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Why Peacock is more of a must for Premier League viewers

In the NEW episode, number 1394, Christopher Harris is joined by co-host Kartik Krishnaiyer to discuss several topics:

We discuss our thoughts on the differences between ESPN, CBS and FOX’s coverage of Team USA, why fans of Premier League teams will experience big changes this February, who has the best Transfer Deadline Day coverage, and can beIN SPORTS do better with their AFCON coverage? Finally, we share our recommendations of what to watch this weekend.

And we answer your questions in the Listener Mailbag segment.

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. Michelangelo

    February 20, 2022 at 1:11 pm

    Why is nobody talking about MARZO CON MARCO (March with Marco from IFTV). Paramount+ has announced that Marco from IFTV will be going to matches in Italy as a analist and he will also be Italy-North Macedonia match which means that Paramount+, CBS Sports Network, or CBS will have this match. Fantastic new by Paramount+ and their crew for delivering the best Serie A coverage that has ever been seen. Excellent and great job. FORZA ITALIA!!!! @Christopherharris LETS GO

    • greg

      February 21, 2022 at 1:37 pm

      Well you’re talking about it, copy-pasta to multiple threads. 🙂

  2. Ra

    February 17, 2022 at 2:31 pm

    @JP Nothing yet, but I saw yesterday that the MotoGP ‘à la Drive to Survive’ show will be available on March 11 (on Prime video). I agree – I am hopeful that they will add the whole season there. It would make sense for them to do so. At this point, my biggest motorsport frustration is with CBS, which insists on putting Formula E on that dying CBSSN channel. Based on demographics, they should air Bocce there, not electric motorsports. For the last race, they had a conflict with basketball, so they put it on the CBS Sports app for free instead. But they never make it available on-demand. So, I had to do the ignominious act of watching it live on a Sat evening.

    On a different note – the great thing about the new layout is that it forces you to be more selective. Only a handful of commenters are worth my effort of scrolling down… 🙂

    • Michael F

      February 17, 2022 at 5:31 pm

      Hahaha. Don’t flatter yourself. This new layout is also great for everyone else since you litter this site with commentary. Touche!

      • Ra

        February 20, 2022 at 11:51 am

        Absolutely! 🙂

    • JP

      February 20, 2022 at 10:24 am

      @Ra, MotoGP on Peacock doesn’t look to promising, found this from an article posted Feb 12th on another site…

      “Flagship NBC Network will televise all races with just five of them live. The other races will be televised as tape-delayed, on the very same day but a few hours later. The network’s pay channel, NBCSN which used to televise all the other races has been shut down”

      So just 5 live and rest random tape delay on who knows what channel, same as last year

      • Ra

        February 20, 2022 at 11:37 am

        @JP I saw the same article, but read it slightly different. “Flagship NBC Network will televise all races with just five of them live”. So all races on OTA NBC?
        Also, NBC seems to be learning the concept that sports are of value only if live, based on their recent Olympics coverage. So, I am still hopeful that they will have all races on Peacock, since they don’t have the bandwidth with a single channel.
        But no official statement from NBC yet.
        Or maybe they will just take all races on NBC at 2 am. In rhis case, I will set up my Tablo to record it. The good thing about being an expat, is that I never see spoilers from the sports I care about on the regular media here. Soccer, F1 and MotoGP simply don’t make headlines here except for dedicated websites like this one. Which is great when avoiding spoilers.

        • JP

          February 20, 2022 at 2:20 pm

          @Ra, in the same article they mention needing that overpriced MotoGP Pass to view all races live, so have serious doubts Peacock will have them (at least live). Maybe it’s contractual and don’t have live streaming rights because of that existing overpriced service.

          1st world problems though, don’t care enough to pay that much for access or hunt down when/where the tape delayed replays are. Having live on Peacock would’ve been a nice convenience on slow summer sports weekends when we’re mired with only MLB and MLS, or spring/fall international breaks in soccer.

          • Ra

            February 22, 2022 at 10:07 am

            @JP I saw on tvracer com that the first race will be on CNBC. I think that they will really lose ground to Formula 1. My interest for MotoGP peaked in 2010, and went only downhill since. Without the Dr now, it is even less compelling. I have F1TV and it is worth the price. But I don’t see myself ever getting the same for MotoGP for this amount. I would expect to pay 30-40% less than F1TV based on my interests.
            I am not sure that this is due to contract. Star+ will broadcast all MotoGP races live and on-demand along with all EPL matches, LaLiga, Ligue 1, Libertadores, Serie A. All that for $6.50/month. And, being a Disney property, the app is excellent.

  3. JP

    February 17, 2022 at 12:35 pm

    @Ra or any other Peacock subscriber and MotoGP fan….any word on of Peacock will have live races this season? They put all of the Olympics on it, and NBCSN is gone, would make sense for MotoGP too.

    Saw the 1st race is less than a month away and got me thinking.

  4. Lou

    February 15, 2022 at 6:05 pm

    @Ra Quite the self-righteous twit aren’t you.

  5. Ra

    February 14, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    Do you guys also think that Michael F took his Comcast receiver on a date today?

    • Michael F

      February 15, 2022 at 10:33 am

      @Ra I see the echo chamber of adolescence is back in full gear with this reply of yours. Even when I am not participating in recent conversations, you got something dumb to say.

      Btw… I can’t possibly have a Comcast receiver as I am not anywhere close to an area where Comcast is.

      Next time, show some proof of your age before you post a comment.

  6. Ra

    February 14, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    SuperBowl and Winter Olympics – two prime examples why I am not interested in most sports. On the Olympics — in Beijing,and with Russia (still) doping to their herat desires. At this point I don’t care about Olympics at all and that might be the case for a biannual WC. But I cannot criticize Peacock. Great new features, and yes, soccer belongs to streaming. At least here, where it is still alternative.

  7. Hans

    February 14, 2022 at 5:19 pm

    Lost in America Translation:
    A Super Bowl for me is a nice spicy Thai Curry.
    Couldn’t be arsed to sit through this commercial indoctrination.

  8. JP

    February 14, 2022 at 4:49 pm

    @dave, I should have clarified. The rating failure the Olympics has been. Mike Tirico was practically begging viewers to remember to stay after the game and watch the Olympics.

    Yes, that Bengals TD you heard about should’ve been a penalty for offensive pass interference. But also, there was an earlier goal to go situation where a Bengal receiver was blatantly held/interfered with and no call, so they had to settle for a FG. Point is, refs were letting them play ALL night, then bang, ticky tack BS final 2 minutes favoring LA. I didn’t care who won, just very bad optics. Ironic given the last time LA made the superbowl they benefitted from a blatant no call of pass interference on New Orleans. Can see why some might see a conspiracy to make LA successful so NFL doesn’t fail in that market yet again.

    • dave

      February 14, 2022 at 5:16 pm

      @JP, I will stay off topic and say that no-call in the Saints-Rams game is about the worst game-changing officiating decision I have seen. If you were making a training video called “what is defensive pass interference” and began with a contrived example that checks every box and will never be seen in the real world, it would be that play. Two refs watching two players with no visual obstructions or misdirection. How could they both not call it?

      Agree on the bad optics. Good officiating is either consistent or gets more lenient as the game goes on. The time for ticky-tack calls or setting an example is early, when each team still has plenty of opportunity to adapt and recover.

  9. JP

    February 14, 2022 at 2:22 pm

    Just to continue the US sports model debate, how about that Super Bowl last night?
    Elaborate and unnecessary pregame ceremonies…..did we need Billie Jean King and The Rock prior to kickoff??
    Referees inserting themselves at key moments in the end and calling the game 180 degrees differently than they had for the 58 minutes preceding, feeding the “it was fixed for LA” narrative.
    Endless commercials, endless promotions for what look like horrible series on Peacock, endless pleas to watch the failing Olympics, endless endless endless.
    This might finally be the point I say good riddance to the NFL. Thank goodness for some great football action this weekend in Napoli, Atalanta, Madrid, Barcelona, and surprisingly Torino too!

    • Mercator

      February 14, 2022 at 3:37 pm

      @JP – I thought it was fun, one of the best Superbowls in many years. Sure it was a commercial orgy and the refs were quite poor, but the stadium was incredible, NBC generally did a good job, the game was close and I actually liked the halftime show. The only disappointing thing is the litany of gambling ads – US sports will soon be like the UK where everything is sponsored by some betting company, incessant betting commercials and match odds all over the TV. Terrible for society. Do it if you want but it’s not something that should be promoted to that extent.

