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USA-Mexico TV Update

The Insider told you exclusively this week that Telemundo held both the English and Spanish rights to the USA-Mexico World Cup qualifier Aug. 12 at Azteca Stadium and that the network would show the match on its main outlet as well as mun2, a cable station geared toward young Latinos and one that frequently utilizes English audio.

Here are some additional details today from Hispanic Market Weekly.

The USSF has issued a response to the situation:

"With every game, our main objective is to provide the television broadcast to the widest audience possible in both English and Spanish," USSF spokesman Neil Buethe said. "For the match against Mexico, neither us nor our broadcast partners [ESPN/ABC, Fox Soccer Channel, Univision] own the rights to televise the match. However, it will be on the air through other networks....If things change, we welcome the opportunity to provide the game through one of our partners."

The USSF knows of no plans by Telemundo -- which is owned by NBC Universal -- to show the game on an alternate outlet.

Insider's Take: ESPN tried to get the game and couldn't meet the asking price. The USSF has no control over TV rights for games played outside the States. Telemundo, in a pure business decision, decided to use the game as a way to introduce mun2 to a broader audience -- and what better way than with a USA-Mexico qualifier?

By Steve Goff  |  July 17, 2009; 4:55 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Mexico , TV , U.S. men's national team  
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I can't say that I blame Telemundo... but I still wish I could actually watch the game.

Posted by: Modibo | July 17, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Business is business but still kinda of a d!ck move by telemundo but oh well....i for one atleast speak spanish lol. Man i cant wait for this one tho!!

Posted by: DjB55 | July 17, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

To Lucky Bar!
To Molly Malone's!
To The Pug!

Posted by: TheAMT | July 17, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how you "introduce mun2 to a broader audience", when most of that broader audience doesn't GET mun2 from their cable/satellite provider.

What they should have done is sold the rights to ESPN, but made them carry the mun2 logo on the feed and give them a bunch of commercials.

Posted by: dkorn | July 17, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Too bad. Kinda sucks for US Soccer. Oh well. I have mun2. If their crew sucks, I have a mute button.

Posted by: sitruc | July 17, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

What a ridiculous situation!

A US away game for a World Cup qualifier is essentially not being shown to its home audience in its own language.

And I thought we were past this type of crap. Why on earth can't Telemundo show the game with a secondary audio in English.

Posted by: dcufan531 | July 17, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

NBC blows. Eff this noise.

Posted by: arswift24 | July 17, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

This is beyond idiotic. Heck, I don't even get Telemundo much less this mun2 crap on my cable hookup. A total bush league move . . . this kind of nonsense would never happen in Europe.

Posted by: Stevenho | July 17, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

At least with me, Telemundo's strategy worked. Three days ago I had no idea the mun2 was part of my cable package. I do now and I will watch next month.

Posted by: croftonpost | July 17, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Wait...if you're watching the game IN ENGLISH on mun2, why would you want to head back there for some Spanish content in the future? And how at all is that an advertisement for the channel? Do they regularly televise soccer games? If so, I would gladly go back and watch, but I seemed to get the idea that its the equivalent to a Latino MTV.

Posted by: kdiff813 | July 17, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

As long as I can see the match, I don't care who carries it or what language it's in (and I don't speak much Spanish). I rather enjoy the Spanish announcers histrionics....which will be even more hysterical when they lose.

I would think US Soccer spokesmen would speak proper English: "For the match against Mexico, neither us nor our broadcast partners own..."

Posted by: EssEff | July 17, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Ah, it's no different than the NFL showing a big game on the NFL channel rather than selling rights to FOX or whoever else. Its business. We'll all survive. Find a friend or a bar and watch the game. You can't hear the announcers at most bars anyway.

Posted by: hacksaw | July 17, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

The thing that bothers me the most is immediately after the Confederations Cup ESPN started hyping this match. They apparently realized there actually was a market out there and now they aren't showing the match. Kind of hard to get a consistent following in this country when the games are unwatchable.

Posted by: csd1 | July 17, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Pretty sure the USA does not have an official language. I usually enjoy soccer games on Telemundo, ESPN announcing sucks anyway.

Posted by: Dancy1 | July 17, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Great. No HD. F NBC

Posted by: GoUnited | July 17, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I view this as a conspiracy. Mexico and telemundo has seen soccer start to gain momentum and popularity after our strong Confederations Cup. Therefore, to makes sure the casual fan cannot watch this game -let alone even know its on as Telemundo will not promote this as well as ESPN does it an English speaking market. Thus making sure this current soccer momentum is killed.

I get MUN2 as I have vios and someone told me I get it a few days ago but I want HD. I also emailed every NBC person I could find. As posted in another post by someone else they are:,,,,,,

Posted by: grubbsbl | July 17, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I don't get the unwatchable part. Leave work and go to the bar. Or come over to my house, I'll be chillin' out crackin' beers a little earlier than normal and thankful I get Telemundo. Bring your kids along if you like. They'll have company.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 17, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Here in Arlington, VA I have mun2 (Verizon), so I am not worried.

It's pretty obvious to me that Mexicans don't want the USA fans to see their team lose for the first time in Azteca...

