USA WC Qualifier Not On TV, Again!

large soccer USA v Brazil 1 USA WC Qualifier Not On TV, Again!

As the USA stumbled upon a second place finish in the Confederations Cup, ESPN surely reaped the benefits. Although the team were lucky to be in the final, every “soccer” fan in the United States of America was jumping up in down as the US took a two goal lead, only to suffer a heartbreak in the second half. The result still seemed to be a turning point for football in America. Next came the pre-season friendlies throughout the country where, once again, ESPN cashed in.

Unlike ESPN’s effort to help develop the MLS, the network has done a fantastic job with the national team. However, just when an actual important match comes up, ESPN decides not to show the USA’s most crucial World Cup Qualifier on TV. As displayed on the games versus EL Salvador, Costa Rica, and Trinidad and Tobago are on ESPN Classic, first, fifth, and sixth respectively. The crucial match at  second place Honduras on October 10th, which could cement the United States’ place in the World Cup, will not be shown on TV. By now I am pretty sure that ESPN does not care about the well being of the sports shown on its networks, only about maximizing its profits. I am sure that if ESPN showed the Mexico game on ESPN HD or ESPN2 HD that a mind boggling number of people would have tuned in, resulting in ESPN collecting profits once again. Apparently ESPN does not want the popularity of soccer in America to increase, so the network has decided not to show the big matches on TV. I just hope next time the TV rights come around, ESPN will not be allowed to bid at all.

By the way, you might have read the three World Cup Qualifiers that ESPN does show are on ESPN Classic. Yes, that does mean that there will be no HD programming available!

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25 Responses to USA WC Qualifier Not On TV, Again!

  1. Ric says:

    Have you spoken with someone at ESPN who confirmed that this match is not being shown?

    I am fairly certain there is no TV listed right now because there isn’t a time set. Oct. 10 is a Saturday in the middle of college football season, so I’m guessing that ESPN already has a packed schedule.

    I’ll bet that the game ends up on ESPN Classic, assuming the other ESPNs are full of football. When it comes to qualifiers, ESPN shows almost every match — the Mexico deal was a rights issue, as in they would have had to buy the match from Telemundo, and that’s not a problem here.

    And you can stop with the “ESPN doesn’t want soccer to grow in America” stuff, considering they just launched Premier League and La Liga weekly coverage and they have the World Cup.

    • Stuart Hester says:

      The “ESPN doesn’t want soccer to grow in America” was about developing the MLS and youth leagues. Of course they are showing the Premier League and La Liga because it has become profitable, which they have the right to. I just wish they would advertise the MLS a little more. Obviously the MLS is not a money making machine, but with the help of ESPN, it could become a main stream sport in the US, not the side show it is today.

  2. The Gaffer says:

    ESPN has confirmed that they will not be showing the USA v Honduras game which will be played on October 10.

    So if they’re not showing it, who will?

    The Gaffer

  3. Bobby says:

    Mun2 again? They should take advantage of it.

  4. Chris says:

    What gets me is these idiotc people are going to show the world cup but not going to show the USA’s Journey to the world cup even if it was only just two qulifers they didnt show…Its a shame we show european football and spanish football but dont care about whats going on here. Its okay if MLS doesnt matter to EPSN or whatever but the USA National Team should always be shown on ESPN…its far more important than College football or nascar….and if anybody think that junk is far more important that repping your country in the world of soccer your crazy.

    ESPN is a piece of shit….

    • The Gaffer says:

      Chris, it’s not that ESPN doesn’t want to show the game, but the fact is that ESPN does not have the U.S. rights for the U.S. at Honduras WC qualifying match. Big difference.

      Hopefully MUN2 or someone else will come through for us…

      The Gaffer

  5. Chris says:

    I figured this was the problem does this have to do with the fedration of Honduras having the rights and a tv company there owning the rights or something ?…Also if this is the case how about why dont our fedration and ESPN raise the price of the games so high that no Spainsh channel can show the games the USA is invloved with with other countries…cuz this is getting ridiclous…i dont even have mun2…i would say more people have FSC than mun2. something really needs to be done about this. its kinda getting selfish on behalf of the other countries fedrations and tv channels.

