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Comparison of World Cup TV coverage


NICK_GIFF

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This is more for those who have been in one or more different countries during the WC (or for previous recent tournaments) but also anyone in a country (most i'd imagine) where two or more broadcasters are showing the games.

Basically, I'm just interested in how the quality of production and analysis compared. Obviously here in the UK the BBC, whilst being cringeworthy at times, basically urinates on ITV from a great height.

In fact I'd say that the BBC coverage is the most impressive in terms of production values than any other tv network I've watched it on. I was in the South of France at the start of the WC and watched the first 5 days or so on French and German TV and there was a marked difference between some of the nations.

For example, with TF1 (French Channel One, but privately owned bizarrely) you felt lucky to even get a picture and images because there would only be a 2 minute build-up before the game with Gerard Houllier (also the co-commentator) giving a brief analysis, then at half-time you'd have 15 mins of nothing but adverts, and by the time the game finished you got a quick interview with one of the players on the pitch before the broadcast ended. No post-game analysis or anything. :D

France 2 (state-owned) was much better and had a dedicated programme after each match with Pires and Manu Petit in a studio with the host, and was clearly preferable to ITV's production but not as good as the BBC.

The German channel RTL was pretty impressive (complete with an awesome touch-screen TV the host could use to bring up highlights, but not cringeworthy like Sky's technology) and had pretty extensive analysis (and coverage of the German team and their expectations which was interesting: at the beginning of the tournament they were concerned about the possibility of getting us in the 2nd round! :D). The host was good and they normally had Günter Netzer as the pundit. :cool: The production values again didn't seem as good as the BBC though (not surprising as RTL is commercial afaik) but I did prefer the people on screen.

Last WC I was in Italy and their Sky Italia coverage was even more over the top than BSkyB. They made England v Trinidad seem like it was the WC final with all the fanfare they gave it ffs. Lord knows what the actual final was like with Italy involved! Probably on a par with ITV tbh. I don't remember the Rai Uno (state-owned) coverage from last time, but having since lived in Italy we can probably safely assume that their analysis consists mainly of scantily clad showgirls dancing a lot and not doing a lot else. :thup:

So, what have you lot found? Does what I wrote even make sense?

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Here in the US all games are on ESPN, ESPN2, and ABC (A local channel.) ABC owns all three stations so you don't get much variation in terms of pre-match and post-match analysis. Each game has a 30 minute build-up with pundits that vary from Alexi Lalas (who is a ****ing ****), Jurgen Klinsmann, Steve Mcmanaman, Roberto Martinez, and a couple others who don't come to mind right now. Obviously they promote the US fixtures and talk about the US more than anyone else, which is understandable.

After the game, they use the rest of the time up to the hour (like if a game ends at X:40, they will do post game until X:00) for post-game analysis. Throughout the day they play hour recap and analysis segments on the games of that particular day. Probably four or five times.

The USA v England game was advertised like no other, it probably got more viewers than the NFL Super Bowl (which is normally the biggest event in the country) and our "glory comeback run" was played all over the place.

ABC/ESPN splurged a lot of money this time around and we have commentators such as Martin Tyler, Ian Darke, Derek Rae, Adrian Healey, and an American guy John Harkes. Not a bad team imo.

I think that is what you were looking for?

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Al Jazeera Sports have been ok, a revolving couple of hosts, Angus Scott and Rhodri someone, seem like Channel 5 fodder, they're ok. Panel has rotated like Venables, Souness, Peter Reid, Scott Minto (who isn't the worst tbf), Dowie, Trevor Francis, Ray Wilkins with 3 at a time.

They have followed their Champions League template and it's not a million miles away from UK type coverage. Even though it's based in Qatar and covering the Middle East there is a leaning towards England obviously cause of the guests.

