The early days of World Cup broadcasting in the US

Discussion in 'TV, Satellite & Radio' started by joebarnin, May 20, 2014.

  1. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

    Oct 14, 2004
    Ah, yes. "Star Soccer".

    I am not sure it it was carried by all PBS stations though. It may have in some places but not in others.
     
  2. unclesox

    unclesox BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 8, 2003
    209, California
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    I lived in the SF Bay Area at the time and SMIG was on KQED 9, but they didn't have 'Star Soccer'. I watched SS on KTEH 54 out of San Jose, which didn't show SMIG.

    Going back to SMIG, Toby Charles last commentated on that show for the 1982-83 Bundesliga saeason. I think this was the last time it was presented by what was called the 'German Educational Television Network'.
    On the final day of Bundesliga play both Hamburg and Werder Bremen had a chance to claim the title. Since HSV had a much better goal differential, Toby commentated on their game against Schalke while a new voice, Alan Fountain, handled Werder-Bochum.
    The following season Toby was gone and Fountain was the voice of the program. And I think the show was then presented by 'Oregon Public Broadcasting', or something like that.
    The show went off PBS around '87 or '88.

    Btw, in early 1992 ESPN had a half hour show called "German Soccer Highlights"... hosted by Toby Charles! That was the only time I recall ESPN having it, for the second half of the 91-92 season.
     
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  3. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

    Oct 14, 2004
    I moved to LA in 1987 and ended up watching too much of the Mexican League ... tried to find SMIG but it seems like there were no new matches anymore.

    The best thing about the LA with regards to soccer was that, on a Santa Ana day, one could get the Tijuana stations over the air and, in the late 80's, they all carried Real Madrid matches because of Hugo Sanchez. I didn't speak any Spanish then though but that was a great Real team. Move a decade forward and I watched most of the Euro'96 off the same Tijuana beam. Going into the extra time in the final, the signal really went to shit but I was able to see Bierhoff's winner.

    The Spanish language LA stations did have sports highlight shows each Sunday night (our apt building had no cable then) and you could catch up on your Serie A and La Liga news a little. And prior to the 1994 WC, Telemundo showed a bunch of classic WC matches going as far back as 1966. For some reasons, they even managed to show a 1966 USSR-Portugal 3rd place match, something I'd never seen prior.
     
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  4. cosmosRIP

    cosmosRIP Member

    Jul 22, 2000
    Brooklyn NY
    In '82 there were a bunch of games on ESPN, JP, Shep Messing & Seamus Malin did the commentary, from a studio in Canada IIRC, I'd switch to the Spanish station during commercials.
     
  5. Kryptonite

    Kryptonite Fancy Title Here

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

    Heh, I guess I was wrong. I remember it in the 90s, but my first memories of a bug are of a temporary one. Usually, it was only shown when they'd go to break or at the start/finish of quarters/halves/whatever. I remember it taking a while (at least on mainstream sports) to have a constantly-shown bug.

    Yeah...I remember not getting ESPN2 and having to go to the restaurants to watch college football games. Of course, that was when ESPN2 focused on the younger demographic and action sports, etc. They had a lot of Nascar, NHL (aka "Fire on Ice") etc. And the ticker was of the annoying alternating caps...you think the ticker is annoying? Try reading something like this:

    MaNcHeStEr UnItEd 2, ReAl BeTiS 0.

    Their graphics looked like a ransom note!

    (OTOH, I wish I had some old clips...it would be hysterical to watch today. Somewhere, I have a tape of US-Chile from circa 1994-1996 with a huge ticker on the bottom of the screen that appeared :28 and :58 after the hour.)
     
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  6. InterFan76

    InterFan76 Member

    Mar 20, 2012
    Hamburg,NJ
    Club:
    FC Internazionale Milano
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    WOW a blast from the past with Time Out for Trivia. Also they showed US vs Cuba in 88 from the World Baseball Championships in Italy. I have them on tape. They also had MISL and Wrestling too.
     
  7. kgilbert78

    kgilbert78 Member+

    Borussia Mönchengladbach
    United States
    Dec 28, 2006
    Cowlumbus, OH
    Club:
    Borussia Mönchengladbach
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    And Dutch soccer on Sunday mornings..... I seem to recall seeing Earnie Stewart playing....
     
