On the heels of their successful Confederations Cup run, which included an ESPY for Best Upset (I might actually tune in this year), in the midst of a Gold Cup run by the second string, comes word that the English rights broadcast of next month’s pivotal game in Mexico City will not include a channel anyone can watch. Ah, the tribulations of a niche sport in a saturated market.
It seems NBC/Universal (which owns the Univision/Telemundo outfit) owns both the English and Spanish rights to all games for the Mexican National Team. How that agreement supersedes ESPNs ownership of all the U.S. Team’s games is up for debate, but apparently it does. So, NBC has announced they will show the English broadcast on channel called Mun 2, available in about 1% of all households. What a steaming crock of crap…
It’s not enough for Mexico to move the game to 3 p.m. in an attempt to maximize the heat and smog effect, not enough that they get the ref’s calls like Duke at home, now I have to go on a search mission to watch the game. But I’ll find a way, because I’m a fan. The real shame is the casual viewers, the folks who tuned in to US-Spain and US-Brazil will likely miss out on what will be one of the year’s most important and hard fought matches.
Now NBC/Universal could move the match to a better channel. I’m not naive enough to suggest the parent network, but how about USA Network? That channel is widely available and doubtless showing reruns in the afternoon on August 12th. Makes sense, right? Well then, in the spirit of democracy, sign this petition! (you can ignore their paypal plea afterwords). Come on, do it! Support Team America!