We've not had 'let's go to England training camp' every day as you may have back home, there's a morning show where they cover those things a bit. Yesterday they broke away to talk about FIFA and goal line technology and the Press Conference and did actually say "we don't want to talk about something else when the game is coming on" which probably doesn't happen much back home :D

They haven't got any new fangled technology but plenty of highlighting of players and space and some pundits are more frank with their views here as they're not talking in the UK media so dispense with the 'well, he'll be disappointed with that' lines

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Interestingly, Sid Lowe on the Guardian podcast mentioned that their coverage isn't great, incredibly biased towards Spain and usually along the lines of what they want to happen rather than what is actually happening or will happen.

That's one for all those that moan about English coverage and think other nations are getting all tactical and in depth about everything

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Just a couple corrections/additions for the American one:

ABC and ESPN (and ESPN UK, how's that goin?) are all owned by Disney. They essentially share broadcast teams and facilities to the point that ABC sports is labeled as "ESPN on ABC." In terms of ratings, they are up significantly from 2006 across the board in the US, but to compare them to the Super Bowl is hyperbole. As far as the analysts go, that about covers it in terms of names, but I also recall Shaka Hislop and Ruud Gullit in studio. In addition Martin Tyler's partner in the booth is Efan Ekoku. And no, no-one likes Alexi Lalas. The in-studio host is Chris Fowler , who is best known for what is arguably our finest domestic sports pregame show, College Gameday (college football).

In addition to television, all non-ABC games are also simulcast on ESPN3.Com if the internet provider has an agreement with them. I do, so I've been watching the majority of the matches streamed online.

ESPNRadio broadcasts games and Tommy Smyth and JP Dellacamera calls those. I can tolerate Smyth's idiosyncrasies but Dellacamera has a way of speaking that makes me want to punt a puppy.

Univision - a Spanish language network - has also broadcast games with Andres Cantor and has its own web streaming option.

Overall it's been 10000x better than ESPN's coverage of Germany 2006 where we had guys who normally called basketball and seemed to be reading from a notepad about the game being paired with guys like Marcelo Balboa. Shudder.

Edit:

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Just a couple corrections/additions for the American one:

ABC and ESPN (and ESPN UK, how's that goin?) are all owned by Disney. They essentially share broadcast teams and facilities to the point that ABC sports is labeled as "ESPN on ABC." In terms of ratings, they are up significantly from 2006 across the board in the US, but to compare them to the Super Bowl is hyperbole. As far as the analysts go, that about covers it in terms of names, but I also recall Shaka Hislop and Ruud Gullit in studio. In addition Martin Tyler's partner in the booth is Efan Ekoku. And no, no-one likes Alexi Lalas. The in-studio host is Chris Fowler , who is best known for what is arguably our finest domestic sports pregame show, College Gameday (college football).

In addition to television, all non-ABC games are also simulcast on ESPN3.Com if the internet provider has an agreement with them. I do, so I've been watching the majority of the matches streamed online. Univision - a Spanish language network - has also broadcast games with Andres Cantor.

Overall it's been 10000x better than ESPN's coverage of Germany 2006 where we had guys who normally called basketball being paired with guys like Marcelo Balboa. Shudder.

That's right, forgot Disney owned them all. I saying the USA v England game in particular was comparable to the Super Bowl, not the whole World Cup, even though viewing figures are up. I don't recall seeing Shaka Hislop, I only remember him on Champions League matches. I agree Alexi Lalas is a total idiot. Mike Tirico and Bob Ley are also sometimes on the games.

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Obviously here in the UK the BBC, whilst being cringeworthy at times, basically urinates on ITV from a great height.

<snip>

Agree there. ITV coverage is just awful, especially with all that "Goal for all of Africa" nonsense. They have the Ghana game fwiw :( Only made even slightly bearable by Chiles, KK and Southgate(to an extent). Also have one of the most dullest panalist in world in Davids (sp?). I mean, Christ, crack a smile ffs.

BBC just so much better. No adverts every 5 minutes for a start.

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Why do people not like Alexi Lalas? Any time I've seen him he's seemed at least generally aware of what was going on?

The problem with Lalas is he's taken after the English hype machine, only from a US perspective.

It also doesn't help that he's been a total disaster in management at not one, not two, but THREE MLS teams.

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The problem with Lalas is he's taken after the English hype machine, only from a US perspective.

