World Soccer Talk
Kane to Bundesliga: Can ESPN move the needle?
Will Harry Kane's arrival in the Bundesliga move the needle with the popularity of the German league across the United States? We discuss, but we also dive into several related topics.
For instance, is ESPN ready to promote the Bundesliga with as much attention that they've given to LaLiga? Does ESPN have the talent they need based in the United States who can share their expertise on German soccer? And we also share which league the Bundesliga is focused on overtaking internationally, and why it's important that social media is part of that strategy.
As always, we also discuss a variety of other topics and answer your questions in the Listener Mailbag section. One of the topics is, if you’re not watching full games, can you call yourself a soccer fan?
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1516. If soccer isn’t on TV, does it make a sound?01:00:18When it comes to watching soccer, if a league isn't on television, does it make a sound? We discuss this topic in light of the new media deals announced for NWSL and USL, which begs the question about other leagues who are struggling with the same question, namely Major League Soccer (with MLS Season Pass) and the Bundesliga (with ESPN+).On this week’s episode, we also discuss whether NWSL and USL going down the path of MLS 1.0 is going to help or hurt them, we share your feedback on VAR, plus we answer all of your questions in the Listener Mailbag segment.
1515. VAR is ruining the Premier League01:06:19In a game that is so simple, VAR has made the sport more complicated. It has removed a lot of enjoyment from the game and has made it more tedious to watch when VAR gets involved. As such, hosts Kartik Krishnaiyer and Christopher Harris discuss how VAR is ruining the Premier League, and what the solution is, as well as comparing it to how other leagues handle VAR. In an attempt to add a spectacle to the Premier League, it has had the reverse effect. The topic of discussion, of course, is the Newcastle-Arsenal game, as well as Fulham versus Man United. The podcast was recorded before the Tottenham-Chelsea match where VAR controversies raged on.Other than VAR, we discuss Matt Turner being dropped by Nottingham Forest and what it means for USMNT players in Europe, ESPN2's coverage of the USL League One final, who would have been a better USWNT coach - Emma Hayes or Sarina Wiegman, news about Kartik interviewing Guillem Balague about Lionel Messi, the joys of watching the FA Cup 1st Round, feedback on NBC and CBS soccer coverage, whether USWNT and USMNT games are available on-demand on Max, as well as plenty of other topics.
1514. Could CBS improve USA Premier League coverage?01:13:44In this episode, we discuss whether CBS Sports could do a better job of covering the Premier League than NBC Sports does, Kartik discusses what he discovered about world soccer from traveling to Turkey, and what other soccer coverage we've been seeking out to fill the void. We also discuss what's missing from CBS Sports' Morning Footy show that would improve it. Plus, is there enough demand or interest in watching League Two games from viewers in the United States? And have the Premier League, Championship and League One become too boring and predictable?In the Listener Mailbag segment, we answer your questions about CBS Sports Golazo Network, Saudi Pro League, BBC’s ‘Everton: Nothing will be the Same’ series, MLS Cup Playoffs, Welcome to Wrexham, and more.
1513. Jon Champion Interview: Legendary Premier League commentator28:36Hear our interview with Jon Champion, the legendary soccer commentator who now works for NBC Sports as well as ESPN, ITV, and other broadcasters. For fans of Premier League clubs around the world, Jon Champion is one of the most well-known voices. In the interview, Jon Champion discusses: – What he misses most about the United States – His history with Peter Drury – Working alongside Taylor Twellman – Whether VAR should have been implemented or not – Where he gets his wit from – Other sports he has called – His memories of supporting his favorite soccer club.
1512. Video Killed The Podcast Star01:21:58In this week’s episode, we discuss why NBC Sports needs to step up the quality of its Premier League coverage, our thoughts on the new Messi documentary series from Apple, the trials and tribulations of Fantasy Premier League, and NWSL’s new TV deal. Plus we discuss:- Technical issues streaming games across Peacock, Paramount+ and ESPN+- Which soccer broadcaster is the most unformulaic- Could CBS Sports do a better job at broadcasting the Premier League to viewers in the USA?
1511. WREXHAM WOMEN: Interview with Gemma Owen14:04Much like the men's side, the Wrexham Women's team has undergone considerable change since American investors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney took over at the club. Not only has Wrexham Women earned promotion to its top flight, but it is growing in popularity.The brains behind that growth is Gemma Owen, who oversees the entire women's department at Wrexham AFC. Among her many hats, she is also an assistant manager of the U-19 Women's side with Wrexham. However, her responsibilities vary greatly. Owen joins World Soccer Talk ahead of 'Welcome to Wrexham' season two episode six, titled 'Ballers.' In this interview, Owen talks about her various responsibilities with the club as well as some of the players and fans of the side. Additionally, Owen goes into detail about the growing popularity of the women's team from abroad. Thousands of people had made the pilgrimage to Wrexham to watch the men's team. Now, some people are staying an extra day to watch the women. Could fans in the United States have the opportunity to see the Wrexham Women in a friendly against NWSL teams? Also, is there any chance fans could see Wrexham Women play in the Champions League?
1510. Does Apple want to change soccer for the worse?52:09On this week’s episode, we discuss the return of Welcome to Wrexham, audio problems for Premier League and Bundesliga games, whether Apple’s plans for soccer are a good move or not, and where NWSL rights could go next season after this year's deal ends.In the Listener Mailbag segment, we answer your questions and feedback including why we feel business owners should stay clear of disrespecting the sport of soccer, why Peacock doesn't show every single Premier League game, Saudi Arabia versus MLS, the pros and cons of leagues having games streamed via Apple TV, and much more.
Welcome to Wrexham, season 2: Humphrey Ker interview16:16Our exclusive interview with Wrexham AFC Club Executive Director Humphrey Ker shines a light on several fascinating topics involving the global phenomenon that is Wrexham Association Football Club. Ker, who is responsible for turning Rob McElhenney into a soccer fan and ultimately into becoming co-owner of Wrexham alongside Ryan Reynolds, answers questions about who is responsible for creating the magic of Welcome to Wrexham (season 2 launched September 12, 2023 on FX).Take a journey with us through Welcome to Wrexham season 2 as Ker discusses whether the success of the series in the US surprised him, the decision behind not including spoilers in season two, his experiences running into people from around the world outside the Racecourse Ground, and what Wrexham's global plans are.
1508. Messi League Soccer: Pros and cons of his success in USA01:03:18In this episode, we discuss the pros and cons of Messi’s magical run in Major League Soccer, as well as catching listeners up on where we’ve been. That's just the start of the conversation as we also chat about the wonders of British motorway service stations, whether the Messi effect has been able to impact mainstream media, what the Messi effect is like in the United Kingdom, what the biggest benefit is of all after Messi's arrival in the United States of America.Other tidbits discussed are NBC's new Premier League set, what their coverage is lacking, whether Super Clubs in MLS are a good thing or not, your thoughts on ESPN's coverage of soccer, criticism for ESPN's inability to take advantage of a golden opportunity, and what we've enjoyed about this Premier League season so far.