Tag Archives: TV

So much going on

What a busy time.  In case you are the 2 visitors I get to this blog that aren’t my mom, I just moved again.  Ok, it was only cross town but with everything that’s taken place the last few weeks, it may as well have been a much longer move.  Anyway, between that, school and work (can’t forget to pay the bills) I’ve just not had the time to really post lately.  So, I’m gonna share a few thoughts though I’ll probably forget half of what I wanted to say.

  • LA fans who pushed the panic button after the Colorado game should knock better.  LA fans excited after beating SJ need to get a grip.  We still have no clue how good LA will be this season…though without the Trio of Becks, Fish and Landon they won’t be as good…at least we know that.
  • Seattle will more or less keep the Sounders name when the MLS team forms.  My only question is, why this need to add “FC” everywhere.  C’mon now.  At first though had a little giggle when I’d read reports referring to teams as “The FC” but now it’s just annoying.
  • Speaking of expansion, what’s the bet that MLS will keep growing as long as investors are willing to pay the Expansion Fee and build a new stadium?  It’s obvious there’s money to be made with the current structure of things.
  • Anyone who has ever read this blog around the MLS All-Star break know how much I hate the event.  However, the league has sunk to an all-time low by putting the leagues best up against a pile of Wet Spam.  Huh?  Oh, my bad.  It’s West Ham.  Well, maybe I’d watch if Iron Maiden were the half-time show. *
  • Ipswich Town have just about managed to choke away their chance at promotion this season.  Personally, I think another go-around with out the need to sell off their best talent will put them in a better spot for both promotion and relegation avoidance once they go do up.
  • Glad to see Cardiff make the FA Cup Final.  Wish West Brom would have made it as well (Tony Mowbrey was a class player) but ya can’t have everything.  A few weeks ago that call-in show on FSC was asking if we would pay the $25 for PPV to watch the Cup Final if it didn’t feature one of the ‘Big four’.  Well, my personal opinion is that it’s going to be a much better final without any of them.  If it’s not Ipswich (about to hit 30 years since the day) then I’d rather it be a team of players who probably aren’t going to seem many chances at major silverware.  As for this UEFA Cup stuff, well, Cardiff should have some way (either through Wales or England) where it’s possible for them to reach Europe.  What’s fair, well, that I don’t know.
  • Guaranteed, if (and it’s looking more like when) Amando Guevara joins the squad in Toronto, they’ll be lucky to do as well this season as they did last.  You heard it here first…well maybe.
  • Was it just me or was having back-to-back MLS games on FSC and ESPN2 last week pretty sweet?  Granted, it helped (well, for me) that LA was involved (thanks Becks) but still. four solid hours (plus pre/post shows on FSC) was just awesome.  Perhaps that’s something we may see on a more regular basis down the road.
  • Nope, haven’t had time to spring for the MLS PPV package yet.  I should but, well, almost all the LA games are going to be on TV anyway.  I dunno.
  • Hey, does anyone know of a good source for games you can play with a 3-year old to introduce soccer skills?  My boy is able to pass the ball back and forth with me (and he enjoys it) but he needs something more to keep him going longer.  I’m just doing my bit to insure success in 2026.
  • Does anyone else have their DVR set to record “I’m on Setanta Sports”?  Besides Lost, it’s the best show on TV.
  • Oh yeah, Becks got his 100th Cap for England a few weeks ago.  While it’s a great (and well deserved honor) for him, I can’t help but wonder just how bad England have become.  First, they can’t qualify for Euro ’08, and now one of their best players plays for a club in a Mickey Mouse league.
  • Actually, now that I think about it, his goal the other night hardly registered with the anti-soccer media over here.  All those article critical of his injury plagued season last year are staying quiet for now.
  • The MLS Players Association released the MLS salaries last week.  Was there anything in there we didn’t know?  I missed it if there was.  I’m sure everyone will agree that the players at the bottom aren’t making enough.  Now, I’m a firm believer that a team is only as good as it’s weakest link.  If good mid-salary range players are being cast off to make cap space, you are weakening the team…especally in a league that plays matches on FIFA International dates.  Many of those players are ending up in the USL, Europe or following a different career path.  I  hate to see this.  My one hope is that the new CBA which will become an issue soon will help this situation.
  • If you haven’t already, spare a thought for Gretna.  Talk about greed gone wrong.  Dumping millions into a small club in the hope of rewards once the top-flight is reached.  The thing is, will anyone really miss them?  Even the Dream Team writers couldn’t have come up with a plot this good.
  • Speaking of Harchester… That’s just silly.
  • Hey, Santino Quaranta can really perform when he’s motivated.  Took him long enough.  Is it too late for Memo Gonzalez?
  • Is it me or do the MLS stadiums have better atmosphere this season?  KC actually doesn’t seem dead.  Granted, there’s only 10k there but there’s more energy in the stadium.

