Best and Worst of 2007 -from a TV/Sat POV

Discussion in 'TV, Satellite & Radio' started by HDSports, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. HDSports

    HDSports Member

    Aug 30, 2005
    At this time of year, everyone does lists of best of and worst of...in this case, it is not what is best/worst on the pitch, but rather how the beautiful game was covered by the media in 2007. I'm sure everyone has their opinions on this one...

    My picks:

    Best:

    1. Unprecidented coverage of summer tournaments in 2007....every game of: Gold Cup, Copa America (in English via GOLTV), FIFA's U-20 and U-17 World Cups on ESPNU and ESPN360, UEFA's U-21 Championship on ESPN Deportes and ESPN360, the Asian Cup on Setanta, and the Women's World Cup on ESPN/ESPN2.

    2. Better coverage of the Premiership. Last year, when Fox began their sublicense agreement with Setanta, it seemed that they were just shifting the best games over to the Irish broadcaster. Then, at the start of this year, it looked like Fox was going to ruin everything by throwing some matches on PPV broadband exclusively. But now, coverage is more comprehensive than ever.. with both stations often showing more games on a matchday than we had come to expect. For example, a fan can see all nine Boxing Day fixtures this coming Wednesday. Setanta has had Saturdays where they show a fourth match, and FSC shows an extra Sunday match (in addition to their 11 am ET match) when it featres an attractive team.

    3. The best new discussion show, "Soccer Matters", began on Setanta this season. Nice to hear talk from literate newspapermen who are covering the games for the British press.

    Worst:

    1. The disappearance of Abu Dhabi Sports....okay, most of you won't know what to make of this one, but I enjoyed watching events like the Asian Olympic qualifying matches and the AFC Champions League matches on this satellite station throughout the year. Since the beginning of December, there has been nothing but their logo on the screen 24/7, and there has been nothing I can find on the internet that discusses what happened (although I can guess).

    2. The sale of soccertv.com....while its fate has yet to be seen, Oliver has changed his notification on the site from a confirmation to users of the site of a smooth transition. Now it states that the new owner is a "Veteran Internet domain name speculator", and there is no talk of transition. It seems likely that the new owner wants the site name, but not the listing service presently provided. Perhaps a broadband "telecaster" (such as jumptv) is what is in store for the webname.

    3. ESPN constantly cutting away from any LA Galaxy game to show David Beckham scratching his head (or any other body part) sitting on the bench. Then again, they interrupt the match every half-hour to show a sports update while the match is in progress. Will someone tell them that they could do that during halftime?
     
  2. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Given your user ID, I would've thought that ABC/ESPN's carrying MLS broadcasts for the first time in HD would've made the list. No, MLS isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it and the Mexican league comprise the bulk of soccer coverage in the USA on "big" networks.
     
  3. danielmak

    danielmak Member

    Sep 26, 2004
    off the purple line
    Thanks for getting this thread started, HD.

    I am in agreement about Football Matters. This is the best football talk show on the air in the US. The show is set up for thoughtful conversation about European football, although mostly EPL/England, rather than the point-counter point crap that we see on most sports talk shows or talk shows in general. Moreover, they actually spend time talking about the topics with some depth, unlike most shows that seem like crystal meth was consumed in high quantities before the show started and a topic can only be discussed for 30 seconds before it's time to move on. My only complaint about the show is that the 60 second rant is a mostly meaningless diversion from true talk and they need to become more professional with some of the production stuff (e.g., we don't need that long intro or outro when the do the question of the week). But on the whole, this was the most pleasant TV surprise this year that didn't happen on the pitch.

    On a similar note, I just discovered the Guardian's Football podcast. I have only listened to the first half of the most recent podcast but it was on par with Football Matters in terms of quality and energy. Check it out at: http://football.guardian.co.uk/footballweekly/0,,1869989,00.html

    Second, and somewhat related to the podcast comment, The Gaffer's interview with Toby Charles was great. Wonderful moment for someone who first discovered European football via Soccer Made in Germany.