      If you want to look at the model and how it rips off players, look at the Bengals offence. Their two biggest offensive playmakers are both on Rookie contracts, REQUIRING them to play for 4 years for the Bengals at a salary which is capped in the first year and capped over the full 4 years as well. Jamaar chase only makes $30 million over those 4 years, with a cap hit of 5 million rising to 9 million. As one of the best receivers in his class, and the best receiver on a Super Bowl contenting team, he is underpaid. Cooper Kupp makes $50m over 3 years with a cap hit of about $17m a season (prior to that, Kupp made less than $1m a year, on a 4 year $3.8m rookie contract, despite putting up record numbers last year). Kupp was severely underpaid as well until he his rookie contract expired, and the Bengals are getting away with a steal from a salary cap perspective. And these are two players who probably got drafted by exactly the team they wanted to play for – it gets way worse when you look at someone like Matt Stafford, who basically wasted 10 years of his career in purgatory because he was drafted and forced to play for the worst team in the league. The players are not given an opportunity to bet on themselves – they can’t sign a 1 year deal for example in the hopes of renegotiating as soon as they have proven themselves in the league. In addition, the contracts are often one sided, with limited amounts of “Guaranteed” money and opt out clauses for the teams. The whole rookie system is set up in such a way that the league tells you what team you will play for, what contract you will sign, and if you do not accept you do not get to play professional football at all because the NFL is a complete monopoly. In European football, in the NBA, even in the NFL you see players signing shorter deals to try to get into free agency quicker where they can make more money. The NFL draft and the rookie contract system completely prevents rookies from taking part in any sort of free agent system – they don’t have the option until 4 years in the league! This is obviously by design – free agent players command better salaries so by restricting that, and dictating the team and contractual terms, NFL owners can keep down player wages and take less risk by not being required to guarantee all amounts in their contracts.

      I bet 100m+ people watched the game last night, commercials were north of $5 million for 30 seconds and tickets were tens of thousands of dollars. And yet the star players, the ones actually playing the game and making this commercial orgy possible, are getting paid a fraction of their market value thanks to things like the draft, rookie contract rules and the salary cap. A box at the game last night cost 2x as much as Jamar Chase will make in base salary this year. He is the one out there running, putting on a show, and yet the owners will collect the vast majority of the money because people are too blind to see how the league is structured. They see a 22 yr old black guy getting paid millions of dollars and figure its impossible for him to be underpaid. Fact is the players work their butts off for a check, just like the rest of us. The owners do not, they make money on their capital. Chase, even as a multimillionaire, is much closer to you or me than to Stan Kronke for example.

      Look at Lionel Messi to see what these players would be paid in a free market. Sure, Chase is not the Messi of football, but check out Brady’s earnings compared to Messi or Ronaldo. His ceiling is capped by the league and its rules, Messi’s is not and he gets every penny he deserves (and probably more if its his dad doing his taxes). This doesn’t mean a Salary Cap is bad (although I disagree in principle and prefer Luxury tax). I like the parity, but there is a reason the Cap is set at a fraction of league revenue. While all the US leagues pay the players under 50% of revenue (MLS at 25%), all of the European leagues pay north of 50% to players. If the cap were set at a much higher proportion of revenues, you get the parity while moving the players toward much fairer compensation. Of course owners have no interest in doing this, they want that money for themselves, which is why they set the aggregate cap so low, restrict free agency, impose a draft and all this other nonsense.

      • JP

        February 14, 2022 at 4:20 pm

        @Mercator, the halftime show was the best part of the night! The game itself was ok, nothing to write home about, especially compared to some other games during the playoffs. Anti-climactic is the way to look at it, the tainted ending soured it for sure.

        Everything you say about the salary structure is spot on. Remember the days when there was no rookie wage scale and teams had to pay guys like Sam Bradford 50 million before knowing if his talent would translate to the pro game? Owners didn’t like that and boom, rookie wage scale. The #1 pick was actually looked at as a negative by some teams knowing they’d have to pay so much to whomever they drafted and could turn out to be a massive bust.

        My disillusionment with the NFL predates last night and has been growing for some time. Probably reached the breaking point around 2016. Constant rules changes, inconsistent officiating, blatant money grabs with scheduling changes like Thursday night, all of it. Held on so long to see how Tom Brady’s story would end (thanks for the amazing 20 years and championships). Even though he’s already hinted at unretiring just a week after retiring (LOL), don’t even care about that anymore.

        Very similar to how my NBA interest peaked early 90’s, ebbed after Jordan retired (the 2nd time). Then had a love/hate relationship with it until finally it was too much (pals building superteams, no rivalries anymore) and stopped caring altogether.

      • dave

        February 14, 2022 at 4:45 pm

        @Mercator, you make good points, but assign too much power to the owners. There is a CBA between the NFL and NFLPA; almost everything about the scheme would be flagrantly illegal otherwise.

        Given aggregate salaries are a fixed percentage of revenue, the main beneficiaries of the artificially low rookie scale are veterans and free agents. The owners benefit also, but they mainly want to cap aggregate salaries and ensure parity. The union has good leverage in influencing how the total pie is divvied. The NFLPA, ably represented in negotiations, agreed the split of rookie vs. veteran.

        • Mercator

          February 14, 2022 at 6:24 pm

          The fact that the players even need to collectively bargain shows the absolute power of the owners. Fundamentally the NFL enjoys broad antitrust exemptions that have allowed it to completely monopolise the sport. It easily crushes any competing leagues so the idea that the players, even collectively, can effectively bargain against the only game in town is silly. The NFLPA isn’t even composed of a majority of active players, the majority of its voting members are former players. It’s a complete facade which the NFL uses to effectively cover a host of monopolistic and anticompetitive practices. They only recognised the union in order to maintain the antitrust exemption and because the first thing the union did was to agree to a salary cap. Absent the antitrust exemption, the NFL would be nothing like it is today and much closer to European football (where the EU courts stepped in strongly in favour of labor and where multiple leagues in multiple countries ensure there is no monopolist league, although the EPL is trying its absolute hardest and will probably get away with it now that England is out of the EU). Don’t get me started on the tax exemption the NFL enjoys, or the massive subsidies states and cities give away to owners to prevent them from moving one of the 32 precious franchises to another city.

          Don’t get distracted – the NFL owners deliberately constrain and shrink the overall size of the player pie. The fact the NFLPA has a say in how this smaller pie is divided up is of no real concern to the owners, as long as the player pie is smaller than it would otherwise be. Congress could always choose to actually enforce basic competition law and now permit the NFL to operate as an unregulated monopoly, but the NFL and its owners ignore congressional subpoenas, they lobby the government heavily. The government can’t even tax them, it’s not going to remove the antirust exemption anytime soon and the NFL knows it.

          The owners hold all the power, over the players, over broadcasting, over the fans and over host cities. They owners literally own the league and basically take the same view Michael F seems to love: we will underpay you and you will say THANK YOU for even having the opportunity to play in OUR league. I do have to say kudos to them though – a master class in business on a level that would make Apple envious. They find a way to rip everyone off and the country loves them for it. It’s not hard to print money when you have a monopoly, but it’s quite the trick to run a massive monopoly and convince everyone you are doing it for their benefit and not your own bottom line.

          • dave

            February 14, 2022 at 8:20 pm

            @Mercator, your post contains misconceptions that may drive some of your ire. Among them:

            1) The NFL gave up tax-exempt status in 2015. The NFL is largely a pass-through entity and all of its components (e.g., teams) are taxable, so it was mostly a symbolic change. Today’s NFL owes and pays taxes the same as any other pass-through

            2) The NFL is subject to antitrust law. The exemption they enjoy (codified in a 1961 law passed by Congress in response to a court decision) is the ability to collectively sell media rights rather than each team selling its own. This is similar to how the EPL sells rights in the US and other jurisdictions

            3) A good argument can be made that the NFLPA is not representative and does a poor job on behalf of some of its constituents. But that is a general feature of unions in the US, and seems a complaint about US labor law rather than the NFL

            4) The percent of revenue allocated to salaries is negotiated between NFL and NFLPA. The owners have longer time horizons so they tend to get their way. But they cannot just impose terms. There is a bona fide adversarial relationship leading to a negotiated agreement.

            The players from time to time threaten to dissolve the NFLPA which would be intriguing. Each player could bargain individually and sue under antitrust if there is collusion. It would be like Europe and many players would see substantially changed (some, but not all, for the better) compensation and terms.

            I am not a big fan of many things the NFL does. I agree with you on some of the specifics.

            • Mercator

              February 14, 2022 at 9:24 pm

              1. It was mostly a symbolic change which allow them to limit disclosures. I agree its not a practical tax savings, my main point is that in the Revenue Code there is STILL an exemption for professional football leagues. The NFL as an entity probably distributes everything to the teams so from a structural perspective their taxes won’t change (or its a minor amount, few million max), but the very fact that professional football has an exemption in the code itself shows how much power the owners have and continue to have. They are treated like a religious or charitable (I.e. socially beneficial) organisation, when in fact the league is a business like any other. It shouldn’t be in the tax code at all, and again the owners are pulling a fast one by “voluntarily” giving up an absurd exception which actually probably doesn’t impact their tax savings anyway.

