With Fox Soccer’s MLS and USA Men’s NT rights shifting to NBC Sports, the Peacock has been forced to look for commentators and pundits who would not irritate the public like John Harkes did for many many years at ESPN. Well as much as I knock NBC for being terrible, this is a good start. Former voice of the Seattle Sounders and ex-BBC Radio commentator Arlo White.
NBC Sports announced today that it has hired Arlo White as the play-by-play voice of its MLS coverage starting in 2012. White had served as the voice of the Sounders the past two seasons.
His first broadcast with NBC Sports will be March 11 on opening weekend. White, who came to the Sounders from the BBC, will also call U.S. men’s national team games on the network.
“It is a tremendous honor for me to join the NBC Sports Group, an organization that I have revered from afar for many years,” said White in a news release. “I am extremely passionate about the future of Major League Soccer, and this partnership with NBC will provide a huge boost for the sport in the United States. I am very proud to have been called up to play a major role in it.
“I am indebted to the Seattle Sounders FC and the club’s wonderful fans,” White added in the release. “Joe Roth and Adrian Hanauer provided me with an opportunity for which I will always be grateful. It was a privilege to serve as the voice of the Sounders, and I thank the supporters for giving me such a warm welcome.”
Earlier this year, NBC and the NBC Sports Network signed a deal to televise about 50 soccer games, mostly MLS but also four USMNT matches. White’s fellow broadcasters will be announced at a later date.
The British invasion continues in MLS. Arlo White, Ian Darke, Adrian Healey, Callum Williams (Sporting Kansas City’s commentator), Luke Wileman (Toronto FC), Robbie Earle (Portland Timbers) are featuring prominently locally and occasionally on national television in North America. I like Arlo White even though he was a bit of a Sounders homer. He also does NFL games for the BBC including the Super Bowl two years ago so maybe we can get him to replace Al Michaels when he decides to hang it up.
No word on a co-commentator yet, but hopefully they don’t pick up John Harkes.