Ramblings of a Soccer Junky
Monday, April 25, 2005
  ESPN = Every Soccer Phan's Nightmare
In the past, I've always given ABC/ESPN the benefit of doubt when programing got messed up. However, Saturday night, ESPN really messed things up. Thankfully, I was home and didn't Tivo the broadcast.

Now, when Pope John Paul passed away and ABC decided it best to move the season opener (Chivas vs DC) to ESPN, they did a good job and I didn't miss the match. They simply put a message on ABC saying to switch to ESPN. They couldn't help the situation and honestly, I'm sure there was more of a demand for coverage of the Pope's passing than Eddie Pope (oh wait, he's not with DC this season)

However, Saturday night I understand it would be more difficult to bump the NFL Draft. If I'm not mistaken, didn't it start on ESPN then move to ESPN2? Either way, it ran long. ...And boy was the hour I watched boring!

So, what does ESPN do? They give us score updates as if they are going to switch to the game in progress. Nice of them huh? But then they show the entire game tape delayed! Well, that ruined the first half.

The worldwide leader in sports? How can a sports channel call itself that when they give away the score before the broadcast a game?

I understand the need MLS has to work with the network, but hopefully ESPN will start thinking ahead and stop creating messes like Saturday night. Let's face it; will anyone remember who the 101st pick in the 2005 NFL Draft was? I'm betting more people will remember that Cobi Jones scored the first goal in the first LA Derby match. It's too bad everyone knew before they got to see it.

It's not the first problem with programing running over and messing up an MLS broadcast....and I doubt it's the last time we'll see this from ESPN.
 
Comments:
I was really frustrated that, with 2 channels and ABC at its disposal, Disney/ABC/ESPN couldn't come up with a better way of dealing with this situation. MLS spent a lot of time and effort and money hyping the new rivalry, then in one quick programming decision, ESPN shot that all to hell. Also, given that the NFL draft is done on the clock (each team has x amount of time to pick), how hard is it to plan ahead how long the thing would last?!?
 
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An American who fell in love with soccer while living in Europe.

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