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(Guardian)   Why ESPN's World Cup coverage is more about ESPN than the World Cup   (theguardian.com) divider line 47
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1559 clicks; posted to Sports » on 16 Jun 2014 at 1:39 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-16 10:34:08 AM  
It wasn't that long ago we couldn't even see the world cup in this country so I wouldn't biatch too much.
 
2014-06-16 10:43:40 AM  
On the other hand, Sir Ian Darke and Steve McManaman are great together and the Men in Blazers are terrific.
 
2014-06-16 11:25:06 AM  
I'm not complaining. ESPN has avoided the technical analysis stuff that is done with every other sport here in the US as a way to keep viewers. Yes, Alexi Lalas is absolute shiate. The other guys they've had in studio have been decent-good (Roberto Martinez has been great). And, ESPN must be doing something right, the ratings for the WC are higher than the NHL, MLB and NBA (except for the NBA Finals) this season.
 
2014-06-16 11:49:58 AM  
World Cup fans are finally seeing the pain we Sprint Cup fans suffer through every season. But ESPN's NASCAR contract runs out this year, oh joy!
 
2014-06-16 01:41:55 PM  
Yes, he's really worse than Wynalda...
 
2014-06-16 01:42:10 PM  

Why ESPN's World Cup coverage is more about ESPN than the World Cup

 
2014-06-16 01:50:49 PM  

Trocadero: Yes, he's really worse than Wynalda...


Which one?
 
2014-06-16 01:56:37 PM  
So we can look forward to screen dominating camera shots of the WAGs while the tense final is relegated to a postage stamp sized square in the corner of the screen?
 
2014-06-16 02:07:42 PM  

edmo: It wasn't that long ago we couldn't even see the world cup in this country so I wouldn't biatch too much.


Well yeah; I just tend to be doing something else when the pre-match show's are on.

JerseyTim: On the other hand, Sir Ian Darke and Steve McManaman are great together and the Men in Blazers are terrific.


This.
 
2014-06-16 02:09:20 PM  

dj_bigbird: ESPN has avoided the technical analysis stuff that is done with every other sport here in the US as a way to keep viewers.


This is a bad thing.  It stops the casual fan from getting deeper, so they still see a bunch of guys just jogging around rather than the complex movements that make a goal happen.
 
2014-06-16 02:20:20 PM  

JerseyTim: On the other hand, Sir Ian Darke and Steve McManaman are great together and the Men in Blazers are terrific.


Well, they're switching Macca out for Twellman today, unfortunately.
 
2014-06-16 02:30:22 PM  

MugzyBrown: dj_bigbird: ESPN has avoided the technical analysis stuff that is done with every other sport here in the US as a way to keep viewers.

This is a bad thing.  It stops the casual fan from getting deeper, so they still see a bunch of guys just jogging around rather than the complex movements that make a goal happen.


The problem is that futbol is an almost stats-less sports. They only have like 5 relevant stats compared to the Russian-novel-sized stat books for American sports.
 
2014-06-16 02:31:06 PM  
ESPN's online coverage/gamecast of the games is terrible.  Guardian's is far better, and droll.
 
2014-06-16 02:39:02 PM  

IlGreven: JerseyTim: On the other hand, Sir Ian Darke and Steve McManaman are great together and the Men in Blazers are terrific.

Well, they're switching Macca out for Twellman today, unfortunately.


Ugh...rather have someone like Efan Ekoku alongside Ian.
 
2014-06-16 02:39:49 PM  
Alexi Lalas has mastered being a professional dick.

Has anyone else noticed that the official 2014 World Cup handshake is the 1972 Superfly Soul Brother shake?
media-cache-cd0.pinimg.com
 
2014-06-16 02:43:28 PM  
I now live in a part of the country that gets CBC, I haven't noticed ESPN's coverage of the World Cup.

Is it any good?
 
2014-06-16 02:43:29 PM  

Rwa2play: IlGreven: JerseyTim: On the other hand, Sir Ian Darke and Steve McManaman are great together and the Men in Blazers are terrific.

Well, they're switching Macca out for Twellman today, unfortunately.

Ugh...rather have someone like Efan Ekoku alongside Ian.


