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Posted at 9:24 PM ET, 01/17/2011

Why USA-Chile friendly Saturday will not be shown by ESPN networks or Fox Soccer Channel

By Steve Goff

The U.S. men's national soccer team will make its 2011 debut Saturday in a friendly against Chile at Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. With the Americans carrying a roster of mostly young MLS players and the visitors bringing an unheralded domestic-based squad, it's hardly a must-see match from a results standpoint.

But if you're curious to see Juan Agudelo, Eugene Starikov, Teal Bunbury, Chris Wondolowski and the other U.S. prospects on the international stage, don't expect to find the match on the usual TV channels.

The only coverage is on Spanish-language Telefutura and ESPN3.com, the broadband network available on most Internet services. Kickoff is at 10 p.m. ET. The ESPN3 coverage is expected to be in English.

For more details.....

ESPN -- which has first rights to show U.S. matches on its family of channels -- passed on the Chile game in order to commit to other games this year, a U.S. Soccer Federation spokesman said. The network is contracted to show a certain number (about 10) men's/women's matches annually (not including CONCACAF and FIFA events). With U.S. top personnel available for friendlies against Argentina and Paraguay in March, the likelihood of six 2014 World Cup qualifiers in the fall and other possible dates, the Chile match with watered-down rosters didn't make the cut.

Even if it wanted to carry the game, the network is already locked into college basketball on ESPN and ESPNU and the Australian Open on ESPN2. ESPN Classic is scheduled to show taped championship boxing.

Fox Soccer Channel is the obvious back-up choice, and FSC has shown secondary friendlies in the past. However, the contract between Fox and Soccer United Marketing (which negotiates the TV package for the USSF and MLS) expired last month. Without rights, FSC cannot show the match.

Negotiations continue on a long-term extension, in hopes of reaching a deal before the MLS season begins in mid-March. Versus, the Comcast-owned channel that carries the NHL, is also reportedly in the running.

It remains unclear what English-language outlet will show the U.S.-Egypt friendly Feb. 9 in Cairo.

FSC is expected to carry the Gold Cup, a CONCACAF-run event in the summer.

Meantime, about 9,500 tickets have been sold so far for this Saturday's game. The annual January friendly at Home Depot Center typically attracts modest crowds: 18,626 last year (Honduras); 9,918 in 2009 (Sweden); 14,878 in '08 (Sweden); 10,048 in '07 (Denmark); and 16,366 in 2006 (Norway).

By Steve Goff  | January 17, 2011; 9:24 PM ET
Categories:  Chile, TV, U.S. men's national team, USSF  | Tags:  Chile, ESPN, U.S. friendly, USSF  
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Next: U.S. national team news & notes: Jermaine Jones, Bob Bradley, Americans abroad, Gold Cup

Comments

I know it's a reserve game for the national team, but this is the kind of game I tend to enjoy the most. I get to see the young kids get a run out. There's no pressure right now to make the WC squad. Should be a lot of fun.

Posted by: mmathai1 | January 17, 2011 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I have no quarrels with any of this. Actually, the idea of Versus getting some games intrigues me, as I can then get more games in HD.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | January 17, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

I agree with mmathai1. This will be a great match for Nats watchers, but it doesn't necessarily say anything about the future - remember Mapp's mazy run down the left side of the Danish defense on '07? It was the high point of his career...

Posted by: Modibo | January 17, 2011 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't mind watching he US-Egypt match called by the hyperventilating Arabic commentator.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 17, 2011 9:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little confused by this:

The network's contract calls for it to show 10 men's/women's matches annually (not including CONCACAF and FIFA events). With top personnel available for friendlies against Argentina and Paraguay in March, the likelihood of six 2014 World Cup qualifiers in the fall and other possible dates, the Chile match with watered-down rosters didn't make the cut.

1. Is CONCACAF qualifying for the FIFA World Cup neither a CONCACAF nor a FIFA event?

2. Does qualification really start this fall? Don't we usually start in summer two years prior to the cup? I know the format changed, but we should be playing the same number (18) of games, so why move it up almost a year? Anything to do with the possibility of the Cup being played in January?

