EPL on NBC, 2013 - 14

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taxfoe
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Joined: 03/22/2000 - 1:01am
EPL on NBC, 2013 - 14

I think .. football .. there, I said it .. is a great game. I also think this is a bold stroke for NBC and, at the same time, a bargain. $250 million for 380 Premier League games is a steal. I and a hundred, or so, perfect strangers used to drive to the Irish Embassy in Boston (bar, not consulate) to watch Manchester United (or it's opponents) live at 6AM. The 30 - 40 million (aka 11 million) guest viewers who have snuck into this country over the past 10 years are, among many things, big soccer fans.

NBC is going to draw a lot of viewers to it's network and, maybe, reestablish it's relevance.

Vic Berardelli
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Joined: 12/26/2001 - 1:01am
I'm psyched. With DirecTV I

I'm psyched. With DirecTV I see live matches on Fox Soccer Channel, Univision and now the NBC Sports mix.

What a difference in quality. It is hard to get through 20 minutes of an MLS match but most EPL are excellent for 90+ minutes.

Your trips to The Embassy remind me of the late-60's and early-70s when the only way I could see a live World Cup match was on a closed-circuit feed for $10 in Journal Square theater in Jersey City or at the convention center at Columbus Circle in Manhattan. And the only live weekly coverage was via shortwave broadcast on BBC.

A unique EPL viewing experience is to drop in at M.A.S.H., a recreated English pub on Diezengoff Street in the north end of Tel Aviv. Brit expatriate Israeli's come in wearing a yalmulke but the scarf of their old home team, quaff a few pints and watch on a large wall screen. The name of the pub, BTW, means according to their matchbook: "More Alcohol Served Here."

taxfoe
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Joined: 03/22/2000 - 1:01am
A few nights ago, I caught

A few nights ago, I caught the 2nd half of the SEA - TOR (MLS) game. SEA was up 2 - 1 and TOR fought like he77 (unsuccessfully) to get that goal back .. exciting half, good stuff. MLS has a bright future. Attendance, thanks in large part to our guest felons, is through the roof .. or over the fence, if you will. Stadiums have genuine security and a compelling interest to enforce their borders. No sneaking in there.

My earliest exposure to EPL was courtesy of the BBC and short wave, probably 2 or 3 years before the internet began to gain traction. Isreal is currently neck and neck with Egypt in my travel plans.

Mr. Magoo
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Joined: 12/16/2008 - 12:27pm
Come On Fulham! Hoping to

Come On Fulham! Hoping to see more of their matches under this new set up - not just ones with the big four or five. The owner of Jacksonville in the NFL is the new owner, following in the footsteps of John Henry at Liverpool and the Glazers at Manchester United. I've been fortunate to be able to have seen matches at The Cottage, Stamford Bridge, Middlesboro and Highbury.

Hopefully Fulham can find a way to score some goals. Something that has been missing since the departure of Dempsy and Zamora.

Vic Berardelli
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Joined: 12/26/2001 - 1:01am
Mr. Magoo: As you have

Mr. Magoo: As you have experienced the marvelous game day atmosphere of English football, I highly recommend you go to Seattle on a day when the MLS Sounders are playing.

Drew Carey started his career in England playing the token American character on Britcoms and he was part of the original London "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" which he brought back to the States. While living there, he got hooked on EPL and especially the local street scene and atmosphere on match day.

Carey partnered with computer billionare Paul Allen to get the MLS expansion team in Seattle and developed an English town feeling for match day. They play in the NFL stadium which is walking distance from Pioneer Square, the rehab neighborhood full of bars and clubs.

On match day, folks wear their Sounders' scarfs and meet up at the pubs. About an hour before kick-off, a brass band starts playing in the Square and thousands of fans pour out of the pub and march behind it to the stadium singing the Sounders Song. Inside, one has the option of buying a regular seat or joining the Sounders Club and sitting with them where they sing and chant throughout the match like club members do in England.