Twellman always sounds like a snotty kid who has just been told he can't have another cookie.
 
2014-06-16 02:45:18 PM  

rocky_howard: MugzyBrown: dj_bigbird: ESPN has avoided the technical analysis stuff that is done with every other sport here in the US as a way to keep viewers.

This is a bad thing.  It stops the casual fan from getting deeper, so they still see a bunch of guys just jogging around rather than the complex movements that make a goal happen.

The problem is that futbol is an almost stats-less sports. They only have like 5 relevant stats compared to the Russian-novel-sized stat books for American sports.


I'm not looking for the full gamut of Opta stats here, but  I want at least some basic stats. Percent ofpossession, percent of passes completed, total shots, shots on goal, etc. are very real indicators of who is controlling the game and is more likely to come out ahead.

Instead, they're going with the Olympics-style coverage...all backstories and touchy-feely crap, which I can appreciate to a degree. But I also want to be talked to like I'm educated in the game.
 
2014-06-16 02:51:01 PM  
Why ESPN's coverage of (any sport they cover) is moe about ESPN than about that sport.
 
2014-06-16 03:06:25 PM  

DemDave: I'm not looking for the full gamut of Opta stats here, but  I want at least some basic stats. Percent ofpossession, percent of passes completed, total shots, shots on goal, etc. are very real indicators of who is controlling the game and is more likely to come out ahead


They give us distance traveled.. for some reason.

I guess to convince us how tough they are..?
 
2014-06-16 03:19:19 PM  
Univision's coverage is much more enjoyable.  And I barely speak Spanish.

Steve Zodiac: Why ESPN's coverage of (any sport they cover) is more about ESPN than about that sport.


THIS.
 
2014-06-16 03:31:24 PM  
Baby steps.  The fact that they are allowing everyone to stream every match without having to pay or already have cable is huge for me.  I don't care if I have to watch commercials, I just want to be able to watch the matches.  It already makes the broadcasting better than the Olympics or NCAA tournament.  I'll put up with mediocre analysis for that any day.  And I like how the intro and outro music is fairly bland.  It doesn't make me grit my teeth every time like the 'official' song of the world cup does.
I hope they continue to improve their coverage, but this is head and shoulders above any other big tournament or sporting festival that other networks broadcast.
 
2014-06-16 03:35:23 PM  
FOX gets the next WC, so as soon as this tournament ends, ESPN will go on and on about how nobody cares about soccer.
 
2014-06-16 03:53:46 PM  

MugzyBrown: dj_bigbird: ESPN has avoided the technical analysis stuff that is done with every other sport here in the US as a way to keep viewers.

This is a bad thing.  It stops the casual fan from getting deeper, so they still see a bunch of guys just jogging around rather than the complex movements that make a goal happen.


As far as television spectator sports, I'd rather watch hockey or baseball, and those aren't terribly good television sports(they're much better in person).  Doesn't really matter how deep it goes, soccer is just something that doesn't translate well to television because there are too many dead periods in the game, not to mention the world cup has been plagued horribly by flopitis so far.  Never seen so many incidental contact plays turn into someone being pulled off the field on a stretcher until yesterday.
 
2014-06-16 04:02:15 PM  
Bring in Ray Hudson!!
 
2014-06-16 04:16:32 PM  

bhcompy: Doesn't really matter how deep it goes, soccer is just something that doesn't translate well to television because there are too many dead periods in the game, not to mention the world cup has been plagued horribly by flopitis so far.  Never seen so many incidental contact plays turn into someone being pulled off the field on a stretcher until yesterday.


I take it you've never watched the Miami Heat play.
 
2014-06-16 04:22:54 PM  
Any commentator or analyst who uses the expression "wanted it more" to describe the winner of a challenge for the ball needs to be taken out back and shot, as an act of kindness.
 
2014-06-16 04:25:57 PM  

rocky_howard: The problem is that futbol is an almost stats-less sports. They only have like 5 relevant stats compared to the Russian-novel-sized stat books for American sports.


But an immense amount of strategy. Futbol's inherently open-ended nature compels an almost infinite number of positioning tactics and formations. Instead of numbers, analysts could be breaking down each team's offensive and defensive alignments and how they match against each other, and why each are important to their success. I doubt they mention any key positions at all (other than striker and midfielder), much less formations and tactics. That's a problem.
 