  8. Schapes

    Schapes Member

    Aug 20, 2001
    Actually won something on Timeout For Trivia.

    Fun times.
     
  9. Rufusabc

    Rufusabc Member+

    May 27, 2004
    Totally wrong. But that's okay. I was at ABC for the 1994 WC and we decided fairly early in the process we were going to have on on screen logo for our sponsors. Fox took it for their football in the fall of 1994 when the same graphics guys left ABC to go to FOX to start their sports division. I don't think Sky was doing it yet on their telecasts until after 1994. We had only a handful of sponsors. Six sponsors rotated thru the match broke into 15 minute increments with only their logo showing and then 5 other sponsors would rotate units during pre, half, and post game. The amount the sponsors paid was an absolute steal, and the ratings on ESPN and especially ESPN2 were way bigger than projected at the time. ESPN2 was still a fledgling network at the time, and had limited coverage throughout the country. The matches were repeated heavily throughout the day and night on ESPN2 and the numbers were pretty high even for the middle of the night.

    So, you actually have me and and the great graphics and sales teams at ABC Sports for the score bug.
     
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  10. Deleted Account

    Deleted Account Red Card

    Dec 31, 2004
    In the interim, maybe '89-90 and '90-'91, there was a Bundesliga highlights show ("Soccer Sensations Made in Germany") on NESN, distributed by Prime Network, and Charles did some of the hosting for that. Christ, I think there was even one episode where he rapped at the end ("Bayern! Hamburg! The best you can see, on Soccer Sensations Made in Ger-ma-neeee!"), because, you know, the '90s.

    The other host was this awkward German guy who would make racially uncomfortable comments about African players.
     
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  11. Deleted Account

    Deleted Account Red Card

    Dec 31, 2004
    Hah, that was the Italy-Argentina semifinal. I remember this moment vividly, because I learned about 50 new Italian curse words from my dad in the minute that followed (and I already knew a lot). Then he piled my brother and me into his truck and sped down to this scuzzy bar in the center of town that had a dish that could get Univision, which wasn't yet available on cable where we were in Western MA.

    Man, we really are spoiled now. Some of the stuff people complain about on this board...
     
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  12. jcvf90

    jcvf90 Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    Boca Raton, FL
    But he mispronounced Bilyaletdinov! /s
     
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  13. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

    Oct 14, 2004
    [​IMG]
     
  14. unclesox

    unclesox BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 8, 2003
    209, California
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Leading up to USA '94 there were a series of funny commercials that had a guy with what sounded like a British accent trying to describe the sport to an American audience.
    In one commercial he demonstrated how "easy" it was to be a goalkeeper by standing against a wall trying to stop wicked shots rocketing towards him. He fails at every attempt, at one point throwing a garbage can at the ball trying to stop it from hitting the wall/goal behind him. That commercial ended with the ball firing towards him and he catches it in his mid-section which causes him to make a funny expression as if he'd been punched in the stomach.
    In other commercials he'd make funny comments:
    "You're probably wondering who this guy you keep hearing about, Valderrama, is. Well, Valderrama happens to be one of the premier players in all of football...... (scene of gridiron)... oh, sorry, SAW-KER!"
    "Football is a sport loved by many people the world over. Many of these people think that "Jordan" (image of Michael Jordan appears on screen) is a country in the Middle East...... WHICH IT IS!"
    I can't find any of these commercials on youtube, but my question to those who know what I'm talking about: Who was that guy?
     
  15. Deleted Account

    Deleted Account Red Card

    Dec 31, 2004
    I remember these -- there was another one where the guy was going on about how soccer players were like gods, but bigger than that -- they were like rock stars, but bigger than that -- they were like god's rock stars.

    No idea who the guy was. Such an exciting time, though, waiting for the '94 WC to happen. Wish you could bottle that feeling.
     
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  16. btharner

    btharner Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    Sunbury, Pa.
    Most people do not remember that World Cup USA94 originally had a TV deal signed with NBC and SportsChannel America. FIFA became very upset when this was done without any competitive bid process and ordered the process redone.
     