    My third best of 2007 is the increased coverage of football more generally. We had an unprecedented quantity of CL games this year. If I am correct in my general assessment, we got all but 2 or 3 games per matchday between ESPN, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, and Setanta. This is amazing. Similarly, every Copa America game was broadcast in English and Spanish and so was every CONMEBOL WC 2010 qualifier. I am also happy to see that FSC's coverage of UEFA Cup has led to a broadened offering of that same competition by Setanta (and TyC for at least 1 game and maybe more). So, on the whole we are getting as many games on live TV or SDD that many folks would find in Europe. That is great for a country that supposedly doesn't understand this sport. (And living in an apartment has affected my ability to chase down the FTA stuff that HD, socceraction, and rangers have discussed on this board.)

    Finally, PPV has been replaced for the most part by the proliferation of soccer channels (esp. Setanta). I can pay for a sports pack, Setanta, and DirecTV's En Espanol for the same price as 3 PPV games and get 100(?) games each month.

    My worst of 2007 is really a compilation of most of the thread topics on this board: too many graphics on the screen still, too many announcements of scores from other games, too much poor commentary in the form of announcers not knowing enough about the players/leagues/teams they are covering, and too many games that are already underway when the game starts (Setanta) or edited because the network thinks we need pre-game and half-time coverage more than actually being able to see the game itself (FSE and ESPN Deportes).

    Take care.
     
  4. Mysterious

    Mysterious Member

    Jun 18, 2007
    Chicago
    The Best:

    Max Bretos saying: "I'm going to stroke myself for a minute here."


    The Worst:

    Max Bretos saying: "I'm going to stroke myself for a minute here."








    :D
     
  5. Cantona

    Cantona Member

    Jul 12, 1999
    Texas/Luton/Manc
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Scotland
    good post...

    best:

    1) Setantas and ESPNS champions league coverage.. whatever the motivation we are the winners on this one..

    2) Premiership coverage.. best on the planet...

    3) FSC using the international English feeds on commentary.. other than using there own in house "branding"... great decision.. great commentary!!!

    worst:

    1) GolTv's continual use of their commentators in Miami for La liga games ... it does nothing to enhance the experience of the viewer.. in fact it detracts its... especially since you have Paul Breen Turner sitting in the stands in Spain with more experience than the whole GolTV channel..

    2) Again with GolTv's choice of using Hudson and co for Bundesliga matches when again there is a tried and true tested english commentators available..

    plain and simple if your brand stinks and you keep by that brand.. your channel will too...FSC learned.. there have not been a plethora of complaints on the commentary as there was when Miles and co. were doing the commentary... GolTv needs to listen to their core viewers and not the 15yr olds and fix it...


    Cantona-----
     
  6. nancyb

    nancyb Member

    Jun 30, 2000
    Falls Church, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I would like to revise this to be:

    Halftime highlights of the DC United-LA Galaxy game were David Beckham getting off the bus to go into the stadium. He was a wear a suit. How is that a game highlight?
     
  7. MasterShake29

    MasterShake29 Member+

    Oct 28, 2001
    Jersey City, NJ
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Every MLS game on ABC/ESPNx is in HD. That rocks. Now we need the national team broadcasts to follow. Also, MLS not going away for the epitome of evil, college evil, is excellent. Now, if we could only get MLS Cup on a Saturday (at least not a Sunday).

    GolTV getting all the big La Liga games is a plus. Always using the Miami-based commentators isn't though.

    Still bad: FOX Sports still believes in PPV for English national team and FA Cup games. Hopefully no one actually buys those.
     
  8. dustcowpoke

    dustcowpoke Member

    Jan 7, 2006
    Houston, TX
    Club:
    Houston Dynamo
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Best:
    ESPN announcement that they will carry Euro 2008.

