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US media’s bias against soccer, MLS Is Back TV coverage and CBS’ Champions League plans: World Soccer Talk Podcast

In the NEW episode, number 182, Christopher Harris and co-host Kartik Krishnaiyer cover a range of topics including:

• Why the U.S. media’s bias against soccer runs deep,
• CBS scores a home run with NWSL,
• How MLS TV ratings did in the Knockout Stage,
• We share our take on CBS’s Champions League schedule,
• The latest update from the Scottish Premiership,
• 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. Drew

    August 6, 2020 at 2:01 am

    I feel like the discussion regarding club vs national team football is very important to understanding the sport’s place in our country. You guys have mentioned that ratings for club football are low compared to other broadcasts. However, the ratings for the World Cup and Gold Cup have drawn very high numbers. For example, over 26 million saw the 2014 World Cup Final, including 17 million on ABC. That’s more than what non-NFL broadcasts usually bring. Also, almost 9 million watched the recent Gold Cup Final. I feel the reason for this is one you guys have discussed previously; in America when people think soccer they think national teams competing in the World Cup rather than clubs competing in UCL or MLS. If soccer is going to become a full time sport rather than a summer-only event, sports media will have to give more coverage to the UCL and other club competitons.

  2. jason

    August 1, 2020 at 11:04 am

    I am impressed that Leicester City, Wolverhampton, Burnley, Sheffield Utd all did so well. I feel like one of these teams is set for a hard fall and will be in the relegation fight next season though. For next season I hope that Aston Villa, West Ham Utd, and Newcastle get relegated. Top 4 this year will probably be the top 4 next year with maybe Tottenham challenging.

    • Donald Duck

      August 1, 2020 at 11:43 am

      I have a feeling my team “Crystal Palace” will be headed down. They were a complete disaster when we returned. I feel the quick turn around to the 20/21 season will be another disaster and we will be fighting for our lives in the bottom 5 all season. Newcastle will either go down or be a surprise top 10 IMO. The 3rd headed down will be one of the 3 that came up from the championship.

  3. disco george

    July 30, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    WRT the two domestic tournaments this summer:

    First, I got a survey from CBS All Access asking about the coverage of the Challenge Cup (URFC sent season ticket holders a discount code to subscribe, which was awesome). Not only did they ask a lot of questions about pre- and post-match coverage, which makes me think they are trying to improve that for whatever comes next in NWSL, but they asked about other leagues and wanted to know my interest level in those. Could be that they are trying to figure out how much of the woso audience are general soccer fans in preparation for their Champions League coverage? Or looking toward future bids for additional leagues/competitions (like maybe the women’s Champions League)?

    Second, about the crowd noise in MLS is Back. I would watch a near-silent broadcast with Jon Champion being snarky about Taylor Twellman every single time over some of the messiness of Fox’s crowd noise. There were matches in the group stages where the sound balance between the commentators and the fake crowd noise was terrible — the crowd noise was cranked up way too loud. For the knockout rounds, they’ve been trying to import teams’ home stadium songs/chants and it takes you right out of the match itself at times — I noticed them playing RSL’s ‘Believe’ in the first half when San Jose was passing circles around RSL, which was super weird. They also used the LAFC ‘Dale’ chant at some strange times too. It’s just way too extra for my taste.

    • KK

      July 31, 2020 at 12:09 pm

      Everything you said about the fake crowd noise is correct. Why are so many people on board with the fake crowd noise? It’s way too artificial. I’d be ok with silence for a while, but it’s not like we’re gonna have this forever, the fans will be back soon, albeit in very limited numbers a few months from now.

  4. Michael

    July 30, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    I love your show, and I listen every week, but I don’t understanding trying to compete with American sports culture. America has football because Rugby was brought over from the pond, but we wanted our own version of the gladiator sport. America loves baseball, because it is our version of Cricket. Even as far back as the Civil War in the mid 19th century the soldiers on both side played Baseball when there were lulls in fighting. Instead of trying to change culture we should just try to put a better product out there. I didn’t get into Soccer until I was in my 30’s but now a decade later I love it. I still love football, basketball, baseball, Tennis, and Track N Field, etc. as well. When I saw quality product…I got hooked. Until then I completely ignored Soccer, but then I way Tierre Henry in the World Cup and I was impressed. That started me to look into researching Arsenal and at the time they were the best in the EPL and I was impressed with the quality of play. That eventually led me to Barca and I saw Ronaldinho. I was amazed at his skill, and I was also fell in love with the version of Soccer that La Liga played compared to the EPL. I still wasn’t a die-hard, but I kept watching because it was more entertaining than a lot of the movies and entertainment at the the time. Then for that small brief time Messi, Ronaldinho, and Henry were on the same team. WOW!!!!!!! I was hooked for life. If all I had to watch was MLS caliber Soccer during that time I would have never converted. What got me was watching the best of the best. I know it is easier said than done…but if the quality of the Soccer improves the fans will come. Well anyway, another great podcast. We don’t have to agree on everything. 99% is good enough.

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