Let’s just steer away from the impending trainwreck that is Manchester United’s Champions League season, and head over to Spain where Villareal played Arsenal. Down 1-0, Cesc Fabregas played the ball into the penalty area, and Emmanuel Adebayor provides us with the video of the day.
Remember when ESPN was making a serious run to get soccer into their programming? It wasn’t too long ago there were even talks of turning ESPN Poker Classic into an ESPN 3 with a big focus on covering the beautiful game. Well that seems to have been shot down emphatically. Not only did ESPN not win a single package for rights to the Barclays Premier League, they have LOST the rights to the UEFA Champions League.
Initially the report was broken from Foxsports.com writer Jamie Trecker, who used his twitter account to tell us the news. It has since been taken down (assumingly) upon the request of his employers. The Run of Play provided update after update with conflicting reports. Other blogs said FSC denied the report, they even took down a twitter post from Fox Soccer Report’s Jeremy St. Louis stating they had won the rights.
AT LONG LAST though, Unprofessional Foul came through with the confirmation that Fox Soccer Channel had snatched away Champions League rights beginning in the 2010-11 campaign.
If ESPN had made a push for soccer, then that just ended. What this means is that they can’t touch European club competition at all, because FSC retained their UEFA Europa League rights long ago.
ESPN now only has MLS, FIFA tournaments (like the upcoming Confederations Cup), and Euro 2012 in their grasp as things stand. They had a chance to get the Premier League as well as keep the UEFA CL and instead threw away both.
In all honesty, I really don’t like FSC getting the rights. When they produce any broadcast it is amateurish, the commentators suck, and most of the time they’re commentating from their Los Angeles studios.
Have you ever listened to Max Bretos commentate on a European match? Look at the tape…
Don’t mess this up, FSC. It’s bad enough that I’ll have to go to digital cable to watch most of my European footy, so do the right thing and use ANYONE but your own commentators.
As for ESPN, disappointing, but not surprising. The one event they covered well in the UEFA CL they give away to a channel that have an obsession with airing Proactive commercials. Do you want soccer or not? My impression says now you don’t.
The UEFA Champions League ended last night after AC Milan defeated Liverpool 2-1 in Athens, Greece. Did I watch the game? I tried to, but couldn’t. So here’s the recap from
ESPN the BBC, on how Liverpool had many great chances, but couldn’t capitalize.
AC Milan/Man United finished earlier today, and the teams in the UEFA Champions League Final in Athens, Greece are………
AC Milan and Liverpool?
It’s true, Manchester United and Chelsea can forget about 3 major European titles after both of them laid an egg in their respective matches. AC Milan destroyed Manchester United 3-0, and won 5-3 on aggregate scoring. Chelsea lost the 2nd match 1-0 to Liverpool and 4-1 on penalty kicks.
Now the last time Liverpool faced AC Milan, the Reds were down 3-0 at halftime. Game over right? Liverpool scored three 2nd half goals in the matter of 25 minutes to force penalty kicks. Liverpool won the title in the penalty shootout.
This is a big blow to ESPN, considering that most people in the US (you lucky Canadians) cannot see the best league in the world, the idea of 2 EPL teams in the final would’ve equaled ratings shooting through the roof.
The final is set for May 23rd, 11:30 AM PST/2:30 PM EST live on one of the ESPN’s.
In an off topic subject: New York Giants Hall-of-Famer Orlando Cepeda was arrested today for possessing marijuana. It’s only fitting he was stopped on the HIGHway!
note: I’m planning to put a poll on this site for a new feature, called Moron of the Month. At the end of every month or beginning of the new month, I’m going to put up several people (“cough” Schrutebag “cough”) who I think deserve to be called the Moron of the Month for their stupidity impulse.
Chelsea beat Liverpool yesterday 1-0 on a goal by Joe Cole. So with both semifinals finished with leg 1, Chelsea and Manchester United both have 1 goal leads on aggregate.
The games are next Tuesday, so who wins?
Leg 1: Man United 3 AC Milan 2 of the UEFA Champions League semifinal.
After Kaka of AC Milan scored 2 1st half goals, Milan had a 2-1 halftime lead. (The Man U goal came from Cristiano Ronaldo.) Wayne Rooney then scores 2 2nd half goals, including the stoppage time winner to send Man U 1 step closer to perhaps the 3rd Man United vs. Chelsea meeting in 2 weeks.