              2. Yes, and this is fatal to any competing league, it allowed the NFL to establish its monopoly which has gone unbroken. In any other industry this would be called a cartel. This is very different from the EPL, which critically is NOT a closed league of a set number of fixed teams. Look at the discussion around the Super League, which would have been fixed in large part (NFL style). The UK government explicitly indicated this would pose an antitrust issue and it would be the same under EU law (there is actually a strong argument to make that UEFA acts in the same manner, although no one really has taken them to task for it because it would probably create more problems than it would solve).

              3. I agree, but this is kind of the point. The union is a facade not really controlled by active players anyway. It simply ads a veneer of legitimacy to everything the NFL does. Saying well the NFLPA agreed to this doesn’t mean much at all, it’s not a legitimate bargaining process because one side of the table is a legal monopoly. This is very different from almost all European leagues, where the league itself is a monopoly but its member clubs are constantly changing (and in fact are required to change based on how relegation works).

              4. Yes and this is to the point above – you cannot effectively bargain against a monopoly. Football isn’t even Basketball or Hockey, where you can play in other leagues albeit they are going to be less lucrative. Football players have no other option to play pro unless they want to play arena or Canadian football. This is why the NFLPA is a complete sham, they literally have no power to actually negotiate or bargain with any leverage because the NFL is a monopoly.

              Don’t get me wrong, there are SOME limits to what the NFL owners can do. At the end of the day congress makes the laws and the NFL can lobby but if Congress comes down hard on them its finished. The league takes smart steps to avoid drawing this sort of ire – its probably a large reason why most NFL games are still on free to air television, and why they have softened a lot of the blackout rules. It’s the only reason the deal with the NFLPA – knowing the PA won’t actually challenge key structures of the league like the cap or free agency limits. But at the end of the day there is only one football league in this country, and the owners know that and milk that. It’s completely different to European leagues where any given year 2-3 clubs are kicked out of the league (along with the owners).

              I like the NFL and I will still watch of course, but the whole thing is structurally designed for the benefit of the owners and their financial interests. Yes positive externalities result (like free to air games and general parity), but you could say that about any industry which does not enjoy ANY sort of antitrust or tax exemption. Imagine if we said fine, apple can be a monopoly, it would make the lives of most iPhone users much more convenient, even if the price is a little higher and even if apple kind of underpays its well paid employees. The government would never do that. The NFL and its owners have done good business, they found a business most of the country is happy to forget is actually just a commercial enterprise – we think of it as something more and allow them so slide on rules and regulations we apply to any other business.

    • Ra

      February 14, 2022 at 4:16 pm

      @JP I spared myself. Did not even know who won until I read the paper this morning. I had already watched too much sports this weekend.
      Funny – I was browsing the sports section for paramount, and they had a Superbowl best ads specials there. I did not know brainwashing was a sport. Go figure.

    • dave

      February 14, 2022 at 4:26 pm

      @JP, I was watching the “failing Olympics”, saw the Super Bowl was close, and switched to the last two minutes. The key third and goal started with an uncalled illegal snap (or false start by everyone other than the center) and ended with the Rams gifted first and goal at the four rather than fourth and goal at the eight. Two inexcusable calls on the same high leverage play. I read the Bengals earlier were gifted a touchdown off a blown no-call. Maybe two wrongs make a right? A final game deserves better, but the NFL is almost always poorly officiated. I strongly suspect incompetence rather than match fixing.

      To your point about US sports, I find the excessive pageantry of the Super Bowl to be a turnoff. The things I dislike entice a lot of casual viewers so they will continue. But I prefer conference championships where the focus is still on the game. Soccer finals are much better – a bit of pageantry that adds to the mood, but mostly still a game.

  10. Ra

    February 10, 2022 at 5:08 pm

    PS: Many don’t care how the system works as long as they enjoy the end-product. This is not me. I am not German, but my favorite league in the Bundesliga. Great, offensive matches (supporters would not approve and go to the stadium to watch boring defensive soccer), great atmosphere, and a (relatively) good system. It is not perfect, but it is the lesser of the evils.

    • Michael F

      February 10, 2022 at 5:13 pm

      @Ra. I certainly agree with you there on the concept of the end-product. It is important that it is entertaining to watch. Some would argue that parity and competitive balance is one sure way to ensure the end product to them is valued viewing.

      That last sentence was not for me to start another debate, but just to point out the systems and structure is different over here than over there. That’s all.

  11. Ra

    February 10, 2022 at 4:59 pm

    @Michael F. ‘Go figure’? You realize that I am not a professional athlete nor live here because of pro sports, right? I appreciate many things, pro sports is simply not one of them.
    I don’t have a horse on this race, but it is absolutely clear to me the motivations to implement such a system. Try to run some economics, and you will quickly realize the true motivation. Being paid to lose games? Even you should realize the limitations of the model.

    • Michael F

      February 10, 2022 at 5:05 pm

      @Ra. I certainly do. There are pros and cons. We already covered this. Not everyone tanks but some do it. I don’t at all favor that concept or approach. That’s one of the cons. But I am not like you to be so black and white. There is a lot to uncover in weighing the pros and cons of anything.

  12. Ra

    February 10, 2022 at 4:33 pm

    @Michael F. “You obviously favor the player and the player only.” And who do you favor? The owner? Give me a break.
    He should be grateful for being given a chance, and not resent the fact that he could be earning 10x more, in a major team, in a city that he enjoys. You are probably one of these guys that say that slaves should have been grateful because they were given a job and a purpose.
    “Dumb dumb dumb debate this is. Let’s switch off and talk soccer instead.” Good try. I will keep kicking this dead horse. The nonsense just keeps popping like whac-a-mole.

    • Michael F

      February 10, 2022 at 4:41 pm

      @Ra. How did I know this was coming?. This question of yours. If anything… you are predictable and just as hard headed and closed minded as your buddy Mercator. 😄

      As I have stated in earlier posts, there is a lot of layers to this debate and why a player coming out of college in the US shouldn’t just have the right to choose what pro team he gets to play for in a system we have today called the professional leagues – where there is small markets and large ones and only one team can be champion.

      This is a dumb debate because it is comparing apples to oranges on how things are done vs done over there in two vastly different sports and cultures. Go ahead and kick your dead horse, because you have not a clue as to what you’re talking about or most certainly don’t see all the perspectives that there are. It’s your way or the highway…

      It’s nice when they are a few that can see the merits of whatever system and culture there is… and not be so da*n closed minded. And how about just appreciating a little of both… for what they are? You live in this country (I take it) and yet hate it it’s sports and league structures so much. Go figure.

    • Michael F

      February 10, 2022 at 5:00 pm

      @Ra quote: “ He should be grateful for being given a chance, and not resent the fact that he could be earning 10x more, in a major team, in a city that he enjoys”

      You are going on the assumption that Trevor Lawrence (as the example) is totally worth the 10x more his current salary and the right to play on whatever NFL team he chooses.

      Josh Rosen also thought he was really something. He was a star in college and a complete bust in the pros. So we’re many others I could mention.

      College is NOT the pros in this country. Two vastly different levels. Some succeed well in transition and some do not.

      Stick to soccer. You’re better off. As you don’t have a clue as to provide a valued opinion about the pro leagues here.

  13. Michael F

    February 10, 2022 at 1:37 pm

    @Mercator and @Ra. This is really kind of a dumb debate and comparisons. I debated whether I should continue this discussion in reply because you both obviously only what to see this from one perspective, when there is several layers to it.

    First off… As you know, the US Pro leagues is a vastly different landscape than European soccer leagues.

    Secondly, you only see this from the player’s perspective, one who makes many millions to play a game and if they are any good at all… will eventually get what they want (play on a club of their choice) no matter what sport, league and country we are talking about.

    Do you live in a small market town that has professional teams?? Do you know what it’s like long before the salary cap era when players always jumped from the small market budget teams to large market cities that had a distinctive advantage for obvious reasons to always compete for championships, vs these smaller market pro teams??

    In US pro leagues, finishing 2nd or 4th or 10th or 22nd doesn’t mean anything. The goal is to be the top team left standing at the end. Not at all like euro soccer leagues that have layered goals to compete for further competition if they finish at a certain slot in the table.

    I enjoy following Euro soccer from afar. But I can’t imagine what it would be like to live in the small town of Burnley for example, where they complete at the top league but are really there only to survive at the bottom. Only there to be stepped on and destroyed by better competition… always. Never ever have a prayer to compete for anything else – but to survive and not get relegated.

    You guys are like the young teenager fans of a sport that pick and choose your favorite team because it’s very successful team and is used to winning a lot and will always compete for something far greater than what Burnley can (as an example).