Posted by: BooThisMan | January 17, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I get Telefutura in HD, while I don't get ESPN in HD. I'll take it. Thanks.

Posted by: DadRyan | January 17, 2011 10:33 PM | Report abuse

@BooThisMan

IIRC from the last CONCACAF hex, the countries federations own the rights to the broadcasts for qualifiers. it's why the USA-Mexico qualifier in August 2009 ended up being shown on Telemundo and mun2 instead of ESPN, FSC, etc. historical Goff post here:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/soccerinsider/2009/07/telemundos_for_usa-mexico.html

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | January 17, 2011 11:06 PM | Report abuse

all I care about is if Armed Forces Network carries it...all service members, bombard the AFN offices with e-mails!

Posted by: troy6 | January 17, 2011 11:26 PM | Report abuse

The inordinate delay to sort out the rights to this match made setting up a venue on a Saturday night a real challenge. However, we ended up with a fantastic one for futbol!

We cordially invite folks out to the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse to celebrate our sport and raise the roof at our season opening bash:

http://screaming-eagles.com/2011/01/get-ready-to-break-out-the-red-white-and-blue/

That’s right – grab all your soccer loving friends (that are 21 or over) and prepare for a grand soccer shindig with plenty of surprises along the way.

Door prizes, raffles, special guests and so much more - for two great causes love.futbol and the US Soccer Foundation.

One of the raffle prizes is a match ticket and bus trip to the USA - Argentina match on March 26th.

So come on out and have a blast in front of the big screen with fellow fans.

Come on United (States and DC)!!

Posted by: SEOutreach | January 17, 2011 11:57 PM | Report abuse

I can understand why people would be upset but don't most people get Telefutra? I get it in my local channels on direct tv and in HD. I personally don't speak Spanish but that really doesn't bother me. Additionally, ESPN3 is availible through XBOX Live now. I think it is worth the money since XBOX Live streams in HD through your TV. It also gives you acess to NetFlicks which Mrs Grubbsbl and I also enjoy. In case people are wondering, I'll probably watch in Spanish even with the ESPN3 option, I doubt the B list English commentating would be enlightening anyways. And if I feel like it, I'll put the game on mute and put on some music.

Posted by: grubbsbl | January 18, 2011 12:21 AM | Report abuse

60 days until United's first 2011 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | January 18, 2011 12:26 AM | Report abuse

We are traveling this week and couldn't set the TiVo before leaving. Bummer.

Posted by: DCUSince96 | January 18, 2011 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Maybe this is why Qatar gets the World Cup in 2022. In a REAL soccer nation there would never be a game with our national team that doesn't at least get to FSC...with the bigger names/games/qualifiers all on ESPN. US Soccer's media team gets a red card for letting this lack of coverage occur.

Posted by: soccerman | January 18, 2011 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Maybe this is why Qatar gets the World Cup in 2022. In a REAL soccer nation there would never be a game with our national team that doesn't at least get to FSC...with the bigger names/games/qualifiers all on ESPN. US Soccer's media team gets a red card for letting this lack of coverage occur.

Posted by: soccerman | January 18, 2011 8:16 AM

*************

Put the game on al Jazeera!!!

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 18, 2011 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Television is soooo last decade. I plan to watch on my phone.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 18, 2011 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Uniform nuts, your opinions on Nike taking over the French teams?

http://yhoo.it/fB5pQm

I really like them, and yet again Nike's ad department nails it, with a cameo from Sonia Bompastor as well.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | January 18, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

So is today's supplemental draft going to be on al Jazeera, Martha Stewart Channel, or C-Span Ocho?

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 18, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Hey hey, that viewing party at the Cinema and Draft house sounds like a lot of fun. Checking the link it doesn't seem to mention any price for entry... I'd hate to assume it's free, but is it?

Even if it's not, that's kinda sounding like more fun than quietly watching at home.

Posted by: DadRyan | January 18, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Yo tengo Telefutra.

