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What’s wrong with TNT’s Champions League coverage

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

In the NEW episode, number 111, Christopher Harris and co-host Kartik Krishnaiyer cover a range of topics including:

• Our no holds barred analysis of Turner’s Champions League coverage,
• How soon it’ll be before you can subscribe directly to your favorite soccer league,
• Which new sports league had more viewers on their opening day than MLS has had in 23 yrs,
• The Premier League heads to the United States to sign their next CEO,
• 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. Azer

    February 19, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    B/R (Turner Sports) needs to offer the other CL/UEL games ”free” of charge with log in using our credentials. I’m already paying for TNT, TBS, TruTV etc., and never watch any of them. The channels are just part of a standard package.
    Fc Schalke 04 vs Manchester City tomorrow only available on Galavision. Why is the game not available on TV in English. This reminds me back to 1998 when there was only 1 CL game available on TV with Derek Rae & Tommy Smyth doing commentary on ESPN.

  2. Alexander

    February 19, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    I have noticed that TNT switched to a single studio for the Tuesday CL match. I wonder if that will continue over to the Wednesday match? Also the studio looks a lot better, the last studio set up had a slight stone “cave” feel to it.

  3. daniel

    February 16, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    I cant believe they get more viewer for reruns than actual live matches. Why did they even bid on the coverage if it was going to be this piss poor. Yes FOX lacked in the studio but they showed all the matches. Hopefully when this contract runs out,NBC or ESPN will go all out to get the rights. Im sorry but it just makes me pirate stream matches.

  4. Brendan Soraghan

    February 15, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    Kate Abdo has to go she cannot get the panelists names right calls Steve Nash , Steve Holden how retarded can u get . They are as boring as ever never get u interested in the show absolute awful . I am glad they have the international feed for the games not John Strong . Stu Holden for a little man shouts too much calm down . Get some professionals in there

  5. Alexander

    February 15, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    I pay $120+ a season to have access to all NHL games via NHL.TV. Paying $10 a league for soccer is cheap! However, it would be nice to see bundle options for certain Confederations or Countries. Like a German Bundle including the all levels of Germany soccer, Austrian soccer, and Swiss soccer leagues. Maybe have the bundles cost $50 a season or something. I like the idea, as long as all games are available via the streaming service. It would suck to have some games on cable only packages (like the issue with ESPN and ESPN+ with some Serie A games).

    • Monte

      February 16, 2019 at 10:17 am

      Other hockey leagues have been improving these last several years but if you want to watch the best hockey in the entire world, you watch NHL. Except for NCAA Hockey on ESPN+, it is hard to find any other leagues on TV in the US. If you want to watch the best soccer, who do you watch? EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga, UEFA Champions League, Liga MX, MLS, Serie A, Ligue 1, Superliga Argentina, Copa Libertadores , A-League, J League and more. Soccer is flooded with great soccer leagues and competition drives down prices. So when EPL gets greedy, we will start to watch other leagues that are just as good.

  6. Domingo Lopez

    February 15, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    The idea that I would pay $10 to watch the BPL plus another $10 for La Liga and another $10 for each one of the leagues I peruse each week is crazy. I get that most of the sports leagues want to cut the middle man and get as much money as possible but it just sounds to me that they are getting greedy and don’t want to share. I guess, I will be forced to go to the Pub to watch a game once in a while (I’ll save my $10 monthly charge for beer).
    Also the math that they have 100’s of millions viewers and therefore they would get billiosn per month just doesnt make sense. How many people outside the US and maybe a handfull of European countries can afford that kind of monthly expense. Hopefully this will drive viewers to watch the local leagues or attend more local league games.
    Keep up the good work guys.

  7. JP

    February 14, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    Great podcast today, maybe the best since I started listening this summer while trying to find any developments on the US rights for Serie A.