    Where I live, my local pro teams ‘are’ that Burnley if there wasn’t a salary cap or a college draft. My teams would go nowhere and compete for nothing —- especially since there is no incentive for the teams to finish 17th instead of 20th! Especially since the goal of the league they are in… is to win it all and be champion and nothing else matters.

    Like I said, this is kind of dumb debate and comparison and should not really be compared. I simply earlier replied to a silly comment about how bad the college draft system is, when the reality is… there are 30 to 32 pro teams in any pro league in North America. It is the cream of the crop of competition, not at all like the hundreds of clubs in many tiered leagues of Euro soccer.

    • JP

      February 10, 2022 at 1:46 pm

      All valid points, except your teams (Buffalo if I recall correctly) did better pre salary cap I think!

      NFL started in 1994, Buffalo made 4 straight SB’s from 1990-1993

      The Sabres had success/good players in the 80’s and 90’s prior to the salary cap starting after the 2004 lockout.

      Salary caps are only a tool for cost control. Sorry, can’t pay you that much, we’re up against the cap and our star makes X..cannot justify paying you Y, etc. Or, we know you’re one of the best in the game, but if YOU want to win titles we need the financial flexibility to pay player x, y, and z so you’re surrounded by good depth.

      Baseball’s luxury tax is the better system.

      • Michael F

        February 10, 2022 at 1:53 pm

        @JP Very true, and it was because very smart management… not at all out spending the competition or because the club had a lot more money.

        I just have a real problem feeling sorry for any college athlete like Trevor Lawrence getting drafted 1st overall to play in Jacksonville. That is the stupidest perspective I’ve ever heard when this is the NFL… where players look at playing in that league on any team as a privilege, not a right. Do you know how many college football players don’t make even a practice squad for NFL teams??

        These two guys following their soccer replying to my posts have no clue. It’s a different landscape here in pro leagues and really should not be compared at all.

        And I guarantee you that Trevor Lawrence is not unhappy where he is right now.

        • Mercator

          February 10, 2022 at 3:06 pm

          I guarantee you Trevor Lawrence is PISSED he is in Jacksonville. A joke of a franchise, joke of a coach, and Jacksonville is probably one of the worst NFL cities. In a free market, where any team could bid to sign him, he would be making 4x as much. Shocking you really think the top quarterback of his age is delighted to go to the worst team, in one of the worst cities, at 1/4th the pay he would earn in a normal market. Everyone drafted by Jacksonville gets out of there at the first opportunity.

          I’m not comparing the two system, I’m not looking to debate them. I’m simply saying the purpose for these regulations is so the owners can make more money – thats it. And they make this money at the expense of players like Lawrence, who are forced into below market rookie contracts and forced to play for the least desirable teams. It’s not fair regardless of whatever they are doing in Europe. Imagine if upon graduation from college, the BEST students were forced to work at the WORST companies, or otherwise they can’t work anywhere at all after graduation. And regardless of how good a student or employee the person may be, for their first 5 years their compensation will be capped at 50k. We would all recognize that as unfair, and a complete handout to the terrible companies who are getting the best students at below market wages. But sure, Lawrence, in the exact same position, is simply weeing with joy for the mere opportunity to play in the NFL!

          • Michael F

            February 10, 2022 at 3:17 pm

            @Mercator. You can guarantee that Trevor Lawrence is pissed off for being selected to be one of 32 starting star quarterbacks in the most prestigious pro sports league in North America??

            PROVE IT!

            Where does Trevor Lawrence go to play quarterback if he could choose where he wants to play.. of the 32 NFL teams?? In Buffalo… Josh Allen already is starting there. In Tampa, behind Tom Brady? In Green Bay or KC or Baltimore or Cincinnati or Dallas?? They all have established football starting quarterbacks playing on those teams!

            Trevor Lawrence might be very pissed off he is a backup QB in any one of those other cities and not getting to start every game so as to showcase his talent.

            Your point quite frankly is as dumb as this debate.

            • Mercator

              February 10, 2022 at 3:46 pm

              Well I’m sure the Rams would have taken him since Goff was on his way out, so that’s one option. The Cowboys absolutely would have signed Lawrence before paying Dak big money. Tampa would be a great choice, learn from the GOAT for a year and then the franchise is yours. Dolphins would have been better than Jaguars. In fact, aside from a handful of teams with a young elite QB, or real dumpsters like Detroit, Jacksonville is the worst place he could have gone and he knows it. But he has no other option, he is forced to play there or not to play at all.

              I don’t think you have a firm understanding of how the league works.

              • Michael F

                February 10, 2022 at 3:56 pm

                I have a perfect understanding on how the league works. I wasn’t born yesterday.

                You obviously favor the player and the player only. Oh poor Trevor Lawrence. He has to start for one of the 32 teams in the most prestigious league on this continent and is about to make millions if he proves to be any good at this level.

                Dumb dumb dumb debate this is. Let’s switch off and talk soccer instead. I am sure many of the readers here will celebrate if we do so.

          • Michael F

            February 10, 2022 at 3:22 pm

            And btw… Jacksonville have a new head coach hired. Maybe you haven’t paid attention. He has a super bowl ring too. I know Trevor Lawrence was very excited by this hire as he expressed it so on social media.

      • Michael F

        February 10, 2022 at 2:08 pm

        @JP. I will add though… you only covered the salary cap and luxury tax scenarios in your reply. If there wasn’t a college draft for the bottom dwelling teams… there is NO FREAKIN way the Bills or Sabres would have ANY of the success you mentioned in the last few decades. No way.

        This is the system here, and for the most part, it works for what it is.

        • JP

          February 10, 2022 at 2:42 pm

          Perhaps. I think with hockey there’s a path. So much talent distributed throughout the world that good scouting can get talent in your system early, similar to baseball, where they may pan out or the potential upside can be traded for proven talent.

          The NFL would be a harder task, with the need for a high quality and seemingly our country can produce only 15 or so of these at the same time in any given year!

          But with no cap, any team could spend big (plus the promise of being the starter) to lure a young QB prospect away from other teams who may already have an entrenched starter.

          I can see the merits to both systems, but do prefer the Euro soccer model better. Players can be compensated during their development (legally haha), and small market teams can cash in if they develop talent that wants to go on to a bigger club. In the US pro system, small market clubs are given the choice to see that player leave for nothing after their contract is up, or trade them beforehand for lottery tickets (draft picks) or unproven young talent that cannot won’t be ready contribute anything on the field/court for at least 3 years.

          • Michael F

            February 10, 2022 at 2:52 pm

            @JP. I enjoy the Euro league system without a doubt. It intrigues me. But I also have no real horse in the competition that I follow and can select several favorites.

            I am glad you are not so black and white and realize the merit of both systems. It’s two vastly different worlds and landscapes and traditions. It is what it is.

  14. Mercator

    February 9, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    @Michael F – Yes US teams have to manage their caps well, but there are clear recipes for success and much of it doesn’t rely on skill. In the NFL for example, rookie contracts are limited so good rookies are essentially severely underpaid and you get more for your limited salary cap buck than you do with a player in free agency. The best NFL teams usually have a quarterback on their rookie contract (or Tom Brady who is so rich he will take a below market salary to win). This is what’s so insidious, the best plan is to build a decent team, have them tank for a year, and then stock up on good (cheap) rookies in the draft (NFL also is overly QB reliant so 50% of success is just getting lucky at that position). It’s also ridiculous to say someone like Lawrence should be glad to play for the jaguars. You are joking a guy like him has been robbed by the system: not paid in college, then he is forced to join the worst team in the league on a below market rookie contract. In football, a 17 year old can make millions and their contract is dictated by their market value, not artificially capped because its their first year in the league. There is a reason US sports are so socialist when US society really isn’t – because socialism saves the owners money at the expense of the players. Seriously saying the best QB of his generation should be GLAD to play for the Jaguars?! In a free market system the guy would be playing for the cowboys or the patriots making 4x what he does in Jacksonville and would be 10x more likely to actually win something. Imagine if the best players coming into the PL were forced to play for Burney or something on a Rookie contract capped at 25k a week. The NFL only gets away with it because no one else plays the sport, there is no other real pro league, they have a monopoly.

    @David – I think you hit the current Peacock critiques well. I don’t often watch the match if its not live but was frustrated today as I missed Spurs losing and wanted to rewatch and its not available until 4pm tomorrow. But they do have the highlights available now so that is something (and the studio set in LA in front of the Super Bowl stadium looks great – needs Rebecca though).

