Friday, September 11, 2009 |
It seems like we've done this once before. An important World Cup qualifier for the US National Team being played away from home in a Latin country will be unavailable for millions of American fans. This time it's the upcoming road date with Honduras in San Pedro Sula; but instead of only a lucky few having access as was the case with USA-Mexico before we pushed Telemundo/NBC Universal into making the match more widely available (yes, I think we should take credit; 2,300 signatures is damn good), it looks like none of us will be able to see this one.
That is, of course, unless you want to pay for it. Reports indicate that the company that purchased the rights to the game, both English and Spanish, from the Honduran federation may only offer it via a pay-per-view broadcast; that is pure crap, of course, and there's really no other way to say it.
But there are significant differences between this situation and the one we faced with the Mexico game; while that game's rights were ultimately held by an American company who happened to have outlets in both English and Spanish, the Honduras match is controlled by a foreign concern with no such vehicles.
Hence, I'm not sure there is much we can do but take in the you-know-where and follow the match through trackers and *ahem* "alternate means" (if available). A campaign of any sort, be it petition, email, or even old fashioned letter writing, has no obvious target. ESPN can't be expected to purchase a game that will get minimal, even if "good for soccer", ratings for a price that makes it bad business to do so; as much as we may not like it, the "Worldwide Leader" should probably get a pass.
I'm left angry and disappointed, but resigned to our fate.
Share your thoughts below, but try to keep the cursing to a minimum.
Let me apologize for being a little behind on this. I know that since I took the lead on the Mexico TV situation that some of you looked to me to figure out what was going on with this game; I intended to, but got a little distracted. Sorry about that.