    Continued coverage of UEFA CL on ESPN Classic.

    FSC having that Irish guy on the Saturday Matchday Show.

    Worst: No Setanta for cable. :(
     
  9. GutBomb

    GutBomb Red Card

    Aug 28, 2003
    Outside Boston
    Really? i thought it seemed like they just picked up the first "accented" guy they could find on the street and put him on air. He's clueless!
     
  10. dustcowpoke

    dustcowpoke Member

    Jan 7, 2006
    Houston, TX
    Club:
    Houston Dynamo
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    He's pretty decent. That guy alongside him (is it Miles), needs to work on his fake smile and fake laugh routine. The guy is just so fake it's not even funny and he is scared of interviews.

    I like the Irish guy, I'd love to have Steven Cohen too.
     
  11. Kryptonite

    Kryptonite Fancy Title Here

    Apr 10, 1999
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Best:

    ESPN having every game of a lot of international tournaments (Euro 2008, CL, their various summer 2007 tournaments) and not using the American announcers.

    In the future, we need to see more of these guys, and ESPN is starting to wake up to this. While they still have the idiotic Dave O'Brien on MLS, Tommy Smyth is a bright spot. Ideally, i'd like to see Rob Stone on PbP and Tommy Smyth on color.

    ESPN -- I'll make you a deal. If you put Derek Rae and Tommy Smyth on USMNT and MLS games and make it so that I can turn my SAP on to hear them, i'll stop whining. You can even put them in Bristol. It's probably not all that expensive, either.

    The weekend of MLS Cup, ESPN Classic re-aired MLS Cup 1997. Bob Ley was GOOD. Bring him back.


    Not Quite Best, But Still Damn Good:

    FSC is now using cameras on their EPL hosts post-game. This makes it seem a lot more professional. I've also noticed that at halftime, their announcers don't jump in the immediate second the whistle has blown.

    Let the English guys finish what they're saying before you interrupt.

    Speaking of interrupting, why not just flash the announcer's names, manager's names, etc. on the screen during the early parts of the broadcast?? When we're seeing action from England, we should be hearing England.

    Speaking of horrible things -- There was one Saturday when FSC showed a game live, and at the conclusion of it, the TV guide said "Some other game, JIP"

    But, FSC didn't quite do that. They actually went to the studio to wrap up the game just ended, while the new game was televised in the studio. The studio hosts spent about 5 minutes talking, while we were missing another game. Next time, go IMMEDIATELY to the second game and talk up both games later.

    Or, just show the entire game delayed. You really blew that one big time.


    Back to ESPN:

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE stop with the insane SportsCenter segments. If we wanted to watch the other thing, we'd flip channels. We already have a ticker at the bottom of the screen, and therefore, we do not need a segment giving us highlights.

    Besides, that's why we have half time.

    That stuff works in football and baseball because there's so much time between plays. It doesn't work in a constantly moving event like soccer.

    Watching Champions League on ESPN really makes me miss the old corner graphic. I know i'm gonna hate the horizontal bar when MLS starts, so please don't bring that back. If you can put the same amount of information in a smaller graphic, please do.

    Speaking of that, I really like how FSC's provider puts the team colors on the screen right beside the team name. ESPN should just use that same design for their games. And yes, ESPN, you can use a small corner of the screen.

    If I wanted to watch graphics pop up over what i'm trying to watch, i'd turn on TRL or Pop-up Video on VH1.

    At least you got rid of the "shwoosh" effect when something would fly in from the side of the screen, go all the way across the screen, before finally landing in the opposite corner.

    That brings me to my next point. If you do show an extra graphic, try not to show any ESPN or SportsCenter logos after it. Get it off the screen immediately after the information has been presented.

    I know I was all over the place, but that was soccer in 2007. ESPN Networks (News, Classic, U, 2, Original, ABC) Setanta, Gol TV, FSC. Between those networks, there was probably close to one live match per day.