    @Dave – Agreed it was diabolical during the summer but I don’t think we could ask for much more (aside from no spoilers and 4K) for the winter olympics. Well done and well organised, and I haven’t found the commercials to be that bad on Peacock (the NBC and USA streams are very commercial heavy though). IOC obviously screwed up with the site selection though – Winter Olympics are for smaller cities and ski resort type places, not an industrial megacity where it doesn’t actually snow much. That said, Paris, Milan, LA upcoming are all going to be great and in a much better time zone.

  15. Ra

    February 9, 2022 at 4:56 pm

    I wouldn’t mind ads or spoilers in a curling ‘event’. It is still less interesting than brooming my own house, with or without ads or spoilers.
    The good thing is that you can get the same thrill year-round by watching the cleaning crew broom the office.

    • David R.

      February 10, 2022 at 2:14 am

      I’ve heard similar things said about many sports. I don’t see much point in making dismissive comments about sports (or anything else) you don’t happen to like.

      • JP

        February 10, 2022 at 9:32 am

        He’s mostly right. Curling certainly takes practice and skill to be at their level, but to elevate to a ‘sport’ is a reach. It’s a sport the same way shuffleboard, cornhole, and bocce are sports. Which is they aren’t, just games. I also take exception to darts and billiards being considered sports in some circles as well.

        At least with all the X Games type snowboard events they’ve added in the last 20 years you can see that requires actual athletic talent.

        • David R.

          February 10, 2022 at 5:32 pm

          Criticisms that could also be levelled at baseball and cricket. Soccer is also just a game.
          In any event, I would suggest that anyone who spends time posting on forums like this (including me) is in a poor position to make fun of other activities, or people who enjoy them. However, that’s the last I’ll say about this, as this is unambiguously a soccer forum, and a thread about Peacock, so anything not about one or the other is well off-topic.

          • Ra

            February 10, 2022 at 6:36 pm

            @Topic police. Please tell us what you have to say about soccer then.

            • David R.

              February 10, 2022 at 8:48 pm

              Until this weird derail my posts have been about Peacock coverage, soccer, or both.

              As for the Bundesliga, it provides a great cautionary tale about how money can distort a competition. With Bayern’s revenue at nearly twice its nearest rival (and thrice the next one after that), it is no wonder that it wins every year. EPL has been heading in that direction, but on any given day a Middlesborough can beat a Man United, so until it reaches the moribundity of the Bundisliga I’m happy to stick with it. (Though I wish Peacock would do something about the damned spoilers.)

  16. David R.

    February 9, 2022 at 3:18 pm

    @dave, the problem I’m having with Peacock on the Olympics is the same as I’m having with EPL, namely spoilers, though in a different form. If you’re a day behind following a competition the link for, say, a quarterfinal can be adjacent to a link for the semi, giving away an outcome of the former.

    (Of course, the whole Olympics this year, like the World Cup this summer and Newcastle United FC, is blatant sportswashing, and probably ought to be given the cold shoulder.)

    As for ads, I don’t mind them at natural breaks if those breaks are well-spaced (for example, halftime during a soccer match), as presumable it keeps the cost lower. When they come annoyingly frequently, like between ends in curling, well, it isn’t too hard to block them. When you block them during replays the stream proceeds as if there is no gap at all.

    • dave

      February 9, 2022 at 3:40 pm

      @David R, the only replay I watched so far in 2022 is the mixed doubles curling final. Now that I think about it, that was the first item on the curling tab and it noted the teams, so I see your point that it would spoil a replay of the semifinals.
      I agree on ads at natural breaks. It grates on me a bit when Peacock interrupts the world feed commentary mid-sentence to get in a short commercial. In fairness, they return right as the next live action starts. And they are showing everything.

      • David R.

        February 9, 2022 at 3:59 pm

        That was exactly the example I had in mind. This will be an issue with any sport where there are playoffs. That isn’t an issue with EPL games, but the scores in the corner are just as bad. We watch the games with a projector, and I now hang a block in front of the lens to fuzz the corner, but it is intrusive. And it doesn’t help with the commentators who get bored with the matches they’re calling and start chatting about what’s going on with other matches. Seriously, dudes, if you can’t keep your mind on the teams in front of you, get another job.

    • Ivan

      February 9, 2022 at 5:10 pm

      But can Peacock make it snow in the snowless Olympics?

      I have been watching and looking forward to summer and winter Olympics since 1988, first one I saw in Seoul.

      Caught about 5 mins of free style skiing behind the nuclear chimney, gray everywhere…and I went. Nope. Not gonna watch a minute of this charade.

      Of the hundreds of beautiful winter resorts all over the world, they send it to Bejing and make it the No Snow Olympics.

      We will soon find out who wins the most absurd international sporting event of the year, the No Snow Olympics or the Christmas World Cup.

      IOC v. FIFA locked in a tight contest for the most corrupt international cabal…close call this one.

      • JP

        February 9, 2022 at 6:48 pm

        Ivan, I’ve never cared less about than this one and the ‘2020’ Tokyo games last year. Absolutely nothing to do with politics, just boring! Tried watching some at night and only the downhill skiing held my attention, but on so late/early AM that didn’t bother to watch until the end.

        Last time I really cared was Barcelona in 1992 (Dream Team and the Dave vs Dan marketing campaign that blew up hilariously) and the 1992 and 1994 Winter games, mostly thanks to the Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding soap opera!

        Since then just followed the hockey, but last 3 without NHL players killed that.

        Agreed on World Cup, apathy for that quickly rising. Definitely don’t care as much now as 1990’s through 2010

        • Mercator

          February 9, 2022 at 8:27 pm

          I think a lot of it is just the timezone, everything you watch is in the dead of night or a replay. I also think with two olympics in like 9 months, it’s obviously a bit different in terms of excitement than when there is a true 2 year gap. I expect it to get better with Paris, Milan, LA. I’m not too excited about this WC either. I’m not some human rights advocate my real issue is Qatar is a fundamentalist micro country – there is nothing but Doha which isn’t a big city, nothing to do, impossible to get a beer. I went to Russia and loved it, sure its corrupt etc but Russia is a real country, fan culture, plenty of stuff to do outside of the football. Brazil, South Africa, Germany was a very solid run in site selection I think .But WC22 will also be in December, which I’m sorry but just is not world cup vibes. World cup is a summer tournament. Again though, USA (and canada/mexico) next and after that I would think it has to be UK, Spain or Argentina/Uruguay, so things will improve after this point.

          • JP

            February 9, 2022 at 9:05 pm

            It’s not so much about the time zone. Even when it was in Torino or Vancouver didn’t care much, outside of the hockey.

            For the World Cup, my fading interest coincides with following club soccer much more (around 2011/2012). Knowing these really aren’t the “best” teams in the world. UCL is where we see that.

  17. Ra

    February 9, 2022 at 12:09 pm

    Another comment – the Dortmund-Leverkusen game coverage this week was great. I have criticized Twellmann in the past for being annoying by talking too much, but I have only compliments for him on this game. His comments were on point and he did not overdo it.
    I wonder if the issue is the audience. He might (correctly) assume that not many casual viewers are watching a Bundesliga match on ESPN+. You have to be knowledgeable to know when to tune to the best MOTW. Also, no need to explain basic stuff to connoisseurs. 🙂

  18. dave

    February 8, 2022 at 10:53 pm

    Enjoyable podcast as usual.
    Peacock are crushing it on the winter Olympics. I found Peacock’s 2021 summer Olympics coverage unwatchable. Peacock now includes almost all functionality that was in the NBC Sports app for the 2021 Olympics. Night and day, as though it is run by a different company. I was already satisfied with Peacock for EPL, but I am happy to read it is better meeting others’ expectations.
    One caution is that Peacock are very aggressive with ads during any down moment in Olympics competition (e.g., a skier takes out a gate and officials are resetting it; 15 second commercial then cut back right as next skier is about to start). Same thing I am seeing with Liga MX recently. Perhaps a harbinger of more ads during EPL games when there are injuries, VAR, etc.?
    Interesting to hear Kartik’s take on USMNT. Good points about overall talent being less than the hype. That said, I am with @Mercator in thinking USMNT is underperforming. Disappointing that there is no impetus to seek a manager upgrade. USMNT and Mexico are both lucky CONCACAF is weak this cycle.

    • Yespage

      February 9, 2022 at 1:22 pm

      I paid the extra $5 to get rid of the commercials (except live USA / NBC broadcasts). Otherwise, yes, I think Peacock has been awesome for the Winter Olympics, though finding events can get a little tricky.

      • dave

        February 9, 2022 at 3:13 pm

        @Yespage, I was curious what the $5 buys, thank you. I am on the cheapest annual Peacock plan mainly for EPL and Olympics. I am seeing the aggressive ads while watching live Olympics world feed (not simulcast from USA or NBC or CNBC). Do you get zero commercial live Olympics world feed for your $5? Zero commercial live EPL? Or just zero commercial replays?

