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On Anchors and Commentators

So, what’s your opinion on the EPL announcers, anchors, analysts?

It’s been a bit of a change and adjustment since NBC took over the broadcast duties from Fox Soccer for the 2013/14 season.  As you may recall, Fox Soccer was the face and voice of soccer in America for years and, in my opinion, did a fine job of it. Besides their own soccer news shows, they also aired Britain’s Sky Sports News which had all the latest transfer, match news, as well as their entertaining ‘headlines’ spot which found one of their analysts holding up the English newspaper headlines and discussing them. All very entertaining stuff and delivered by some pretty cool anchors. There was one channel to watch which had the Fox Soccer Report and Sky Sports News shows rebroadcasts so if you missed it the first time, you could watch the rerun. Matches were rebroadcast so that if, heaven forbid, you missed it ‘Live’, you could also watch the replay. Doesn’t work the same way now if a game is shown ‘Live’ on NBC. One of the hosts I do not miss is Christian Miles, who was replaced in their last season by Rob Stone who was loads better. Too bad that came so late in the game, so to speak.Rebecca Lowe for the EPL

As to the new anchors and analysts in NBC’s studio, we get Rebecca Lowe and the ‘two Robbie’s’, as she likes to say. That would be Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe. I was happy to find that Rebecca Lowe is a terrific anchor! She’s comfortable and at ease in front of the camera, and obviously knows her stuff. The Robbie’s are fine and are drawn out very well by Rebecca’s questions and comments. None of this seems stilted or scripted and they convey good information and analysis in a finite amount of time. Kyle Martino was also in the studio last season,..hopefully that won’t be the case during this one. I don’t find that he’s a good fit at all.

So far NBC hasn’t instilled more American game commentators in the mix, although Tim Howard is doing some games again this season. He did some last season and is scheduled for a total of 11 in this one. I have to say, I don’t care for an active player announcing games in the same league. I guess I am an EPL snob, but I Much prefer the English ones. Give us American soccer viewers more credit. We like to watch the beautiful game, and don’t need it clouded by constant comment, a trait of most American game commentators. Now, Tim Howard Tim Howard Beardeddoesn’t seem to do this, but neither do I find his voice very appealing to listen to.  Plus, it just seems wrong to see him on a Sunday or Monday game after his team has already played. In fact, his last outing showed his on-pitch behavior to be less than stellar…will he be asked to comment on that? How awkward.

Anyway, hopefully, the regular Brit game commentators will be the same and we’ll be treated to their usual dry humor, English Premier League history and player knowledge, and a minimum of  chatter. After all, it’s really about showcasing the games being played, and not the commentators.


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