    Soccer is on TV. You just gotta know where to find it.

    PS - Speaking of ESPN News, bring back Tommy Smyth to the Hot List.
     
  12. DrKotoh

    DrKotoh Member

    May 5, 2005
    Los Angeles
    For me, one huge BEST for me is the introduction of CL coverage to ESPN360. I used to subscribe to Setanta Broadband (to watch football only) and ESPN360 pretty much deemed their service unnecessary. Of course, the lack of espn360's availability totally blows though.
     
  13. nancyb

    nancyb Member

    Jun 30, 2000
    Falls Church, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Worst for me:

    No 7:30 am games on FSC. I know this is a best for many, but this early bird misses those early games.
     
  14. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

    Jan 6, 2000
    'diego
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    For me and my tastes, the steady improvement of Eric Wynalda. I hope they give him another year - someone on the boards was sayin' they might cut him loose. For me, the less he views the game cynically, and the more he views the game beautifully - which to me he seemed to be doing in the latter half of 2007 - when he does so, he makes a great color guy.
     
  15. dah_sab

    dah_sab New Member

    Mar 8, 2001
    Austin, TX
    For me the best of 2007 is the increased availability via torrents of the odd game here & there that might not be available otherwise (I'm a Roma fan & for some reason they seemed to get the least Champions League coverage in the US.) Of course torrents have been available before this year but they really seemed to have taken off in 2007 so you don't have to wait 2 weeks to download a game you really want to see. Most likely it's just a couple of hours, or overnight at worst.

    Add to that the availability of shows like Match of the Day and Sportschau and it's been a great 2007 when I also consider the huge selection of games available to me on DISH Network. I love Sid Lowe on WorldSport covering La Liga, Gianni Cerqueti on RAI and Toby Charles' occasional appearances still covering the Bundesliga.
     
  16. MasterShake29

    MasterShake29 Member+

    Oct 28, 2001
    Jersey City, NJ
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm sure you know this, but those games can be seen on Setanta (including broadband if you can't get it on your TV).
     
  17. nancyb

    nancyb Member

    Jun 30, 2000
    Falls Church, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Not available. Is there generally an additional fee for Setanta if you're already forking over for the Sports package that delivers FSC?
     
  18. MasterShake29

    MasterShake29 Member+

    Oct 28, 2001
    Jersey City, NJ
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You can't get it over broadband?

    It's separate from any sports pack, $15/month on DirectTV or Dish and presumably any cable system that has it.
     
  19. huhe888

    huhe888 Red Card

    Oct 3, 2007
    If you already have broadband, you can do business with Setanta directly for $15/month and watch the Setanta EPL telecasts on your computer. Setanta has the 7:30am ET game on Saturday, the 8:30am ET game on Sunday, the Monday 3pm ET game, plus 1st and 3rd choices on Saturdays at 10am ET as well as mid-week (Tuesday, Wednesday).
     
  20. GutBomb

    GutBomb Red Card

    Aug 28, 2003
    Outside Boston
    Setanta is only available on DirecTV or Dish Network, not any cable systems. It's also available in 2 ways over the internet, one in which you watch the games on your computer through setanta broadband, and then another which is through a service called ITVN which is a box you hook to your tv. They both cost the same, and neither are really worth having because of the pitfalls involved with broadband streaming video.
     
  21. nancyb

    nancyb Member

    Jun 30, 2000
    Falls Church, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Guys - sorry I got this thread off track. I don't really want to watch the games over the internet. Anyway, here's another best:

    Bruce Arena in the announcer's booth. We may see more of that this year if he's still without a coaching job.
     
  22. Kryptonite

    Kryptonite Fancy Title Here

    Apr 10, 1999
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Not to mention that ITVN blacks out a lot of programming, noticeably southern hemisphere rugby.

    Best way to get Setanta is call up a satellite company and pay the $15 a month.
     

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