  17. Robert Lanza

    Robert Lanza Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Boynton Beach, FL
    Club:
    Ft Lauderdale Strikers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I watched that show religiously and even got on air a couple of times but missed the answer to the question.

    I did a lot better on MISL Weekly with John Loesing. I actually won three times on that one: indoor soccer shoes, a ball, and two tickets to the MISL All-Star Game on that one. I might have been the only one watching. :)
     
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  18. Robert Lanza

    Robert Lanza Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Boynton Beach, FL
    Club:
    Ft Lauderdale Strikers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm watching ITA-CRC on ESPN as I type this in all its beautfiul HD glory, with pre-game and post-game shows, highlight shows, and social media outlets. We've definitely come a long way in how sports are broadcast to the masses. When I tell players I coach on my school or club teams about the bad old days of soccer broadcasting in America, they are shocked that commercials would ever interrupt a game, let alone no score box in the corner of the screen at all times. So I have no right to complain about Alexi Lalas' drivel or Gilberto Silva's unintelligible English.

    My first WC was '82 (I was 12). I watched most of the games on my parents monstrosity of a Zenith, which had been moved to the den when they downsized. I think it might have doubled as a dining room table at one time. No cable, so I had to pick up the local SIN affiliate with rabbit ears, so depending on the weather, reception fluctuated from passable to barely visible. I watched with my Soccer Digest World Cup Preview issue and a Spanish-English dictionary. I watched the live matches during the day, caught Toby Charles' edited versions at dinner time, and tried very hard to stay awake for the off-match not shown live which aired at 11:30 that night.

    The final, which I still have on tape, had Jim McKay and Paul Gardner on the call. Mario Machado was part of the pre-game and half time, but did not comment during the match. Yes, McKay did announce after Marco Tardelli scored Italy's second goal that "Italy lead 14 to nothing" (Tardelli's number was 14, so perhaps that explains the gaffe and not some subliminal football reference). I inadvertently taped the final over the opening match, but still have the last 10-15 minutes of that match at the end of the tape, and to this day, I still can't make out the commentators (Bob Ley and Seamus Malin were in studio after the game, but they didn't call it).

    Some of my fondest memories of Espana '82 were the commercials SIN (via Televisa) aired incessantly during the pre-game and half-time breaks. I can still hum the jingles to ads for Banamex, Barcel, Tecate, Carta Blanca, et al.
     
  19. kgilbert78

    kgilbert78 Member+

    Borussia Mönchengladbach
    United States
    Dec 28, 2006
    Cowlumbus, OH
    Club:
    Borussia Mönchengladbach
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The only way I got to follow the 1978 cup was because I was living/travelling in Germany at the time.
     
  20. richsavare

    richsavare Member

    Ajax
    Netherlands
    Jan 28, 2003
    New Jersey
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    Netherlands
    Great post!
    Oh those jingles!
    I am humming them too.
    I also remember the little Orange cartoon symbol.
     
  21. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

    Oct 14, 2004
    In the global TV history, 1970 was the first WC televised in color (probably in 480i quality at best) and, if you look at broadcasts as late as 1986, the majority of matches had only three cameras - one in midfield and one behind each goal - covering the entire contest.

    These days the global feed has as many as 35 cameras - ever noticed those sideline cameramen with their vests and Steadicam w/arms? - with Sony sending a few crews with the 4K equipment for the WC'14 DVD.
     
  22. sitruc

    sitruc Member+

    Jul 25, 2006
    Virginia
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  23. Bluecat82

    Bluecat82 Member+

    Feb 24, 1999
    Minneapolis, MN
    Club:
    Minnesota United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Not the '90 WC, but the '88 Olympic Qualifying...Canada won the first match in Halifax 2-0, the US had to win the return leg in St. Louis 3-0 to qualify for Seoul...

    ...and they did exactly that.

    That roster became the bulk of the team that qualified for the World Cup:

     
  24. InterFan76

    InterFan76 Member

    Mar 20, 2012
    Hamburg,NJ
    Club:
    FC Internazionale Milano
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    Ah ok Thanks.
     

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