        • Yespage

          February 10, 2022 at 9:46 am

          I don’t watch much live coverage (who does with it in China), and the streams of the replays maybe show a blip of a commercial and then back to the action. The only commercials that appear to happen, when they happen are Comcast related, but those haven’t been common.

  19. Ra

    February 8, 2022 at 10:35 pm

    @David R. Match wise, the midweek game of the week was certainly the club world cup today. Great game and atmosphere. Looking forward to Palmeiras vs Chelsea on Sat. I can see Chelsea’s UCL final with roles reversed.

  20. Ra

    February 8, 2022 at 10:32 pm

    @Michael F. Moot only if you are inept at basic math. Soccer players can earn money at any age, and have no limits. Mbappe and Zion have similar age, and provide great examples. Zion’s net worth is $8M; Mbappe’s $95M. The first earns $10M/you in salary, locked in a 4 year contract. Mbappe earns $33M, and has refused a new substantial increase to be a free agent. I can’t see how it is moot,

  21. David R.

    February 8, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    I’m a different David, but today, Feb 8, there are 4 EPL matches, as well as many interesting matches in other European leagues (eg Inter v Roma in the Coppa Italia, Monaco v Amiens in the Coupe de France, and so on). It isn’t unreasonable for someone looking at a “premier-league-viewers” thread to expect most or all of the discussion to be about the EPL, or at least soccer.

    My complaints with Peacock coverage are (a) that for those of us in western time zones who watch the games as replays, they often don’t show the replay until the day after the match, making it hard not to know the score before watching the game, and (b) while watching one game they flash the scores from other concurrent games in the corner, spoiling it if there happen to be 2 games you want to watch. (b) could be turned off on the NBC Sports Gold app, at least when streaming through a PC, and (a) is also much worse than it used to be with NBC Sports.

  22. Michael F

    February 8, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    @Ra. I understand fully how you don’t preference the Pro draft system and I get that. It is a matter a preference and I am not here to say I like or dislike it more than how it is in euro soccer. That’s a different debate.

    However, for those American athletes that finish their entry level pro contracts they sign a few years after turning pro become free agents and can choose where they want to play, just like the examples you provided in the euro leagues.

    Your point then is pretty much moot.

  23. Ra

    February 8, 2022 at 4:43 pm

    @David Please go count the number of soccer matches today. Please report back your findings.

    @Michael F. I realized you don’t understand how the soccer market works. “Did Jack Grealish get his choice to play with Man City and all its stars the moment he worked his way to becoming a star himself?” No, and the reasons are twofold – 1. he needs to finish the contract. 2. It is not for him to pick the club he wants to play, but he has the right to choose between the offers he received, once he finishes the contract he willfully signed.
    If he finishes his contract, he goes for free. Mbappe and Rüdiger are prime examples (free agents), as is Neymar (had the contract recision paid by his new employers).

  24. Michael F

    February 8, 2022 at 4:17 pm

    @David. Forgive me, as I have to reply to @Ra and his ridiculous take.

    @Ra. Did Ronaldo get to choose to play for Real Madrid the moment he turned pro or became well known in his early years as a fantastic soccer player? Did Jack Grealish get his choice to play with Man City and all its stars the moment he worked his way to becoming a star himself?? How about Mo Salah with Liverpool? All of them had to earn their way to eventually get the big pay day and choose what the club they dreamed to play on.

    It is not much different with college star athletes who don’t immediately get their way and wish to play with a team of superstars the moment they turn pro!

    Your takes are the worst. Please stop while you are behind.

  25. David

    February 8, 2022 at 3:39 pm

    Why are Ra and Michael F dominating this thread. This is a site devoted to soccer. Please use some other forum to waste our time. Moderator, please!

    • Michael

      February 9, 2022 at 1:14 pm

      LOL! I agree…but I am enjoying it. Ra just picked the wrong sport. His argument has no merit with the NFL. One of the reasons why the NFL is so popular is because since the implementation of Free Agency there are several teams that go from worst to first in their division every single year. If Ra had used the MLS his argument it would have been much more apples to applies comparison. American sports & American culture is different than the European equivalent. There is no need to argue about that.

  26. Ra

    February 8, 2022 at 2:59 pm

    @Michael F. That might be the case with a mediocre player. But it is certainly not the case for the star players coming out of college. Take Zion Williamson as an example. Do you think the Pelicans would be his first choice, or would he prefer to play with Lebron or Kevin Durant, or the biggest bidder? Go for the glory, or go for money. Both are sensible choices.
    I have a question – when you started working, were you able to choose your employer? I don’t see why anyone would think it is ok to be picked as cattle in a farm show.

  27. Michael F

    February 8, 2022 at 12:24 pm

    @Ra. You completely misread so much. You actually believe I am praising the NFL? No… I am simply pointing out how false it is to think that a player coming out of college thinks it’s unfair to be drafted high to go play on any NFL team. That’s not at all the perspective here for athletes turning pro in this country.

    Stick with the subject at hand or stay out of it.

  28. Ra

    February 8, 2022 at 12:17 pm

    I am confused. Is this the same team as the St Louis Rams? Do you think the ex-St Louis fans will support them? I would never watch any more games if I was one of the suckers that saw their team relocate…

  29. Michael F

    February 8, 2022 at 12:17 pm

    @Ra. I have come to expect such a ridiculous response as you just gave. I am simply pointing out the pros and cons of US pro leagues vs Euro soccer leagues. This is not a black and white issue and it is a matter of preference.

    Ask Chris Wood if he is happy to be out of Burnley to go play for New Castle now? The reason he left Burnley is because he joined a club that just struck it rich.

    Your comparisons made are ridiculous. Yes, I enjoy and like the Premier League, but I fully understand the pros and cons of being a fan of Burnley vs being a fan of Man City. Expectations are vastly different. In the NFL, every pro league team and their fans know that any of the 32 teams have a shot to win it all at some point if they play it smart and manage it well.

    And I can’t get over how ridiculous this conversation has now become, now that you’ve entered it.

  30. Ra

    February 8, 2022 at 12:09 pm

    @Michael F ” It is a total privilege and honor to play in the National Football league on any of those 32 teams.” You would also argue that it is an honor for a soccer player to play in the EPL (of all people, YOU certainly wouldn’t disagree with this statement). So following your easily refutable logic, it would make no difference for a player to play for Burnley or Man City.
    And you have to be very naïve to believe that the draftings and salary caps are in play to improve the product for the fans – it is to limit owners cost. They should put caps on ticket prices instead.
    It is funny to see sheep praising the wolves. Think critically!

  31. Michael F

    February 8, 2022 at 11:28 am

    @Mercator And your quote: “It’s also incredibly unfair to players – hey here is the reward for dominating in college, have fun playing in Jacksonville!”

    You have it all WRONG here with this perspective. It is a total privilege and honor to play in the National Football league on any of those 32 teams. I can guarantee you that Trevor Lawrence wasn’t upset about being drafted 1st overall to play for Jacksonville. It is a privilege and honor for him.

    And within a very short time period, Jacksonville will be competing for the playoffs with the rights to play for that super bowl trophy. It’s not at all like being chosen to play for Burnley in the English Premier League.

    • Michael F

      February 8, 2022 at 11:39 am

      And ask Joe Burrow if he thought it was unfair to be drafted 1st overall in the NFL two years ago to play for last place Cincinnati after starring for a dominating Alabama team. He is now getting ready to play in the Super Bowl this week.

      You couldn’t be more off with your perspective here. It’s a whole different landscape in the Pro leagues here than Euro leagues there (not to be compared) and it is a total privilege and honor to play on a professional US team coming out of college.

  32. Michael F

    February 8, 2022 at 11:17 am

    @Mercator Of course I didn’t focus on the salary caps, which indeed do promote parity. You basically covered it nicely in your commentary.

    However, my point was more focused on US Pro league teams actually have to manage those salary caps well and be smart in building a roster to sustain success, whereas in the Euro soccer leagues, all you need to do is strike it rich to have sustained success. Of course, there good management will help, but mid tier clubs like Wolverhampton or Brighten Hove Albion will never ever compete with the success of Man City or Liverpool, no matter how well they run their clubs.

    And New Castle United will eventually be the next powerhouse in the English Premier League. It wasn’t because they hired former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, I can tell you that. And I like Howe, but you get the point. It’s all about the money that brings outstanding success to Euro soccer league clubs.

  33. Futbol is Life

    February 8, 2022 at 12:50 am

    @SteveK, I live on the West Coast so those are the issues that I have… if I wake up late, “DVR controls” are a necessity. Can’t record games that are streaming (when will that become available) so I watch replays on ESPN+. I can rewind and ff for replays but can’t see the video.