  6. Fan says:

    This guy should never be allowed to write about soccer again. Christ on a bike, when did mongoloids get the chance to opine on the sport and be taken seriously?

    Here’s a primer for the author – the host federation holds the rights to the match. ESPN has nothing to do with this unless the host federation wants them to be. So I’m sorry someone gave you a swirly in high school because he was the stereotypical douchebag soccer player, but that doesn’t mean you get to blame everything on ESPN and make up this supposed bias against US soccer. What a jackass.

    This is the Honduran federation flexing their muscle just like they did in 2001 when they would only allow the qualifier to be on PPV. See, some of us have been around and know this stuff instead of just throwing a temper tantrum and creating some sad ESPN conspiracy.

    This family of web sites is just getting worse and worse.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Fan, it’s an opinion piece and, as far as I know, broke the news that ESPN does not have the rights to the Honduras game. I think you’re over-reacting just a tad here.

      The Gaffer

  7. Chris says:

    @ Fan, Just shut need for you to insult me or anybody on this site, I have no clue who your talking to. ESPN is the blame because they can get the rights to this game nobody is stopping them man lol. if ESPN can buy the rights to alot of leagues in Europe im pretty sure they can buy any kinds rights from any fedrations in the CONCACAF Region if they wanted to.

    Do you really think anybody cares that you had to buy the games on PPV, NO, but in this day and age now that ESPN is trying to get soccer showed on thier channels and get soccer bigger in america if anything they should be showing our National Team on thier channels, I also think that should be with every sport that invloves USA National Team like Basketball, Track, Etc etc.. Our national team should be first priority than Barclays Premier League, First Priority before La Liga, and First Priority before MLS. If you want to insult people do it to them in person dont do it on the internet, your just as much as the fool as anybody. People SHOULD be mad that ESPN wont invest thier money into getting rights from these fedrations. Im sure the Honduras fedration is down there saying screw you, you cant have the rights.

  8. Brian says:

    “People SHOULD be mad that ESPN wont invest thier money into getting rights from these fedrations. Im sure the Honduras fedration is down there saying screw you, you cant have the rights.”

    Horrible spelling and grammar aside, you completely contradict yourself here. You say people should be mad ESPN won’t invest the money, yet you’re saying the Hondurans won’t sell. Which is it – is ESPN cheap or are the Hondurans not selling?

    Besides the news that the Hondurans are again being jackasses, this piece is horrible, opinion or not. It bypasses all rational thought and understanding of how rights issues work. You have no evidence that there is any malice in what is going on, yet decide to rake ESPN over the coals. Opinion piece or not, that’s pretty weak.

    You don’t know that it won’t be shown on TV, you have just been told – five weeks out, mind you – that ESPN won’t be showing it. Maybe it will be on FSC, maybe GolTV, maybe Univision. You don’t know, but froth off at the mouth like a deranged Big Soccer poster.

    Nice catch on the news, but that is completely undone by the immature ranting which has no factual basis behind it and ignores the reality of the situation.

  9. Chris says:

    Well okay maybe the Honduras Fedration is selling but at a high price that ESPN doesnt want to give money out for like the FMF did. yeah It could show up on ESPN, But I doubt it because these people running these site have usually hit the nail right on the about tv rights and whats showing and whats not. AS long as ESPN or FSC picks it up im fine…but mun2, univison, Telefutra, all of these..These channels are not on everybodys cable line up…My old cable company didnt even have a spanish language channel. I had to change my cable companys just to get FSC. and I would think this has to be the case with many people in the United States.

    as for the gammer mistakes you was point out in my post, Im not on here to right a portfolio for a school. so get over it

  10. Chris says:

    I also want to point that when i was talking about what the FMF, telemundo was in on that deal to and telemundo rasied the price so high that ESPN didnt want to give that much money for it. FMF could have stopped that and put some rules down. But we will just see what happens and hope it does get put back on ESPN but i doubt it considering these guys know things.

  11. Ric says:

    Well then, I guess I’m wrong. Gaffer, thanks for providing the actual news from this piece — a statement from ESPN confirming they won’t show it.