Ok, enough for now.  I’m sure there’s lots I forgot though.  Hopefully, I’ll have some time to post more soon.

* In case you didn’t get the attempt at a joke. Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris is a huge West Ham fan and was even on their books as a youth player.

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Can someone help me out here?

It’s Thursday evening. I got lilPZ to bed and figured I’d check out what game is on the deuce (does anyone still call it that?) tonight. Nothing.

The only explanation I could come up with was it violated some “only one US soccer even per week” rule or something as they are showing the US-China game this weekend. OK, whatever. I can deal with no game tonight.

So, I decide to get prepared. What’s going on next week? OK, who’s the Einstein who scheduled the Houston – Colorado game at the same time as the Guatemala Gold Cup game? Seriously, everyone wonders why TV ratings aren’t doing better then the decision makers pull gaffs like this. It’s no wonder the sport isn’t doing better in this country.

We’re #4!!!???

It wasn’t that long ago that I followed the NHL. I’ve attended more than a few Kings games at Staples Center, I’d catch games on TV when it’s on and I usually know whats going on in the playoffs. This season, even though I’m a marginal fan, I’ve about as much of a clue whats going on in the battle for Lord Stanley’s Cup as I do about the NBA playoffs…and I have zero interest in the NBA.

The last few years have been tough on the NHL. They expanded quickly…too quickly. They had a sweet TV deal which is now a thing of the past and they seem to be fighting to maintain their foothold in most of the US. Currently, the national TV deal they have is with VERSUS…a channel I only watch in July–Tour de France. Unless you are a big fan, chances are you haven’t seen much NHL on TV this winter.

Even with all that, it seems things have reached an all-time low. For all the complaining posters on BigSoccer have done over the years about games being delayed or preempted for other events, ESPN hasn’t done anything like this to any MLS game for a long time.

Some interesting points from the blog post I liked to above.

Several months back the NHL and NBC agreed to an over-the-air network extension along terms that where similar to the current – no money down, pay as we want to agreement (Call it what it is – community theatre – we’ll pass the hat around revenue generating plan).


Mmm
….kinda makes the time-buy coverage MLS used to have look a little better.

Television ratings for Game 7 of this year’s Stanley Cup finals dropped 21 percent from the final game of the National Hockey League’s last championship series two years ago.

Ouch!

By comparison, the first game played by the United States in the World Cup soccer tournament was a much bigger ratings hit. The June 12, 3-0 loss by the U.S. team to the Czech Republic earned a 2.4 cable rating on ESPN2, which translates to 2.14 million viewers. What made it more impressive is that the game was played at noon Eastern Time on a Monday, when many people are at work.

Which I’m betting is a large part of the reason why MLS is now getting paid for their content.

Amazing as it may seem, Red Wings and Ducks 40 percent of the homes in Detroit and Anaheim respectively have been unable to access Versus and therefore watch their teams pursuit of Lord Stanley – par for the course for the Tier II National Hockey League. And for the NHL – you reap what you sow – the only real issue who needs to be held accountable for the shame the NHL is saddled with as the league gets ready to host its championship.

It really seems like NHL has made some very poor decisions and are heading in the wrong direction. I’ve a feeling contraction (remember when MLS got rid of Florida?) isn’t too far away.

Of course, even if MLS were considered now more popular than NHL, that’s still not saying to much considering the current situation the NHL is in. But it’s still a step in the right direction for MLS and soccer.

Bunches of stuff…

It’s easy to tell myself, “Ah, I’ll post that tomorrow,” and then do the same thing the next day. It’s easy to get well behind…much like school work. Anyway, I’ve got a little time so let’s get caught up.