  34. greg

    February 7, 2022 at 9:30 pm

    Also, mean to say…when the overflow matches are on Peacock they use EPL graphics (score bug, clock). Only when they show on a linear NBC network have I noticed the NBC-specific graphics. Maybe if it’s a Peacock match with Arlo calling it they use NBC-branded graphics. Can’t really remember.

  35. greg

    February 7, 2022 at 9:28 pm

    Yeah, according to the EPL website, Spurs v Southampton is the USA match Wednesday 11:45am (PST), Liverpool v Leicester on Thursday noon (PST). The weekend matches don’t have channel links on the EPL website, but looking at the Fubo guide for the weekend, the only EPL match is Norwich v Man City on Saturday on NBC. Sunday’s Spurs v Wolves is on Telemundo but not USA.

    I have Fubo and their guide shows coverage starting 11:45 on Wednesday, so right at match time, but also 11:45 Thursday, allowing for a 15 minute pre-game. The Saturday coverage looks to start right at match time on NBC. But since that’s the last match window that day, they’ll probably do all pre, post & half time stuff on Peacock. Sunday looks to be start-finish Peacock. Not showing any Goal Zone on USA until Feb 20. But that doesn’t mean they won’t do it on Peacock.

  36. SteveK

    February 7, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    Interesting, greg, because my guide for USA tomorrow does not show a typical cable pregame at 2:30 in advance of the USA game starting at 3 with Olympic curling on from 1-3. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow at 2:35 when the Peacock matches start, maybe we’ll get Arlo and the two Robbie’s live from LA! As I’ve said, my guide doesn’t show any of the typical weekend shoulder programming like Goal Zone or PL Mornings for Saturday or Sunday so perhaps truncated versions will all be added to Peacock coverage.

  37. greg

    February 7, 2022 at 5:27 pm

    @SteveK – That’s not exactly the case…from what I’ve noticed what you describe is the case for the overflow matches that come up against matches on USA (and before on NBCSN). But when they’re doing the match window only on Peacock they do have pre, post & half time shows. And the halftime breaks have longer studio segments because they do fewer commercial minutes on Peacock.

    They’ve already announced studio plans for the matches during the Olympic window when Lowe is in China.

    “Arlo White Crosses the Pond to Host Alongside Robbie Earle, Robbie Mustoe and Tim Howard for Shows from Tuesday, Feb. 8 through Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 13
    White, Lee Dixon and Graeme Le Saux to Host the Following Weekend’s Shows (Feb. 19-20) from Sky Sports Studios in U.K. ”

    nbcsportsgrouppressbox com/2022/01/27/nbc-sports-premier-league-studio-show-to-be-presented-live-from-sofi-stadium-throughout-super-bowl-week/

  38. SteveK

    February 7, 2022 at 4:46 pm

    AMP, Peacock games don’t get the full Rebecca and the two Robbies studio treatment during pre, halftime or post match, just some cursory graphics and chat, nothing by NBC talent per se. If there are Peacock games on at the same time as USA those usually are mentioned during the studio show for the USA game. But with the Olympics going on and Rebecca in China it seems there won’t be much if any pre & post match stuff for the time being and this weekend it doesn’t seem like they are even doing Premier League Mornings or Goal Zone.

  39. AMP

    February 7, 2022 at 3:59 pm

    Do you know if there will be any pre and post match shows as the schedules on Peacock just show the coverage for each match starting 10 minutes before the match kick-off?

  40. Mercator

    February 7, 2022 at 3:42 pm

    @JP – Doesn’t prevent tanking, that will always be a possibility if the loser gets any sort of reward. But it’s better than the NFL system where any team who really wants the first pick is going to get it. The only reason they have a draft at all is so teams don’t have to bid up rookie salary and contracts if they were free agents instead of draft restricted.

    @Michael F – It’s not the draft system that keeps parity in US leagues, it’s the salary caps. The draft system is just rewarding losers and creates peverse incentives while actually doing little to improve parity – its just to save the owners money. It’s also incredibly unfair to players – hey here is the reward for dominating in college, have fun playing in Jacksonville! European systems are much more fair to the players – if you are a good player you generally go to a good team (which reduces parity). Actually the NY Times had a great article about the death of Transfer Fees in European football. Basically players just wait out their contracts and then go whoever they can make the most money, which is usually much more if the new club doesn’t have to pay a transfer fee. The end result is former selling clubs (looking at Fiorentina) can get a star and ultimately get nothing in return for that star if they leave on a free. It hurts the mid tier selling clubs while saving clubs like Man City and PSG millions. Not good for parity. Chelsea and City have pushed this further in recent years, stocking up on young talents and shovelling them away in an affiliate club or out on loan. If they turn good great, you bought them at 17 for $2 million. If they don’t who cares, it’s only $2 million and thats assuming they are worthless: often such players can be sold for a decent profit even if not good enough for the first team. UEFA can regulate Chelsea’s loan army but I’m not sure what you do about City Football Group and their global farm system. nytimes. com/2022/02/04/sports/soccer/transfer-window-fee .html

    I heard FUBO was planning to switch to only quarterly plans (no more monthly)? So pay $180 every quarter? Who is going to do that? This screams bankruptcy to me, collect your three months of fees and then file for Ch 11. It’s hard to compete when all your competitors have vastly more resources and negotiating/pricing leverage. Peacock has been great for the current Olympics – I really would recommend it now. But it was a complete disaster for 18 months. NBC can afford to get it wrong and lose billions though as long as they eventually get it right – companies like Fubo don’t have that luxury.

    Also, I think Stephen Ross’ company won the rights to market Champions League in the US for the coming few years lol. Apparently they are guaranteeing $250 million out of the UEFA rights. This is the same guy trying to pay his coaches to lose.

    • Michael

      February 9, 2022 at 12:43 pm

      Good morning. Don’t double Ross. He didn’t get to be a multi-billionaire by being stupid. He won the rights for La Liga because he promised that he could get $2 Billion…and he did just that….and that is not including Canada. That $2 billion was just for US, Mexico, and Central America. Going along with that, he got that $2 Billion because of his relationship with ESPN & ESPN Latin America. He is a smart businessman. If he says that he can guarantee $250 million, for UEFA, that tell you he must already have received confirmation from ESPN that they are willing to bid that. They (ESPN) had money budgeted for EPL and when that didn’t go through, that money is still budgeted. It also serves notice to CBS Viacom what the bidding will be starting at. They (CBS) need to decide if they are going to match that bid…or as they did with the EPL bid…work with ESPN to split the rights. Either way he (Ross) wouldn’t make that public decree unless he knows he has the money. Secondly, FUBO is actually not failing, or going towards bankruptcy. Just the opposite. If you read the statement from their CEO last year ‘s earning report, their plan is to cater to those that are willing to pay a premium for their sports. He sees the monthly rate for the top plans leveling out at about $100 a month. They are not competing with Sling TV or the other discount ISP. It is very similar to what DirectTV Stream is doing. When they have a higher price, they won’t have as many subscribers, but they will actually have an high enough fee to turn a profit. That is why they are doing well in the stock market. Services like YouTube TV, and Sling are Loss Leaders that lose millions each year and have never turned a profit….but their companies can take these losses, because it brings customers in to their other businesses which are profitable. As for the quarterly deals, they have been doing this with the Fubo Latino since 2019. The Quarterly option has been the only option for Fubo Latino since then. If you pay for the quarterly, they give you more connections, more DVR, and package of extras. Roughly about $20 of accessories. They have always had that Quarterly option with the English language package as well, but they were collecting data from the Spanish results to apply it to the English version. You have to remember, there are millions of people that spend $150 – $200 a month on Cable to get al the sports they want. They would have no problem spending $200 every three months to get the same or more with Fubo. That is a huge discount from what they are currently paying. Now, for a cord-cutter like me, it is a non starter to even pay $65 monthly….but I am not the customer that they are catering to.

  41. SteveK

    February 7, 2022 at 9:37 am

    Watching replays or live on Paramount+ Futbol is Life? Having “DVR controls” in live programming is the key–meaning someone, say on the West Coast, could wake up late, join a live event in progress, and rewind back to the beginning. ESPN+ has had the rewind to start capability for live events but that had not been available on Peacock prior to the recent update to the app for the Olympics. It had been one of the biggest sticks to beat Comcast with for the past year and a half.

    The other sticking point is how well it actually works in practice, for instance, if you join a live event in progress, rewind to the beginning and start watching, what happens when that match ends–do you get kicked out of watching it at that point or is the app sophisticated enough to let you keep watching until you reach the conclusion.

  42. Futbol is Life

    February 6, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    @JP, I watched a couple of replays of Scottish games on Paramount+ this weekend and it had the DVR controls, I was able to ff and rewind with the video window. Nice surprise as I was unaware of that feature.

    • JP

      February 7, 2022 at 10:32 am

      @Futbol is Life, Paramount+ always had DVR controls for replays. As of yesterday, still no DVR for live events. Sometimes it’ll let you rewind 10-30 seconds, but never consistent and never allowed to go back farther.