It also doesn't help that he's been a total disaster in management at not one, not two, but THREE MLS teams.

Is he not doing a relatively decent job in the Galaxy front office now though?

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Well over here in Ireland, we're pretty spoiled for analysis, with Liam Brady, Eamonn Dunphy (can be a right eejit, but always entertaining) and Johnny Giles as the A list, compered by Bill O'Herlihy (genius putting a PR mna in charge of a football show), with a strong backup cast of the likes of Denis Irwin and Ronnie Whelan with guest stars Ozzie Ardiles (brilliant when he's not too excited, always funny) and Didi Hamann (strange accent, always incisive, weird eyebrow movement).

We've got the incomparable

. Watch every one you can find.

But on the other hand our commentary is pretty bad, George Hamilton, Ray Houghton and Damien Richardson don't know the first thing about the rules (or probably the game), most of the rest are boring except for Peter Collins and Trevor Stephen, and they've got Jimmy Magee doing highlights (a waste of his

).
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We have Gus Poyet for the 'entertaining but good' role, seems a nice guy, everyone picking on him about red cards for Uruguay, Craig Brown also been on and ribbing him about defensive tactics and that 1986 game. He takes it all in good spirit, comes across very well

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I've been watching most games on streaming... then I found out Das Erste had all the matches :(

Italian public TV has been terrible this year, with just ONE game per day and barely adequate pre/post-match analysis.

Not to mention the commentators are annoying more often than not.

Sky Sports surely have a far superior coverage, but there's no way I'm going to subscribe...

And speaking of paying, I was disappointed to find out I couldn't watch the World Cup with my TV2 (Norway) account... One month worth of subscription down the crapper...

Not that I had missed much in terms of commentary/analysis, as the TV2 crew is far from stellar, and their Anglophilia would have annoyed me to no end...

All in all, this is being a very multicultural World Cup for me... I've watched games in German, Italian, English, Spanish, Swedish and even Dutch...

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France 2 (state-owned) was much better and had a dedicated programme after each match with Pires and Manu Petit in a studio with the host, and was clearly preferable to ITV's production but not as good as the BBC.

It had Manu Petit and Robert Pires ffs, that's 100 times better than the BBC.

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Not that I had missed much in terms of commentary/analysis, as the TV2 crew is far from stellar, and their Anglophilia would have annoyed me to no end...

All Norwegians love us. Even you - you're just in denial Kalle!! ;)

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It had Manu Petit and Robert Pires ffs, that's 100 times better than the BBC.

Yeah but they also have Wenger as the co-commentator and he was surprisingly annoying. I normally like him, but he was just irritating!

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Well over here in Ireland, we're pretty spoiled for analysis, with Liam Brady, Eamonn Dunphy (can be a right eejit, but always entertaining) and Johnny Giles as the A list, compered by Bill O'Herlihy (genius putting a PR mna in charge of a football show), with a strong backup cast of the likes of Denis Irwin and Ronnie Whelan with guest stars Ozzie Ardiles (brilliant when he's not too excited, always funny) and Didi Hamann (strange accent, always incisive, weird eyebrow movement).

We've got the incomparable

. Watch every one you can find.

But on the other hand our commentary is pretty bad, George Hamilton, Ray Houghton and Damien Richardson don't know the first thing about the rules (or probably the game), most of the rest are boring except for Peter Collins and Trevor Stephen, and they've got Jimmy Magee doing highlights (a waste of his

).

Damien Richardson doesnt know a thing about football ? He has managed plenty of football clubs to relative success :confused:

Apres Match is brilliant and everybodyshould watch every episode. Even if you dont get them cos their about Irish things.

Cooper must be one of the best mimics I have ever seen :thup:

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Here in the US all games are on ESPN, ESPN2, and ABC (A local channel.) ABC owns all three stations so you don't get much variation in terms of pre-match and post-match analysis. Each game has a 30 minute build-up with pundits that vary from Alexi Lalas (who is a ****ing ****), Jurgen Klinsmann, Steve Mcmanaman, Roberto Martinez, and a couple others who don't come to mind right now. Obviously they promote the US fixtures and talk about the US more than anyone else, which is understandable.