The MLSPU gave out a list of all the players salaries a couple weeks ago. Don Garber made some interesting comments about the difference in salaries. At the time, I thought they were a bit out of line. He’s hardly comparing apples to apples here. The union then responded with a solid argument. There’s no denying that the lower players are working for nothing. If nothing else, part of this can be addressed by giving those players under $30k a playing bonus of $1000 or something like that each time they play for the first team. However, the whole thing makes me think everyone is posturing for a new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) which will need to be worked out sometime in the next 2 1/2 years.

What is it with all the investment by American Investors in British clubs? At least the ManUre style protests aren’t involved of late. I thought the Glazier takeover would kill ManUre…sure didn’t seem to hurt them this season. So close to the darn treble.

It’s funny. I remember back in the 70’s comparing the experience of going to Portman Road for an Ipswich game and to Jack Murphy Stadium (as it was then known) for Padre and Charger games and comparing how different the experiences were. Lately tough, the experience in England seems to becoming more Americanized. Corporate Boxes, better game concessions etc. are vast improvements in ways of generating income for teams in England. When ManUre and the Yankees announced their big marketing deal a few years ago I figured we’d see more cross over. We probably have and I just haven’t been paying attention. But you’d have to think that with the advent of DVRs that American sports would want to find ways to market their sponsors in-game more. Give it time. There’s money to be made all around. Just make sure you’re willing to shell out the bucks as a consumer.

On a similar note, it looks like the G14 will soon be expanding. What a very American way of forming things…giving the clubs the power rather than a central governing body. Let the owners vote on decisions. Personally, I believe they will continue to bring in more teams until they are large enough for a league in each country and then will allow the top teams from the remaining leagues in each country to replace the bottom clubs in the big league. The champion will be decided by a competition run concurrently with the regular season made of of teams who finished well the previous season…not too unlike the current format we have. Actually, until Ipswich are invited, I could care less.

Amando Guevara is gone. Will his attitude be missed?

I hafta admit, as an LA fan, I’m happy to see Xavier heading to the HDC. He should shore up the backline very well…and I’m thinking his look/style will be right at home in LA. With all the extra matches LA will be playing the second half of the season, they need all the help they can get.

Yet another MLS team has their shirt sponsored by a company I’ve never heard of. Money is money I guess…and hey, maybe they’ll get me as a customer if I ever need paint. At least they aren’t some pyramid scheme.

OK…ten years ago I could see some big name playing in an All-Star game even if they don’t play much (Luis Hernandez) but Beckham? C’mon. Then again, I never watch the All-Star game so who cares. Besides, the whole thing just reads like someone trying to create a story outta nothing…sounds like the British tabloids.

BMO Field is falling down, falling down, falling down…ok, that’s not funny. With the speed it went up, I guess things like this could happen. Thankfully, it seems no one was hurt and everything has now been taken care of. I finally got to see a TFC game last week(?) and gotta admit, the seat cushion flinging was quite amusing.

I’ve know Dan Loney for several years (first met him at the MLS Cup Final in Columbus) and enjoy his writing a great deal. However, I’m not buying this scoop. Of course, I didn’t believe he actually sez it’s the “Galaxy” logo anywhere.

I guess it’s a good thing for Chelsea they don’t read the local Ipswich paper. I can’t believe I paid $25 to watch that match. It wasn’t that great IMO. I wish Chelsea had scored in the first half so things might have opened up more in the second half. Oh well, at least we got to see the new Wembley in action.

WooHoo…no PPV needed to watch the Copa America. I’m really glad it was GolTV who got the broadcast rights. I know they’ll do a great job. Of course, ESPN will probably now wanna make sure they hold the rights next go ’round.

When Kreis announced his career change the other week, I knew it was just a matter of time before he was no longer #1. I know some are pointing out that a large number of Moreno’s goals were spot kicks but he still finished them.