2014-06-16 04:27:05 PM  
bhcompy: Doesn't really matter how deep it goes, soccer is just something that doesn't translate well to television because there are too many dead periods in the game, not to mention the world cup has been plagued horribly by flopitis so far.  Never seen so many incidental contact plays turn into someone being pulled off the field on a stretcher until yesterday.

I hadn't noticed it being particularly flopfull (with the obvious exception of Fred's game-changing and egregious flop in the box).

Even if we don't agree on that point, it should be noted that several of the other reasons soccer haters give for hating soccer have been noticeably absent. Ties? Not a single one in 12 matches so far. Low scoring? This is the highest-scoring World Cup since the 1950s and is averaging only about one goal less per game than you would have found during the NHL playoffs.
 
2014-06-16 04:37:32 PM  

DemDave: I hadn't noticed it being particularly flopfull (with the obvious exception of Fred's game-changing and egregious flop in the box).


The stretchers came out 3 or 4 times during the France game yesterday.  The only time it was even remotely close to contact that would even require a stoppage of play was when one of the players got their shin lightly stepped on by a pair of cleats.  Vlade Divacs couldn't come up with this shiat.  And, of course, a player was red carded over mild contact in a 0-0 game and the ensuing penalty kick put France up for good.  Makes the games unwatchable.  Worse than watching the NBA.
 
2014-06-16 04:39:57 PM  
Lack of sufficient interest in their viewing public?

I mean it's not that Americans don't like synchronized grass diving,it's just that most of them prefer to get their performance art from pro wrestling.

/i keed
// well, not about the wrasslin' part, sadly,
 
2014-06-16 04:40:07 PM  

DemDave: bhcompy: Doesn't really matter how deep it goes, soccer is just something that doesn't translate well to television because there are too many dead periods in the game, not to mention the world cup has been plagued horribly by flopitis so far.  Never seen so many incidental contact plays turn into someone being pulled off the field on a stretcher until yesterday.

I hadn't noticed it being particularly flopfull (with the obvious exception of Fred's game-changing and egregious flop in the box).

Even if we don't agree on that point, it should be noted that several of the other reasons soccer haters give for hating soccer have been noticeably absent. Ties? Not a single one in 12 matches so far. Low scoring? This is the highest-scoring World Cup since the 1950s and is averaging only about one goal less per game than you would have found during the NHL playoffs.


I agree.  With another exception to yours being Greece on Saturday was pretty bad.  There hasn't really been much flopping at all.  And something that non-soccer players don't understand, is that when you are sprinting full speed while trying to use one foot to control a ball, it doesn't take much pressure on the other leg to send you flying.  Also, the refs aren't calling it and have been doing better as the tournament progresses.

I think that alot of what is on the news and facebook is one of two extremes (in the States), either somebody who doesn't know much about the sport but is all the sudden the biggest fan (which I am really fine with), or someone who doesn't know much about the sport who is all the sudden the biggest hater.  Fortunately, there is a huge group in the middle.  No other sport has packed out Houston bars like this for such a sustained period of time.

There are even companies in town showing the games in conference rooms.  It's a fun time.

Also....

Almost game time!

And with Portugal imploding, we have a chance!
 
2014-06-16 05:30:30 PM  

drunk_bouncnbaloruber: FOX gets the next WC, so as soon as this tournament ends, ESPN will go on and on about how nobody cares about soccer.


Sooo...the Colin Cowherd school of "if our network doesn't have a stake in it, it's instantly undesirable content".

I wish ESPN covered the World Douchebag Championships, then ole Colin boy could talk about something he knows from the heart.
 
2014-06-16 05:33:26 PM  

bhcompy: The stretchers came out 3 or 4 times during the France game yesterday.


That doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Once the stretcher comes out -- or the trainer for that matter -- the player has to leave the field and wait for the ref's permission to return. If a player is going to flop, they will go down spectacularly, roll around a couple of times, the pop right back up when the ref is about to signal for the trainer to come on.

bhcompy: Makes the games unwatchable. Worse than watching the NBA.


...and yet, here you are, all concerned and everything.
 