      • Futbol is Life

        February 8, 2022 at 12:11 am

        Thanks @JP, I guess I hadn’t watched enough replays on Paramount+. DVR for live events is a must.

  43. Michael F

    February 6, 2022 at 7:17 pm

    @dennis wise. I will play devil’s advocate here since we do live here in the US. Although the teams that finish at the bottom draft the highest, it can be said it is an equal opportunity in pro leagues here to compete on an even playing field, whereas that’s not even close in European domestic leagues – where money truly buys championships, and those clubs with less money don’t stand a prayer’s chance of having an equal opportunity to be as successful. And I can tell you from experience of being a fan in a smaller US market that drafting first does not necessarily mean the team will be rewarded with success at all. In fact and most assuredly…. in US pro leagues, it requires smart management and not money that drives success of the team. One superstar player drafted doesn’t change that. In European domestic soccer leagues, a club like Manchester City strikes it rich overnight and then becomes dominant year after year. It had nothing to do with the club being smart, but it was all about the money. And in the meantime, the smaller budget clubs will never ever taste this kind of success, no matter how smart they run their club. It’s all about the money.

    So I am simply pointing out there is pro and con to both US pro league draft system and the European domestic soccer leagues’ that does not using a draft system. No matter how you spin it, it is simply a matter of preference.

  44. Azer

    February 6, 2022 at 10:48 am

    @OnlyThe Facts, @ John Culea – The Commentator for Burney vs Watford was Karen Carney. She identified herself when the coverage started at 12:50PM ET 10 minutes before kickoff. I heard it .

    • John Culea

      February 6, 2022 at 12:45 pm

      Thanks, Azer. I thought it was Carney. Appreciate the post.

    • fishlipsmcgee

      February 8, 2022 at 1:48 am


      Pien Meulensteen called PxP of Burnley-Watford.

      She is the daughter of former Manchester United assistant coach Rene Meulensteen.

      English is NOT her native language.

      Meulensteen NEVER identified herself by name during pre-match.

      She was assigned this match for the 3rd time according to her Twitter: @MeulensteenPien

      • Azer

        February 8, 2022 at 11:09 pm

        @fishlipsmcgee All of the Premier League commentators announce their name when the coverage starts 10 minutes before kickoff, especially if the games are on Peacock. I did see Pien Meulensteen Twitter post about being on the game. I’m not denying your information. I believe I heard the name Karen Carney, so did John, above. I don’t know if Peacock allows a reply of the game. I’d like to listen to the lady commentator announce her name.

  45. dennis wise

    February 5, 2022 at 3:54 pm

    naburu – just an fyi, there isn’t a draft in futbol. also, the bottom 3 get relegated, unlike the rubbish in USA pro sports, where crap teams get rewarded for being crap, no relegation and improved draft allocations

  46. NaBUru38

    February 5, 2022 at 3:22 pm

    Maybe the bottom 8 teams should play a Draft Repechage, where the winner gets first pick.

  47. Fechin

    February 5, 2022 at 2:12 pm

    That was a good match between Ac Milan and Inter

  48. David J

    February 5, 2022 at 2:10 pm

    NOT a fan of Peacock…now matter how much you like to build it up. The coverage of The EPL has slipped a lot in recent years, and apparently it’s about get worse…UGH!

  49. John Culea

    February 5, 2022 at 1:19 pm

    If it is bad enough that Karen Carney is in the booth doing commentary, today the Pick-your-pocket-Peacock network had her doing play-by-play of the Watford-Burnley game. Brutal, dreadful, and unacceptable. My audio was turned way down.

    • OnlyTheFacts

      February 5, 2022 at 7:12 pm

      @John Culea You do realize that was NOT Karen Carney doing play-by-play today.

      • John Culea

        February 6, 2022 at 8:41 am

        OK, thanks.
        What is her name? I never saw a chyron identifying her or saw her on camera.

        • fishlipsmcgee

          February 8, 2022 at 1:45 am

          Pien Meulensteen called PxP of Burnley-Watford.

          She is the daughter of former Manchester United assistant coach Rene Meulensteen.

          English is NOT her native language.

  50. dennis wise

    February 5, 2022 at 1:13 pm

    peacock only works on mute this w/e, bur/wat kicking off, karen is announcing, we deserve better!

  51. SteveK

    February 4, 2022 at 3:24 pm

    Just confirmed in Peacock on iOS after joining a live event in progress and rewinding to the beginning works for more than just Olympics events right now, tried live Golf and Rugby, both worked fine.

    • JP

      February 5, 2022 at 10:05 am

      @SteveK, can only hope Paramount+ finally gets their act together on rewind as well

  52. greg

    February 4, 2022 at 1:34 pm

    Joe Adalian from The Vulture (NY Mag) has a weekly newsletter on streaming, and check out this nugget re: the Olympics on Peacock:

    ** Campbell says there will be “full DVR controls” for Peacock Olympics coverage, letting users easily navigate to the beginning of an event if they join one already in progress, as well as fast-forward and rewind live coverage. And when subscribers reach the end of one event, Peacock will prompt them to start streaming the next one being featured by NBC or give them the chance to choose something else. **

    One can only hope they;ll make it universally as easy for all live sports

  53. Winston

    February 4, 2022 at 12:36 pm

    The draft system is good to some extent but gaining the biggest advantage by finishing bottom is wrong, wrong, wrong.
    You finish bottom. Bad things should happen to you. Full stop.

  54. greg

    February 4, 2022 at 10:39 am

    Interesting episode as always…

    re: Lalas, Stone definitely loves to egg him on and they are way too bro-y, but don’t forget that Abdo hosted him for a season or two on Fox for Bundesliga matches. My memory is a bit fuzzy but while he was definitely a bit less “Lalas” with her hosting he often enough tried to be the clown. You could sort of see her being dismissive. Which is funny given how she eggs on Carragher & Richards on UCL.

    Speaking of Abdo, The Athletic has a good profile of her up…
    theathletic com/3094550/2022/01/26/how-kate-abdo-threw-caution-to-the-wind-and-became-a-key-figure-in-american-soccer-television/

  55. Mercator

    February 3, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    Canada didn’t start their two best players, saying they have the best 11 doesn’t justify such a poor performance on the part of the US. It’s not that we are unsatisfied with the position in the table, the issue is we are playing awful (and boring). Mexico is awful, Costa Rica is awful, Panama not doing much. Everyone (but Canada) is poor this go round and that includes the US. We probably will qualify thanks to the poor showing from our confederation members but we aren’t going to do anything in Qatar. Team just isn’t strong – I’d take McBride and Donavan to Qatar before much of this team (not Bradley though). We always seemed to over perform before and now we duke it out with Mexico to see who can be the biggest embarrassment. Berhalter has to go. If you aren’t going to play a 9 then your team better score goals. We had a single shot on goal. He thought that was a great performance. It will be nice to have Canada at a World Cup though – American fans can continue the time honoured tradition of pretending to be Canadian if things get awkward abroad.

    TalkSport on TuneinRadio is great. I often listen to the call in show after the matches, easy background noise while travelling or working and some of the callers are lunatics. If you think USMNT fans are deluded, you haven’t heard some of the scousers on TalkSport.

    @JP – I think Ross is the same guy who runs the ICC tournament and has been trying to bring La Liga to USA – almost like football attracts the most corrupt among us lol. The NBA has a draft lottery for exactly this reason though.

    • JP

      February 4, 2022 at 9:13 am

      @Mercator, ah yes the draft lottery. Still does not prevent tanking. Philadelphia openly admitted that was their strategy for a handful of years….”trust the process” haha.

      If anything, it encourages more tanking. Teams want to finish at the very bottom to increase their odds, and bad teams on the fringe of a playoff berth want to get in for the potential of winning the jackpot (#1 pick), or at least the chance to move up a bit.

  56. JP

    February 3, 2022 at 3:09 pm

    Completely unrelated to the pod. Have you guys been following the drama out of the NFL the past couple days?

    Former coach suing the league for racist hiring practices, but in that, accuses Stephen Ross (Miami owner) of offering him $100,000 to lose games in 2019 for a better draft pick.

    Now, we all know teams ‘tank’ in order to better their draft position to potentially get better players in just about all American pro sports, but an owner explicitly offering money to do so goes above and beyond. Former coach in Cleveland now says the same happened with him.

    How does this relate to soccer? Just shows how much better the Euro soccer model is for sports than the American model. Cannot ‘tank’ because would cause relegation. Even if there was no relegation, no reason to tank because there’s no player ‘draft’. It’s all scouting and youth academies and transfers. Good results on the field (equates to more money) all help with scouting, academies, and attracting transfer targets.

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