(Did I get that right?)

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | January 18, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know the presale password for USA-Argentina tickets? They go on sale in 30 minutes!! Thanks!!!

Posted by: DCU-ManU | January 18, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

How is DC United and Comcast> We got very little coverage last season. We were interupted for just about any other sport.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | January 18, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Hey hey, that viewing party at the Cinema and Draft house sounds like a lot of fun. Checking the link it doesn't seem to mention any price for entry... I'd hate to assume it's free, but is it?

Even if it's not, that's kinda sounding like more fun than quietly watching at home.


Posted by: DadRyan | January 18, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse
---

I believe there's no price at the door. However, it is a restaurant/bar, and they'll be expecting you to eat and/or drink something as the price of admission. Also, the SE's are taking up a charity collection there, and it'd be nice to contribute.

Posted by: stancollins | January 18, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Yeah the problem wouldn't be me not eating or drinking anything, the problem might be trying to get me to stop... lol.

Thanks for the 411. I'm also no stranger to charity even though I could use a little myself. :) Thankfully Friday is payday.

Posted by: DadRyan | January 18, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@dimesmakedollars Thanks, that answers my first question.

Still wondering about when qualification starts, though. CONCACAF's site wasn't helpful at all. Anyone?

Posted by: BooThisMan | January 18, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@DCU-MANU

General Fan Sections: J7SUPPORT
Argentina Fan Sections: R2SUPPORT

Posted by: rockotodd | January 18, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Wow the difference in prices for tix to USA/ARG and USA/PAR in Nashville are insane! I guess Argentina is a hotter ticket, but still.
Wish I could afford to go to Nashville!

Posted by: DadRyan | January 18, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

An important caveat: ESPN3.com is only available to Time Warner subscribers if they have both TW cable AND TW Internet (Roadrunner). Those like myself who have Roadrunner but not TW cable (or those with TW cable but another ISP) are out of luck.

Posted by: saabrian1 | January 18, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

We are traveling this week and couldn't set the TiVo before leaving. Bummer.

Posted by: DCUSince96 | January 18, 2011 7:49 AM


You can program TiVo via internet if you have an account online with them.

Posted by: LAfanofSI | January 18, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little confused by this:

The network's contract calls for it to show 10 men's/women's matches annually (not including CONCACAF and FIFA events). With top personnel available for friendlies against Argentina and Paraguay in March, the likelihood of six 2014 World Cup qualifiers in the fall and other possible dates, the Chile match with watered-down rosters didn't make the cut.

1. Is CONCACAF qualifying for the FIFA World Cup neither a CONCACAF nor a FIFA event?

Posted by: BooThisMan | January 17, 2011 9:59 PM

Yeah, this makes no sense...in parentheses it mentions FIFA/CONCACAF matches don't count in the 10 or so matches contractually obligated but the next line mentions 6 FIFA WC qualifiers as part of what stands in the way of USA/CHI not being broadcast.

Seriously, ESPN Classic could not show this match live? They have to show old boxing matches??? The ESPN family can't even broadcast this match on tape delay at 3AM EST or something? That's weak.

Posted by: LAfanofSI | January 18, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Re the viewing party at Cinema and Drafthouse: correct, there is no cover charge to attend. Your food and drink costs are on you (pls tip your waitstaff or bartender!) ALL soccer fans welcome (21+ yrs old).

K

Posted by: goaldigger | January 18, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I will be there live, yeah. I wish more people would show up for these games at the Home Depot Center.

Posted by: goalscorer24 | January 19, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I predict by 2015 all US Men's soccer matches will be on the Oprah Winfrey network (OWN)!!

Posted by: kanicko | January 20, 2011 5:26 PM | Report abuse

KCSB 91.9 FM in Santa Barbara will be broadcasting the US vs. Chile game this Saturday with a pre-game show starting at 6:45. You can access the pre-game show here http://www.kcsb.org/?p=5079. The actual game can be heard at the same link or on the kcsb.org main page.

Posted by: heatercurve | January 20, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

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