    1st off, TNT. I’m at work during the UCL matches so have never seen their pre-game. However, often get home in time for the post game and just want to see the second half highlights I missed during the commute, that’s it. Instead we get inane banter. When they actually do show highlights they’re almost talking among themselves instead of setting up the clip. With beIN no longer showing The Xtra on Tuesday through Thursday because of scheduling conflicts, we’re missing a great source of highlights and analysis on UCL match days. Can you ask your contacts at beIN to have a 10pm edition on those days (doesn’t even have to be live)

    2nd, on leagues going direct to the consumer instead of traditional TV, I like this if the price point is attractive. But if all the leagues go their own way it will become very expensive for fans like myself who like to sample multiple leagues per weekend (4) and choose the most attractive fixtures. Might lead to someone like myself paring back and only choosing one or two leagues to subscribe to. Was skeptical of ESPN+, but at least they have multiple leagues on the platform. After being thoroughly impressed and entertained by Ajax vs Real Madrid, will probably add some Eredivisie to the rotation too. I like Chris’ idea of the leagues partnering with traditional TV to showcase at least one match per week to draw in new fans. Once everything is behind a paywall the growth will eventually stall/decline….need some ‘free’ promos to get people hooked.

    • Monte

      February 14, 2019 at 9:38 pm

      Would like to add my vote for the Xtra during the week also!!!
      EPL will never be the “Netflix” of soccer, ESPN+ is on their way with multiple league, lots of matches. Paywall like ESPN+ should help league grow, EPL fully behind it’s own paywall will kill the league and there are a lot of other leagues that are willing to take their place on TV.

  8. Steven

    February 14, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    Why is Turner Sports not showing any Europa League matches on TV?

    • Christopher Harris

      February 14, 2019 at 1:58 pm

      The only Europa League game they’re showing on television all season long is the final.

      Why? They can get more viewership for reruns of shows on TNT than they can for Europa League matches.

      • Azer

        February 14, 2019 at 11:55 pm

        Hi Chris,
        I was watching BATE Borisov vs Arsenal highlights from B/R on YouTube. When Stanislav Drugan scored for Bate, the English commentator said the following –
        ”Bate lead Arsenal in the Premier League by a goal to 0”
        Please correct me if I heard it wrong. Do you know the commentators name?
        I’m sorry for going off topic on this thread.

        • Christopher Harris

          February 15, 2019 at 8:05 am

          It’s the one-and-only Jonathan Pearce.

          He said “BATE lead Arsenal of the Premier League by a goal in the last minute of the half.”

          • Azer

            February 15, 2019 at 11:52 am

            Thank You for that, I appreciate it.
            I do have one more question –
            Why is Fox Sports relegating Bayer Leverkusen vs Fortuna Dusseldorf on Sunday to FS Plus in favor of women’s college basketball on FS2? more viewership, I guess.
            It’s a derby match. This rarely happens.

            • Christopher Harris

              February 15, 2019 at 12:48 pm

              Yes, more viewership as well as FOX’s continued track record of kicking the Bundesliga to the curb when it comes to programming decisions (the studio coverage by the analysts and commentators are fine).

              • Azer

                February 15, 2019 at 10:26 pm

                Chris –
                I have some news to share. Ian Joy from Fox Sports will be alongside Phil Bonney on the Bundesliga world feed on Sunday. Bayer Leverkusen vs Fortuna Dusseldorf at noon ET on FS Plus. It should be interesting.
                Please share this news with Kartik. I enjoy listening to you guys on the podcast. Thanks as always.

  9. greg

    February 14, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    Holy hell, so much is wrong with it. Too many panelists, Edgar Davids veers between indifferent and contemptuous. I feel bad for Kate Abdo…on this gig and at Fox she was stuck with horrible formats, including choice of co-hosts/panelists (cough*Alexi Lalas*cough) , ugly sets…given the right situation she can be seen to be as good a host as Rebecca Lowe or Stu Holden. They need to maybe limit things to her, Mo Adu (pleasant surprise…hadn’t seen him in studio before and he’s really good, insightful) and break off now and then to Holden and Nash (though I could take or leave Nash). But yeah, it’s a mess…too busy, ugly Atlanta set. I wish Fox and TBS/BR could serve the game as well as NBC does.

    • Brian W

      February 19, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      You’re so on point. Worst I’ve seen in any sport!

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