca.

    Fantastic pod by the way, Chris!

  46. Hans

    August 7, 2021 at 12:55 am

    The real winner in all of this is beIN wh0 dumped La Liga and hold the rights to Ligue Un, and additional looser could be ESPN with their 8 year deal for La Liga now that there is no Messi and rumors have it that since Aguero hasn’t been registered he also wants to leave since he joined Barca to play with Messi.
    Looks like a few contracts will be redrawn like Tickets for PSG and TV Rights for Ligue Un and we have to see if ESPN gets their lawyers involved on the deal that they signed with La Liga. What an entertaining Transfer Window this turned out to be.
    Barca has to be the worst run club in the top tiers. Looks like Laporta got this one wrong Messi is bigger than Barca,

  47. Fechin Attuah

    August 6, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    Isn’t paramount plus going to air the UEFA Super Cup final match too?

    • Christopher Harris

      August 6, 2021 at 2:27 pm

      Yes, the game will be on CBS Sports Network and Paramount+

  48. JP

    August 6, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    Great to hear from Kay Murray and get some behind the scenes stories from the beIN days with Ray and Phil. Seems like the comradery they all shared on camera was genuine.

    Hope Kartik feels better soon. Don’t know the situation, but based on his twitter it seems like Covid and politics is consuming him feeling down (understandable). He’s probably not reading this, but if he is….just live your life and obsess less over things you cannot control (government/societal response to Covid for example).

    Chris, when do you expect Paramount+ to release more details about Serie A coverage. Commentators if not using the world feed, studio shows (if any), etc. We’re 2 weeks away!

    • Christopher Harris

      August 6, 2021 at 2:01 pm

      We’re expecting to hear news next week on CBS Sports Network during the UEFA Super Cup broadcast.

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