First of all, I’d like to thank all of you for your time in asking such fantastic questions in the very first call for questions. I can’t promise I’ll always have the answers you’re looking for, but my staff (Kyle Fansler, Derek Reese, Chris Moore) and I will endeavor to do our best.
Before we jump into the answers to your questions, be sure to post new questions in the comments section below. Then, every Tuesday, we’ll answer your questions in the Reader Mailbag column.
This week’s questions are grouped by topic:
Rachel: Where can I watch Serie A, specifically Salernitana, in the U.S.? Also, do you have any updates on international matches played in the U.S. such as Premier League teams, LaLiga teams, national teams etcetera?
World Soccer Talk: To watch Unione Sportiva Salernitana 1919 and the vast majority of Serie A games, sign up for Paramount+. Fans of Serie A can get 30 days for free by activating this offer and using promo code SERIEA.
As for Premier League, LaLiga and national teams as well as other forms of soccer, there are too many options to list right here. But download our free Ultimate Soccer TV & Streaming Guide, which includes a link to a PDF that breaks down all of the viewing options.
Jason: Will the Portugese Primeira Liga have new TV or streaming rights in the USA for the 2023/2024 season? It is buried on GolTV right now.
World Soccer Talk: Portugal continues to be a hotbed for talent — either as an initial destination for players signed from South America (Enzo Fernández, for example) who want to prove themselves in Europe before moving on to a bigger club, or for Portuguese footballers who rise up through the league.
The reality is that it’s still a niche league, though. Yes, it’s buried on GolTV, but all of the major Primeira Liga games are shown on television, which is something that no other US broadcaster can provide.
It’s likely that the Portuguese league will continue on GolTV. That is until a different broadcaster pays more than what GolTV is offering.
Bryan: Seeing that Ligue 1’s deal with beIN Sports expires after next season, it would be nice to get more eyes on the league if they were more accessible to watch than they currently are here in the United States.
World Soccer Talk: France’s Ligue 1 finds itself in a difficult position. Other than beIN SPORTS, there is no other English-language television broadcaster in the United States who can guarantee that every major game from Ligue 1 will be shown live in English, Spanish and via streaming.
All of the other broadcasters have competing leagues (CBS with Serie A, for example) or other sports (college football on ESPN) that would prevent the vast majority of games from airing. So that path isn’t viable.
At the same time, as Ligue 1 contemplates its future reach in the United States, perhaps Ligue 1 has found its level with beIN SPORTS. The league has done very little to successfully promote itself in the United States. And despite having a very marketable club such as Paris Saint-Germain under their wings, PSG is more of a UEFA Champions League phenomenon in the United States.
Michal: Why isn’t the Aussie A-League on American TV? Paramount+ shows the A League in Australia, and Paramount+ shows the Asian Champions League in the US. ESPN+ shows the Australian cup. It doesn’t make sense!
World Soccer Talk: Paramount+ has the rights to the Australian A-League in Australia. However, the rights to show the league in the United States weren’t purchased by anyone after their contract with ESPN+ ended. You can watch games on YouTube, however.
As for the Asian Champions League, that was a separate rights deal with the AFC, which didn’t include the rights to the A-League.
Tony: Any idea when Peacock will show games in 4K?
World Soccer Talk: No date has been announced yet. As we first reported, select Premier League games will be in 4K on Peacock this year. In addition to that good news, select games can be heard in Dolby Atmos and 5.1 audio sometime in 2023.
Brendan: What happened to Jon Champion, a great commentator on ESPN, who covered MLS? Did he go back to England? I haven’t seen him on any of games.
World Soccer Talk: ESPN commentator Jon Champion has been in the United Kingdom since the 2022 MLS season ended. He’s still under contract for ESPN, but had been given permission to call select Premier League games for Amazon Prime in England as well as World Cup games for ITV.
He is back on ESPN though. Champion commentated five English games for ESPN+ during the past week from the FA Cup and League Cup.
Judging by the audio quality (as John mentioned in the Reader Mailbag call for questions), Champion is definitely calling games from a studio either in England or the United States. I love Jon Champion’s commentary, but calling games from a sterile-sounding studio instead of from the commentary gantry is not ideal for the viewers.
The big question for Jon Champion is where does he go from here now that ESPN has a very limited number of soccer rights. If MLS isn’t pushing hard to sign him for Apple’s MLS Season Pass, they’re missing out.
Speaking of MLS. Chris has a question.
Chris: Do you have any information about how MLS games will be broadcast on Apple? It would be great to know more about the pre- and post- game plans. Will some local people be part of the broadcasts?
World Soccer Talk: We will have more information in the coming weeks about all aspects of MLS Season Pass coverage. In the meantime, for local coverage, your best bet is to subscribe to MLS Season Pass, and then you can use the app to sync the audio from the local radio broadcaster who has the local audio rights to the game.
Based on the preliminary list of MLS commentators and analysts, there is some talent that used to work for regional sports networks that now call games for MLS Season Pass. However, there’s no guarantee that Steve Cangialosi, as one example, will call games for the New York Red Bulls. It’s more likely he’ll call a range of different teams across the entire season.
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