NBC’s Soccer Debacle

If you’re interested in pretty good soccer recap of games as well as opinions regarding moves and upcoming matches, I highly recommend checking out Matchday LIVE! USA (link). Even though the updates at times are few and far between, the posts that are up there are nothing short of quality pieces. Take a look at the latest one from this morning titled “NBC’s “Business Decision” a National Embarrassment

The post is regarding the upcoming USA vs. Mexico match that is slated for 4 PM EST later today. If you’re on a basic cable package or if you happen to be on campus anywhere in the country, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to see this match simply because it’s not being shown my any major network. ESPN can’t show it because NBC has the exclusive rights to that match since the Mexican Federation decides who gets the rights to matches being played at Azteca. NBC, on the other hand, decides to air this “Showdown at the Azteca” on an obscure channel called mun2 (moon-dos – pronunciation courtesy of Matchday LIVE!)

A quick Google search will tell you that the soccer-crazed masses are concerned. ESPN doesn’t show a match listing in their schedule for US-Mexico. Neither does Fox Soccer Channel. Fear not, says NBC, it’s on mun2. That’s “moon-dos.” I’m sure you’ve all heard of it. It’s that hip, trendy Latino network obscure bicultural channel no one has ever heard of that is so far up the digital cable dial your brain will be addled into confusing the two teams’ kits when you finally get to the match. What some are passing off as a business decision, however, is clearly nothing short of one of the biggest jokes in sports media coverage of the decade, right up there with the 8PM World Series start, Roger Goodell wanting to expand the NFL to 18 games, and NBC’s (do you sense a theme here) creating a new network for Olympic coverage just weeks before the event that no one received on time.

Please, NBC, I understand the business decision involved, but this time you’ve overstepped the line. I’m sure the millions of fans watching the match without HD having finally reached channel 8,794,316.2 will really be pleased to be transported back into the mid-90s. At least back then it clear what the networks thought about the game, and it continued to push on and thrive nonetheless. Here’s hoping that NBC’s stupidity only provides a renewed opportunity for football to do the same thing now in 2009.

That’s only an excerpt of the pretty good piece by my friend Mike and be sure to head over to Matchday LIVE! USA to read the rest of the article and his other updates as well.