2014-06-16 05:49:45 PM  
Like everything else they broadcast, ESPN's coverage is just fine.

...as long as you remember to change the channel the moment the game ends.  Seriously, I can't watch SportsCenter anymore. It's quicker for me to find recaps of an out of market game on my own than to wait for one while "reporters" and "analysts" debunk their own manufactured talking points.  The one thing I do appreciate when I have had occasion to watch it is the little banner on the side that warns me when STEPHEN A SMITH or Skip Bayless is about to appear on my screen.
 
2014-06-16 06:30:43 PM  

czetie: bhcompy: The stretchers came out 3 or 4 times during the France game yesterday.

That doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Once the stretcher comes out -- or the trainer for that matter -- the player has to leave the field and wait for the ref's permission to return. If a player is going to flop, they will go down spectacularly, roll around a couple of times, the pop right back up when the ref is about to signal for the trainer to come on.



It's as if you didn't watch the game.
 
2014-06-16 07:02:42 PM  

bhcompy: czetie: bhcompy: The stretchers came out 3 or 4 times during the France game yesterday.

That doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Once the stretcher comes out -- or the trainer for that matter -- the player has to leave the field and wait for the ref's permission to return. If a player is going to flop, they will go down spectacularly, roll around a couple of times, the pop right back up when the ref is about to signal for the trainer to come on.


It's as if you didn't watch the game.


I watched the game. I'm not sure why you claim to have done so.

In the meantime, see if you can figure out the difference between the statements "the stretchers came out for players who were injured" and "the stretchers came out for players who were flopping". I know it's a bit of a puzzler, so I'll wait.
 
2014-06-16 07:07:01 PM  
It's 2014. If you're reading this, you have the option of watching the World Cup on BBC.
 
2014-06-16 08:23:55 PM  

czetie: bhcompy: czetie: bhcompy: The stretchers came out 3 or 4 times during the France game yesterday.

That doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Once the stretcher comes out -- or the trainer for that matter -- the player has to leave the field and wait for the ref's permission to return. If a player is going to flop, they will go down spectacularly, roll around a couple of times, the pop right back up when the ref is about to signal for the trainer to come on.


It's as if you didn't watch the game.

I watched the game. I'm not sure why you claim to have done so.

In the meantime, see if you can figure out the difference between the statements "the stretchers came out for players who were injured" and "the stretchers came out for players who were flopping". I know it's a bit of a puzzler, so I'll wait.


Obviously you didn't.  The stretcher came out for Palacios at least twice, both times he deferred and continued to play, both time for flops.
 
2014-06-16 09:06:26 PM  

No Line For Beer: Like everything else they broadcast, ESPN's coverage is just fine.

...as long as you remember to change the channel the moment the game ends.  Seriously, I can't watch SportsCenter anymore. It's quicker for me to find recaps of an out of market game on my own than to wait for one while "reporters" and "analysts" debunk their own manufactured talking points.  The one thing I do appreciate when I have had occasion to watch it is the little banner on the side that warns me when STEPHEN A SMITH or Skip Bayless is about to appear on my screen.


Fair point. The in-game commentary seems to be just fine. Quite good in most cases.

It's the pre-game, halftime and post-game studio analysis that is what's dumbed down (along with the Sport Center and World Cup Tonight coverage).
 
2014-06-16 09:38:08 PM  
I'm not an Alexi Lalas fan. I said this during the Euros two years ago, and I'll say it again: "Defending like banshees" is not a thing, Alexi. Stop trying to make defending like banshees happen.
 
2014-06-16 09:59:48 PM  

bhcompy: Obviously you didn't. The stretcher came out for Palacios at least twice, both times he deferred and continued to play, both time for flops.


Demonstrably, you didn't watch what actually happened. Once the stretcher comes out, he has to leave, either on the stretcher or on his own two feet. That's the rule. And that's what exactly happened.

Look, I can't help the fact that you live in a fantasy world that conforms to your prejudices, but reality is reality. But hey, if you get some sort of satisfaction out of pretending you watched a game that by your own admission you don't enjoy -- well, there ain't nothing I can do for you, son. You got problems beyond my ability to fix.
 