    I’m a little surprised, but if ESPN won’t pony up the cash for the game, who will? Have to figure that whatever ESPN would have given the Honduran federation would be better than zero $$.

  12. The Gaffer says:

    We’re working on finding more about the story, but it may be that NBC owns the rights to the Honduras v USA game, but I’m working on verifying that.

    The Gaffer

  13. Chris says:

    Alrighty…thanks gaffer…any channel is better than Mun2 and Telefutura and etc etc…

  14. The Gaffer says:

    No word yet on whether the Honduran Football Federation has had a chance to sell the US TV rights for the October 10th game, but it could be that the game will only be available on pay-per-view. Too early to say right now. A lot of it depends on how important the Honduras game will be and whether the US can beat El Salvador and TNT – thereby making the Honduras game practically irrelevant.

    Stay tuned!

    The Gaffer

  15. Scott says:

    They haven’t sold the rights yet. ESPN can very likely gain the rights to the match for October 10th as they do with many other WC Qualifiers in Central America. The game is on a Saturday in the fall, which means college football will be on ESPN and ESPN2. The game should be on ESPN Classic and Telefutura. The game time hasn’t been announced yet. The difference with this game and the Mexico game if FMF had a tv rights deal in the U.S.A. with Telemundo. Honduras has no tv rights deal in the United States so its likely ESPN having the first right to choice with U.S. Men’s National Team will pick up the game and likely put it on ESPN Classic, because of the aforementioned college football.

  16. Joe D says:

    You also have to remember, that besides the Honduran Federation either refusing to sell the rights or asking for an exorbitant amount of money, that ESPN is the the business of making money. If they normally buy rights for games for let’s say $500K and Honduras now wants them to pay $4 million for it, they would be idiots to do so.

    Let’s face it, there are a lot of us die hard soccer fans and US fans, but no matter what, a US qualifier on ESPN is only going to get a 1.8 rating at best. Based on ratings books, ESPN sells commercials. How are they going to recoup the large fee with basically no viewers? Plus, once again, October 10th is a Saturday. College Football is ESPN’s money maker so no way the soccer match makes it on ESPN or ESPN2…thus once again it gets dumped to Classic.

    So I guess the only hope is that Telemundo, that had the Spanish US rights for the Mexico match, gets the rights again and is able to provide an English version on a sister station. However, where NBC owns Telemundo, the pressure should be put on them to put the game on a more popular station than Mun2. Something like USA, Bravo, SyFy, etc. All NBC networks that could have shown the US – Mexico match and gotten a better rating that it got on Mun2. Gripes, if NBC doesn’t have football that night, why not show it on NBC itself? It will still get a better rating than any crap they have on Saturday nights anyway!

  17. Neil says:

    I think it is poor that the US national team is not on TV at all. Not sure if it’s for profit or not but if they want the game to become bigger in the states, they need to support it more! I’ve read a few comments and do agree with the fact fact ESPN are pushing European football, but is this because it was put in there laps by buying Setanta group out who already had the contracts for Spanish and English leagues? Or did they invest it in it just so no rival sports channels could? Either way I am happy they did but lets see when it comes around again to renew the contract! All in All show the frigging games on TV please! Which does seem a bit late to post this as I have just searched through to find it not on anywhere when i saw the highlight of US scoring on ESPN! Or yeah I’m from England and live in US, an we qualified today kicking Croatia’s arse’s 5-1…. Come Onnnnnnn!!! Hope to see you there, 3 easy points are always nice!!!

  18. Chris in NOLA says:

    Any idea where this match will be played? Tegucigalpa or San Pedro Sula?

  19. Chris says:

    I believe the game will be played at San Pedro Sula

  20. The Gaffer says:

    Looks like the game may only be available on PPV as I suggested earlier:

    The Gaffer

  21. James says:

    Actually, per USSOCCER.COM, it is not ESPN’s choice. Whichever nation is the Home Team owns the television rights to the game. Unfortunately Honduras is the culprit in screwing the US fan base because it “opted to broadcast via closed circuit feed only.”

    Check out the article on the website:

    I think the world cup confederation should review their Broadcast Rights Policies!!!!!!!!!!

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