Wow, I got married in ’03. We spent our honeymoon at resort just south of Playa Del Carmen–an hour south of Cancun. I remember talking with a couple of the guys who worked there about local teams (they’d noticed my Galaxy jersey–poor guys were Luis Hernandez fans–and I’d been hoping to see at least a lower league match if possible–if the wife allowed it) but their response was pretty negative. All the teams near them sucked (or words to that effect) They were all Chivas, America or Cruz Azul fans. Well, guess they have a team now. Actually, I’m thinking this is a good move. Getting away from the crowded Mexico City (sharing the massive Azteca) will help with a new identity for the team. Also, yeah, Cancun is a tourist spot (and an awesome one at that) but it’s a rapidly growing city. if Atlante put down some roots, they should grow a decent fan base…and who knows. Beyond that, I now have added incentive to try and talk my wife into a Mexican vacation.

When did the Romario reaching 1000 goals jump the shark? Seriously, he’s hardly even playing now. Yet, he’s hanging onto the hope of reaching the mystic number. Why not wheel him on for a penalty in a meaningless match then sub him off after he takes the shot and hope it’s all over. He was a great player in his day…but now it’s just becoming a joke. UPDATE: Looks like he got it today. Too bad FIFA sez he needs another 71 though. He’ll be playing with a walker if he’s ever gotta get that many more.

Bored yet? Ok, I’ll try and post more in the next couple of days.

Old stars and youngsters

Maybe I’m a bit of a SoccerSnob…OK, I am a SoccerSnob…But I just can’t get excited about the SuperHype SuperDouperDraft MLS will be holding on Friday. I just don’t understand all the hype. Seriously, how many of the guys 52 guys (I’m guessing it’ll be 4 rounds of 13 picks) will see much playing time in MLS? The most media the draft will get will be articles about the local kid who played at the High School a few blocks from you going in the fourth round. Then he’ll never be heard of again. Sorry, but most of the guys will end up in the USL. Which is why I’m just not to bothered with the whole thing.

I’m thinking the biggest news about the draft is that it’s on ESPN. It seems they bumped FSC. I’m seeing a new pecking order for the TV networks. GolTV gets what it can cuz they are on a very tight budget-but I do enjoy a lot of their content. FSC is Top Dog for Soccer Only TV…but only just over Setanta because currently Setanta doesn’t do it’s own programming…but that’ll change next EPL season. ESPN has the big bucks though and if they want, can outbid the three soccer only channels combined. So, the fact that ESPN2 is finding time on a Friday (when they would usually be replaying Worlds Strongest Man or something like that) to show the Draft is a sign changes are being made…but it’s still not really news.

So, what really is news? Actually, as much as I hate to say it, the whole Beckham saga is probably the biggest news. Do a search for LA Galaxy in Google News and you’ll find a million articles about Becks’ on again, off again, negotiations with Real Madrid and plenty of mentions that LA Galaxy want to sign him. We all know it’s very possible he’ll be wearing the green sash at some point this summer. However, we were all certain that Klinsmann would be the new US coach as well. At least if he does come to LA, British reporters will learn that the Kings Head in Santa Monica doesn’t show football, you have to go to the Cock and Bull a couple miles away to see the matches…unless you have FSC.

Only one problem remains: if Beckham wants to watch any British football, he is going to have to go to the King’s Head, an expatriate pub by the beach in Santa Monica. Unfortunately, this is also where most of the British paparazzi go drinking.

Of course, I always did my drinking and footie view at Lucky Baldwin’s when I was in LA.

Then there’s Deuce. Congrats on your Work Permit Clint. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly he settles into the game in England. I hope everyone gives him time to get used to the pace. Personally, I don’t expect to see much of him until next fall. Maybe I’m wrong but a lot of great players have gone to England and needed a little time before they found their feet. Either way, he’s the most exciting player from the US since Landon crashed out at Bayer and Beasley lost his gig at PSV. I believe he’ll do more than both of them in Europe.

I’ve got a bunch of other things I’ve been meaning to comment on but it’s getting late. Maybe I’ll comment on the other stuff tomorrow.

More TV rights

Wow, ABC/ESPN have bought the rights to the 2008 Euro Championships.

All 31 games will be televised in the United States: two by ABC and the rest by ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPN Classic. The tournament will be played in Austria and Switzerland from June 7-29.

It wasn’t that long ago that I had to go to a pub to see the matches on closed circuit and pay at the door to see it. Now it’s on free (well, over the air and basic cable) TV. Who said no one in this country watched soccer?