They also emulated the English system by becoming the first U.S. pro club to start an academy where promising players move up through the age and skill levels getting taught by the professional players with the goal of getting a tryout when they turn 18 or complete college. The model works because they draw an average 35,000, filling the entire lower bowl and for big matches and international friendlies they open the upper tier and sell 65,000 tickets.

The MLS business model is perfect for growing the sport. In the mid-1970's I had midfield season tickets to the New York Cosmos of the now-defunct North American Soccer League. They could draw 80,000 and a "small crowd" was about 35,000. However they had Warner Communications corporate money dispensed by the recording division head Ahmet Ertugin and paid top dollar for what was, in essence, a World Cup All Star team: Pele, Beckenbauer, Chinaglia, Bogesevich etc. The only American on the squad was goalie Shep Messing, a character from Queens who fit the jet set lifestyle and posed nude in Playgirl Magazine using only his oversized goal gloves to cover. (See the ESPN documentary released on video by Miramax "Once In A Lifetime" for the sordid details.) Anyway, the demise of the NASL came about because none of the other franchises had such an unlimited budget and they were made up mostly of developing young Americans with some European and Latin second division players. Most cities averaged perhaps 5,000 for home games. The Cosmos would come to town, they would draw 35,000 and the following home game drop to perhaps 9,000. Within a few years, team after team went bankrupt and the Cosmos basically became an international barnstorming showcase for the aging World Cup stars until it folded.

MLS intentionally organized as the anti-NASL. Players sign a standard league contract with uniform salaries based primarily on years of experience. Each team is granted two exception players where they can either dispense more money or they can bid for an international name (as L.A. Galaxy did to get David Beckham.) As a result, the MLS is growing slowly but incrementally without the bidding wars which the Cosmos launched. The other smart move was to get most club owners to build smaller soccer-only stadia (which are used as outdoor concert venues during road trips and off season.) Most are about 25,000 to 30,000 capacity and fill up. The atmosphere in these venues is far more fun than the 13,000 rattling around Gillette Stadium which seems like a ghost town on Revolution days. New York Red Bull left Giant Stadium for the cozy confines of their new Red Bull Stadium in Harrison, N.J. and are reaping rewards. A second New York MLS franchise, which will nostalgicly be named Cosmos, will build a similar soccer-only stadium in Flushing next to the Mets' home.)

Vic Berardelli
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Joined: 12/26/2001 - 1:01am
BARCLAY'S EPL WEEK 1 LIVE

BARCLAY'S EPL WEEK 1 LIVE U.S. TV SCHEDULE

SAT 8/17
7:45 a.m. NBC SPORTS CHANNEL Stoke City at Liverpool
12:30 p.m. NBC Manchester United at Swansea City

SUNDAY 8/18
8:30 a.m. NBC SPORTS CHANNEL Tottenham at Crystal Palace
10:55 a.m. NBC SPORTS CHANNEL Hull City at Chelsea

MONDAY NIGHT GAME OF THE WEEK 8/19
3 p.m. EDT NBC SPORTS CHANNEL Newcastle at Manchester City

Peter
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Joined: 03/13/2005 - 1:01am
Glory Glory MANU

Glory Glory MANU

taxfoe
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Joined: 03/22/2000 - 1:01am
NBC hits the pitch running

NBC hits the pitch running with that lineup. For anyone new to the sport, Liverpool, Man Utd, Spurs and Man City are contenders. Where's Arsenal, the most under performing dynasty of modern times?

There's a good betting opportunity in Man U @ Stoke. Who knows why but those are the games Man U loves to lose .. interesting test for the new boss.

UNITED FOR THE CUP!

Vic Berardelli
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Joined: 12/26/2001 - 1:01am
The pre-game show on NBCSC

The pre-game show on NBCSC has been wonderful. It is not US showbizzy like some of the NFL pre-game shows. It has been straight talk related specifically to the matches of the day.

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