After the game, they use the rest of the time up to the hour (like if a game ends at X:40, they will do post game until X:00) for post-game analysis. Throughout the day they play hour recap and analysis segments on the games of that particular day. Probably four or five times.

The USA v England game was advertised like no other, it probably got more viewers than the NFL Super Bowl (which is normally the biggest event in the country) and our "glory comeback run" was played all over the place.

ABC/ESPN splurged a lot of money this time around and we have commentators such as Martin Tyler, Ian Darke, Derek Rae, Adrian Healey, and an American guy John Harkes. Not a bad team imo.

I think that is what you were looking for?

alternatively you could have watched univision's spanish coverage (examples of pre-game programs here:

)
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In Brazil the games are on several terrestrial and cable TV channels like Globo (terrestrial), SporTV (cable); Bandeirantes (terrestrial), Bandsports (cable) and ESPN Brasil (cable).

I've been watching them on Sportv and it's good enough, but ESPN Brasil have very good commentators too, and Globo have Galvão Bueno, who I don't like much but is a legend.

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All Norwegians love us. Even you - you're just in denial Kalle!! ;)

I used to love EPL, even before it was called that way...

What I detest is the whole "plastic fans" culture that has taken Norway by storm since English clubs became cash cows and flooded the market, home and abroad, with all sorts of merchandise.

And then Norwegian youth decided to gleefully jump on the bandwagon... Is there anything more sad than seeing kids proudly sporting their Arsenal backpack or Liverpool shirt, or teenagers strutting with their Man Utd cap?

I mean, nothing wrong with having a soft spot for a foreign club, but when that turns into full-fledged fandom that goes to the detriment of the local football scene, well... then that's too much for my tastes.

Your local team is struggling (or doing fine), yet you prefer sit at home on your couch to watch Fulham v Blackburn becasue there are a few Norwegian players in that match?! Gimme a break...

Oh and can you believe that in the biggest (afaik) football store of the country you can buy England's tracksuit, Liverpool's bed set and ManU 4th shirt, but you won't find Norway's tracksuit or even all the home kits of Norwegian Premier Division teams?

And of course the media just keep on shoving English football down people's throat, while the domestic league is in the gutter and would NEED a hand.

/ OT rant ;)

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I used to love EPL, even before it was called that way...

What I detest is the whole "plastic fans" culture that has taken Norway by storm since English clubs became cash cows and flooded the market, home and abroad, with all sorts of merchandise.

And then Norwegian youth decided to gleefully jump on the bandwagon... Is there anything more sad than seeing kids proudly sporting their Arsenal backpack or Liverpool shirt, or teenagers strutting with their Man Utd cap?

I mean, nothing wrong with having a soft spot for a foreign club, but when that turns into full-fledged fandom that goes to the detriment of the local football scene, well... then that's too much for my tastes.

Your local team is struggling (or doing fine), yet you prefer sit at home on your couch to watch Fulham v Blackburn becasue there are a few Norwegian players in that match?! Gimme a break...

Oh and can you believe that in the biggest (afaik) football store of the country you can buy England's tracksuit, Liverpool's bed set and ManU 4th shirt, but you won't find Norway's tracksuit or even all the home kits of Norwegian Premier Division teams?

And of course the media just keep on shoving English football down people's throat, while the domestic league is in the gutter and would NEED a hand.

/ OT rant ;)

I have to say a few years ago I was in Oslo when there was a Liverpool match on tv. If someone had taken away all the scenery and told me I was in the centre of Liverpool I'd have believed them. :D

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Same outside Europe, I am surrounded by Arabic/Indian Barcelona fans enjoying the ride on the success bus "we win" ... do you, do you really? Lots of Spanish fans last night, usually there are lots of Brazilian fans too, Italians, Portugal for last couple of tournaments too ... must be great just picking a side out of thin air to support "I support United, Barcelona and Inter ..." ... pretty much covered for Champions League then aren't you?

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