A step back for soccer in the US?
It started quietly enough. Steven Geoff posted on his Washington Post blog that the huge World Cup Qualifier between Mexico and the US would not be on ESPN but on mun2.
Actually, it was first put on twitter by Grant Wahl, but as I was out of town attending my brother’s wedding, I missed it.
Now, I’m no expert–though I play one on the internet–but it seems to me that Telemundo saw that 4 million viewers watched the US-Brazil Confederations Cup Final on ESPN and figured they’d cash in on their property. Why not?
I guess they didn’t expect that ESPN valued the match as much as they did so a scramble has been made to put the match in English somewhere. However, mun2 is a strange option? I attended a few MUN’s in High School but had never heard of mun2 until I saw Goff’s tweet. So, I did a bit of resarch and it seems like it’s a Nickelodeon targeted at Latino Teens.
Well, it’s being broadcast in English so, who cares what channel it’s one, right? Here’s the problem, I don’t get mun2. I also don’t get Telemundo either so I can’t even watch the Spanish Language broadcast of the match. I checked, DirecTV and it seems that if I buy the basic Spanish package, I can get both channels and see the match. At a minimum, that would cost me $30 because I can’t see DirecTV allowing me to have the package for just one day and prorating the charge. If someone knows another way to add the match to my DirecTV channels, I”m listening.
So, then came the petitions and writing campaigns. I’m usually not one to participate in that type of protest, though I did when Jericho was cancelled. But this just doesn’t make sense. I can understand Telemundo wanting to use a property of theirs to possibly attract new subscribers or even expand their foothold. However, I’m not sure how mun2 would do this by showing a soccer game when most who are intersted in watching it may not get the channel. Where I live, there is no local Telemundo affiliate.
It’s still early days and a lot can happen in the next few weeks. I am pretty confident that the match will end up on a channel I currently have. However, I do have some concern. I sent an email to a group of friends back in LA. They are mostly English Ex-Pats. Their reaction to the email and petition, “I’d rather watch it on Telemundo.” That doesn’t do us in the mid-west without a local Telemundo affiliate much good.
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