February 21, 2006

Free LIVE World Cup telecasts.: My PSA for the year: You can get all World Cup 2006 matches LIVE for free ... well, for a nominal poor man's cable subscription (no ESPN or Fox Sports), thanks to Univision and Telefutura. This works for cheapskates like me, who also appreciate the free Spanish lessons. Also, thanks to soccertv.com for providing the one reliable place to get TV schedules for soccer telecasts in the US. Full text inside.

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 01:40 PM - 8 comments

Excerpt from soccertv.net:

World Cup 2006 February 8, 2006 All 64 matches of FIFA World Cup 2006 will be televised in the US LIVE or via short tape-delay in the US in English, Spanish, and Korean. Soccer United Marketing (SUM), the marketing arm of Major League Soccer (MLS), will present all 64 matches LIVE in English, with no commercial interruptions during play, on either ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2, in both standard definition and optional high definition (Cable and satellite TV operators charge extra for ABC HD, ESPN HD, and ESPN2 HD). Univision Communications will broadcast 56 games live on Univision and 8 games live on TeleFutura, all in Spanish, with no commercial interruptions during play, in standard definition ONLY. KBS World, a Korean-language subscription channel available via DISH Network satellite TV and digital cable in some areas (such as parts of Los Angeles), will have 56 games live and 8 games via short tape-delay, in standard definition ONLY. In Canada, Rogers Sportsnet, TSN, and CTV will combine to air all 64 games live in English, while RDS will air all 64 games live or via short tape-delay in French. TV schedules will be posted on soccerTV.com on or around May 1.

posted by worldcup2002 at 05:45 PM on February 21, 2006

I'm glad you Yanks will get the chance to watch the greatest spectacle on earth, even if you have to pay for it. Over here in England I think the World Cup has a "protected status", which means every game must be broadcast free on terrestial tv. No doubt this is because the government presumes the misery associated with our inevitable exit in the quarter-final stages should be shared equally by the whole nation, not just those rich enough to afford it. Gotta love that democratic "socialism".

posted by squealy at 06:24 PM on February 21, 2006

Of course, 'with no commercial interruptions' probably means 'with huge fuck-off ad banners obscuring the top quarter of the screen'. What will be a big thing is the HD broadcasts.

posted by etagloh at 07:04 PM on February 21, 2006

Squealy, ESPN is about as close to "terrestial" with actually being "over the air" as it gets. espn2 isn't far behind. A far larger portion of the United States gets ESPN and espn2 than get Univision. Only a small portion get Telefutura. This will be the fourth consecutive World Cup finals where every game is broadcast in English on the ABC/ESPN family of channels. It is the second or third in a row where every game is broadcast live, and the first where every game will be shown live in HD. Additionally, most days will have one of the day's games repeated in prime time. My personal experiences has been that there is far more soccer available for basic cable viewers in the United States than in England. Because of the variety of interests and markets, we get live games from seemingly every major professional league, and many leagues get extensive coverage. I'm pretty sure that between Univision, Telemundo, Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Sports en Espanol, and GolTV, every EPL, Mexican League, and Serie A game was shown in the United States last season. Additionally the Bundesliga, La Liga, French League, Dutch League, Brazilian, Argentine, Chilean, and several Central American leagues all get plenty of games. Then there's wall to wall Copa Libertadores coverage, the UEFA Cup and Champions League, the FA Cup, the Kings Cup, even the freakin' Scottish FA Cup. If I wanted to shell out for the Setanta Channel, I'd get even more - including the Coca-Cola Championship. Murdoch's Sky/Fox empire has both Fox Soccer Channel (English) and Fox Sports en Espanol (Spanish) that are both primarily devoted to soccer. And Traffic Sports' GolTV (available with both English and Spanish feeds) is nothing but soccer. Throw in two seperate mainstream Spanish Language media empires (Univision/Galavision/Telefutura and Telemundo/TV Azteca) with both over the air and cable franchises that all show Mexican league and various international competitions. If ESPN Deportes is going to survive, eventually soccer games will start showing there, too. It's really an embarrasment of riches. And I haven't even gotten to the regional stuff that includes an overdose of collegiate soccer. Oliver Tse and SoccerTV does a decent job of tracking most of what's on, but even that site misses stuff. There's just so much of it.

posted by SoccerPhoto at 07:27 PM on February 21, 2006

We, too, have 'anti-siphoning' legislation Down Under. This means all major sports events have to be on free-to-air and live. And usually carried by one of our public broadcasters, commercial free. Even when one of the other stations broadcast a few games last time, there was such an uproar they had to promise not to interrupt the game and put the ads at half time. It must have nearly killed their accountants!

posted by owlhouse at 07:55 PM on February 21, 2006

Well, re: advertising, what Telemundo is doing now to make up for the "lack" of in-game advertising, is to show the team's names, but _hide the score_, and then show it at some random time (I've never timed it, so it looks random to me) with a sponsor's logo right next to it. This weekend, when I was watching the US vs Guatemala (4-0!), it was Burger King. All I could think of was this: Oh, they're messing with me so that Burger King can get some visibility. Nice job, BK assholes. This is a dumb way to do it, guys. You're treating your viewers like idiots. You're making people associate annoyance with BK, your sponsors. Rethink it. Show the score all the time and show the sponsor logo all the time as well, I don't care, just don't play hide-and-seek like that. Just get the sponsors in a little space next to the score, just like you were doing anyway with your hide-and-seek, but just show them all the time, and rotate the sponsors if you like. Sheesh. Hell, sell the goal replays. Sell the yellow cards and sendings-off. Sell the corner kicks. Sell the penalty kicks. Sell the substitutions. Sell the coin toss, the kick-off, the half-time whistle, the 2nd half kick-off, the time-added-on indicator, the end-of-regular-game-whistle, the extra-time kick-off, end of extra-time, the penalty kicks, I don't care. Just don't hide the frickin' score.

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:17 AM on February 22, 2006

Sell the yellow cards Incredibly, and embarassingly enough, my team Birmingham City already do this at the game. "That yellow card was sponsored by Neville's Chippy of Small Heath". The cringe factor is immense.

posted by squealy at 04:50 AM on February 22, 2006

Yo quiero Taco Bell

posted by storagepro at 09:47 AM on February 22, 2006

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