2014-06-16 11:31:08 PM  

czetie: bhcompy: Obviously you didn't. The stretcher came out for Palacios at least twice, both times he deferred and continued to play, both time for flops.

Demonstrably, you didn't watch what actually happened. Once the stretcher comes out, he has to leave, either on the stretcher or on his own two feet. That's the rule. And that's what exactly happened.

Look, I can't help the fact that you live in a fantasy world that conforms to your prejudices, but reality is reality. But hey, if you get some sort of satisfaction out of pretending you watched a game that by your own admission you don't enjoy -- well, there ain't nothing I can do for you, son. You got problems beyond my ability to fix.


Again, it's obvious you didn't watch.  Palacios was put on a stretcher when he received his first yellow card around 26 minutes, and a stretcher also came for Pogba.  Pogba waved off the stretcher and Palacios got off the stretcher shortly after he was given the yellow card.  He did not exit the field of the play until the 42nd minute when he was given his second yellow.  Go farking son yourself and watch the match, moron
 
2014-06-17 01:39:07 AM  
Jesus... ESPN is going in the break room all day at work, and I think this is the first time an actual sport has been on there in the year I've been at this particular job. Considering that ESPN is no longer a sports network, but is instead a network about sports, my advice would be to:

Quit

Yer

Biatchin'

At least something is on besides people yammering...

Back in the day, ESPN could be on at your restaurant/bar all day and there was always some kind of event on. Sure, once in that season when all of the major sports are on break it was chess, once I saw darts, and once, late at night, I saw rock crawling, but it's better than the farking drone that comes from the network now.
 
2014-06-17 08:49:42 AM  

DemDave: bhcompy: Doesn't really matter how deep it goes, soccer is just something that doesn't translate well to television because there are too many dead periods in the game, not to mention the world cup has been plagued horribly by flopitis so far.  Never seen so many incidental contact plays turn into someone being pulled off the field on a stretcher until yesterday.

I hadn't noticed it being particularly flopfull (with the obvious exception of Fred's game-changing and egregious flop in the box).

Even if we don't agree on that point, it should be noted that several of the other reasons soccer haters give for hating soccer have been noticeably absent. Ties? Not a single one in 12 matches so far. Low scoring? This is the highest-scoring World Cup since the 1950s and is averaging only about one goal less per game than you would have found during the NHL playoffs.


And perhaps if they changed each goal to equal 7 points, the average American soccer hater would be on board.  3-1 is suddenly 21-7 and that's something their brains can understand as exciting.
 
2014-06-17 01:38:49 PM  
ESPN is the classic case of sports marketing as it stands today:

You don't market towards the hardcore fans you know are going to watch, no matter what the coverage is like, because they'll watch, no matter what the coverage is like.

You market towards the fringe fans who may or may not watch.  Sad but true;  that's how you drive ratings because the core fans will watch but draw in the women and non-sports fans with touchy-feely stories and talk of "heart, drive and hustle" rather than actual analysis and then the numbers go up.

Want real coverage of the beautiful game?  Take the time to see how NBC and, more specifically, NBCSN handle the EPL.  I've been involved with soccer in a very cursory way on the collegiate level here in America for a long time, but I hadn't gotten really into EPL until I saw a Chelsea match on NBCSN earlier this year.  If I had to pick an EPL team, Chelsea was mine only because the school I work for adopted "Blue Is The Color" as a song.  The coverage was great and Hazard had a hat trick.  Drew me in hook, line and sinker.  I actually set my alarm to watch the Blues knock off Liverpool -- that was awesome.  They give the thorough analysis and are very informative.  They do soccer how it's supposed to be done.
 
2014-06-17 04:16:23 PM  

fatalvenom: drunk_bouncnbaloruber: FOX gets the next WC, so as soon as this tournament ends, ESPN will go on and on about how nobody cares about soccer.

Sooo...the Colin Cowherd school of "if our network doesn't have a stake in it, it's instantly undesirable content".

I wish ESPN covered the World Douchebag Championships, then ole Colin boy could talk about something he knows from the heart.


Although he's a bowhard, I'd take Cowherd over either Skip Bayless or Stephen A Smith, 2 commentators who put the 'anal' in analysist.
 
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