Posted by: Barracudas | July 17, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

I still dont think the mun2 decision is a good one. i know i dont have the option of getting mun2 but those do tend to have it assigned to the spanish language additional package ghetto.

now universal sports on the other hand, which i had never heard about but came across while searching for mun2, seems like an ideal channel for this purpose. here is a channel most of us dont realize we get, dedicated to sports of a slightly more obscure and international bent. it sounds like the perfect channel to introduce to people who would want to watch usa-mexico. instead nbc seems stuck in thinking that only hispanics would be interested in the game and is trying to use it to market to the smaller young adult hispanic market that knows spanish but is more comfortable with english.

it just doesnt seem like mun2 is a great decision on their part when they are also need exposure for a fledging intl sports channel

Posted by: PindarPushkin | July 17, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

OT: How have advance ticket sales for Saturday night in Philly been going? I don't know that the Canadian, Honduran, and Panamanian communities in the Delaware Valley are all that substantial.

Posted by: cow_pasture | July 17, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

The Mexicans are desperate...

Posted by: alan19 | July 17, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse,,,,,,

Posted by: grubbsbl | July 17, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Jack Donaghy?? Are you sure he's not just a fictional character on "30 Rock"?

Posted by: kdiff813 | July 17, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

haha he is i just copy and pasted that one too from the other post because it made me laugh

DadRyan do you really want all of us at your house?

Posted by: grubbsbl | July 17, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

OK, daddy Matt: post your address and I'll be there with beer reinforcements. On a bike.

seriously though, I only understand complaints from folks who don't get Telemundo. I mean, don't we all complain constantly about how bad the English commentary is?

Posted by: troy6 | July 17, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Unforunately, I live in an area with a service provider that doesn't offer mun2. So I am left to attempt to find a friendly pub with a sat connection. Joy. Still, in my own mind, from this consumer's point of view, the business decision is backfiring. Not only am I unable to get the channel in question, but now, because of their essentially holding the broadcast rights hostage, I most assuredly will NOT be ever looking to add that channel.

Posted by: freeholdsouth | July 17, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

This whole thing is crappy for more reasons than the preference of listening in English...

1) Mexico are in control of our rights in our country - kind of embarrasing. And shows we still have a ways to go before being as commercially viable as El Tri - though we whoop them on the pitch.

2) This should be a nationwide hype fest and big audience via ESPN. Now it's marginalized (and on a weekday afternoon). Missed opportunity to capitilize on the early summer success.

3) Though Telemundo is not a problem for us in a big, multicultural city - many parts of the country do not receive the network. There could be a lot of small market fans (hardcore of casual) left out.

Contacting NBC is a good idea. Telling them how this ploy changes your opinion of their corporation. Also, threatening to contact Telemundo advertisers about it could have some impact. I'm not a big ra ra patriotism type guy - but what NBC is doing with their country's national team is terrible.

Posted by: Kev29 | July 17, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Think of this.

Jeff Zucker -- Harvard.

Katherine Weymouth -- Harvard.

Two powerful media moguls who are running formerly great media powers into the frickin' ground.

Posted by: bs2004 | July 17, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

sorry, but what a bunch of whiners here.

1. the game will likely be broadcast in English on mun2, which, as Goff points out "frequently utilizes English audio".

2. yeah, how ridiculous that FMF controls the rights to a game played in Mexico. and hard to believe the USSF has burned bridges with Telemundo/NBC.

this is part of what makes the rivalry great. gamesmanship, mind screws, and general dislike. what could be better? this is why sports are worth watching. sit back and enjoy, and pray that the Azteca curse can be broken. this could be the year!

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | July 17, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

and this is off-topic, but for all those who can't stand Beckham coverage, ESPN has just spent 5+ minutes talking about Tiger Woods round after he missed the cut! as if no one else was even playing. what a farce they are sometimes.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | July 18, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

I'm not going to post my address here, but I'm not kidding, if you really want to come over and eat meat and torillas off my grill you are mostly all welcome. Hey Goff You going to the match? If not you're invited too!
Ha, ha.
Dude's my tv sucks, but it's big, but my weber cooks up the shizzle my SI Loyalizzzles!
Vamos USA!
Vamos USA!
Vamos USA!
you asked for it Mexico, open up and say Aaahhhhhhhh!!!!!

Posted by: DadRyan | July 18, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

"ESPN tried to get the game and couldn't meet the asking price."

Wouldn't not couldn't, I assume they have the money.

USSF needs to throw their weight around, they have lots of leverage, Mexico needs their permission to play their big dollar friendlies here......

Posted by: LloydHeilbrunn | July 18, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Dimesmakedollars: The thing is, not everyone gets Telemundo or mun2.

Whereas everyone gets about 10 channels in the NBC family.

Posted by: alecw81 | July 18, 2009 1:50 AM | Report abuse

too bad I dont get telemundo. This is a travesty. WTF

Posted by: Conservativemindsareinshackles | July 18, 2009 2:54 AM | Report abuse

I live in a county (Washington County) outside of dc that does not offer mun2 or telemundo on their cable packages. Anyone else out here (Hagerstown area) know of a local bar that shows soccer?

Posted by: kermithp | July 18, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I can't wait to watch the biggest US soccer match of the year in standard definition on a second-rate cable network. Woo hoo!

Posted by: davethelad | July 18, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

This shows the sorry state of soccer in the U.S.---no network will even broadcast a major game, leading to a possible world cup berth. Americans would rather facebook and text on their cellphones than watch soccer.

Posted by: Socialistic | July 19, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

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