God save the footie
June 12, 2006 3:51 PM   Subscribe

I don't want to hear Brent freaking Musburger call World Cup games. Any way I can hear British commentators calling the games on separate audio while watching on my tv?

For me, the only proper way to watch pro soccer games is with British commentators. Spoiled by EPL, I guess. I just feel like we don't have enough of a soccer tradition for our sportscasters to call it well. Even with the former national team guys, it just isn't the right flavor for me.

I want to watch World Cup games on my tv on mute while hearing an English commentator crew call the game via some other audio source. I don't have any BBC tv channels and I don't have Sirius or XM radio. All I've got is the internets. I've looked through the BBC sites online and haven't found any feeds. Know of any? Know any way to do this? I did hear a somewhat Brit team call a game on Sunday, but I'd like to get something like that for every game. Whatchoo got?
posted by kookoobirdz to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (39 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Does BBC Radio 5 allow non-brits to listen in? I don't know there might be some rights issues that may make them block some IP's.

Otherwise, they'll have more or less every game live.
posted by selton at 3:55 PM on June 12, 2006


There are Dashboard widgets to listen to BBC radio, so I imagine that would work. Haven't tried it personally, though -- maybe there are blackout restrictions, like we Americans have to deal with for the MLB.
posted by danb at 4:02 PM on June 12, 2006


I'd have thought you could listen in to the streaming coverage on BBC Radio Five Live, but from perusing their site, it looks like only UK listeners can hear commentary, which seems odd, given that you can listen to any other BBC radio station no matter where you are in the world. (Althoughy it might be the case that you can listen live if you're outside the UK, but aren't allowed to access the streams afterwards ...)

BTW, this is always how I watch Wimbledon – match on the TV, sound off, radio commentary on; I can't stand the TV pundits, but the radio commentators have an economy of style – and a speed – which works perfectly with the visuals ...
posted by Len at 4:04 PM on June 12, 2006


Yah, I checked out the Five Live stuff. I believe the UK only thing is a rights issue. They sell the broadcast rights by region, so if you buy them for UK, you have to restrict them to UK. Would Anonymizer help here? Never used it. I read something about them filtering by IP to determine who is UK and who isn't, so I'm wondering if Anonymizer's a way around that.
posted by kookoobirdz at 4:11 PM on June 12, 2006


No matter what solution you choose, I imagine the chance of getting audio that's properly synchronized with the video -- i.e., not a second or two ahead or behind -- very small, and the resulting experience very annoying.
posted by jjg at 4:13 PM on June 12, 2006


Tivo (or some other, inferior DVR) could ameliorate the sync issue. Would take a little fiddling, but probably nothing too bad.
posted by TonyRobots at 4:23 PM on June 12, 2006


Thanks for this question kookoobirdz, I've been having the same problem. I hope there's a solution...
posted by ob at 4:45 PM on June 12, 2006


YOU ARE LOOKING LIVE...

Sorry, had to pull a Musburger classic.
posted by frogan at 4:55 PM on June 12, 2006


No answer here, I'm afraid, but I have to join in your complaint about the crappy US announcing. "Japan has the ball... [long silence]... They're going to have to start moving the ball forward with more consistency... [long silence]..." I'd kill to get Univisión—even when you can't understand the Spanish, at least it sounds like something's happening—but there aren't enough Spanish speakers up here in the Berkshires, I guess.
posted by languagehat at 5:41 PM on June 12, 2006


Most cities in the US you can pay approximately $20 to watch the games on Sky in sports bars or pubs.
posted by fshgrl at 5:45 PM on June 12, 2006


"They're going to have to start moving the ball forward with more consistency"

!!!

Wow, you really do need proper commentary. If you figure out the technical bits kookoobirdz, I could open you an ssh tunnel to stream it via here. I don't have the greatest pipe, but it might work.
posted by bonaldi at 5:46 PM on June 12, 2006


Actually, I just tried to listen to Radio 4, and it won't play the current football highlights due to "rights restrictions". The FAQ says they're not broadcast any football on the internet, UK or not.
posted by bonaldi at 5:53 PM on June 12, 2006


I've always preferred watching World Cup games on the Spanish language channel despite not understanding Spanish than to listed to the annoying American sports commentators.
posted by ShooBoo at 6:06 PM on June 12, 2006


No answer here, I'm afraid, but I have to join in your complaint about the crappy US announcing. "Japan has the ball... [long silence]... They're going to have to start moving the ball forward with more consistency... [long silence]..."

Have you ever seen that episode of the Simpsons when they win tickets to a soccer game? It shows two players kicking the ball back and forth and the american announcers are bored and expressionless. Then it cuts to some spanish announcers who are screaming at the top of their lungs.
posted by b_thinky at 6:23 PM on June 12, 2006


I think it's a good idea for society to get rid of Musberger. I've hated him since 1987, when he cost my hometown bball team, UNLV, a game against Oklahoma in a #1 vs #2 matchup. For some reason there was some controversey over whether a shot was a 2 or a 3 (it was clearly a 3) and the refs decided to ask Brent, who said it was a 2. UNLV lost by 1 point the point Brent Musberger robbed from us. That was their only loss of the sesason (besides their loss to Indiana in the Final Four).

I still hope to repay Brent for this someday.
posted by b_thinky at 6:26 PM on June 12, 2006


That's this one b_thinky
posted by bonaldi at 6:41 PM on June 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


Brent Musburger should have been banned from sportscasting when, in 1968, he called Tommy Smith and John Carlos "black-skinned storm-troopers" for giving their "nazi-like salute" after the 200 meter run.

That douchebag still needs a beating.
posted by jmgorman at 6:45 PM on June 12, 2006


One reason soccer is so boring in the States is the boring and clueless announcers. I get more enjoyment out of Spanish channel games and I don't even speak Spanish, but man those announcers are into the games and their enthusiasm is infectious.
posted by caddis at 6:51 PM on June 12, 2006


A couple of the games on ESPN2 have featured a British and an Irish announcer (sorry, I don't know their names). Those games have indeed been much more fun to watch than the ones with the American announcers.
posted by Acetylene at 7:14 PM on June 12, 2006


@languagehat

I'd kill to get Univisión

Heh. I was watching Mexico-Iran in hi-def on Sunday, but the American announcers made me want to pull my hair out. I switched to lo-def Univision and enjoyed the game thoroughly even though I only understood a fraction of what was being said.
posted by jdroth at 7:22 PM on June 12, 2006


It's not just soccer. I was in Germany on business in 2001 during the Tour de France watching the race in German, of which I understand nothing. It was the day Lance gave Jan "The Look." After feigning exhaustion he looked back at Ullrich on a steep climb and just sort of asked with it if he was coming. He then proceeded to power away from Ullrich. Ullrich was totally defeated, both physically and mentally and the Tour was over at that point. Everybody watching knew it. Those German announcers knew it. I couldn't understand their words, but the despair and amazement were clear. They were only showing highlights in the States that year so that was the place to be.
posted by caddis at 7:44 PM on June 12, 2006


I've always preferred watching World Cup games on the Spanish language channel despite not understanding Spanish than to listed to the annoying American sports commentators.

Ha! That's what I was going to post. Unavision is so entertaining just listening to the emotional inflection of the commentators go up and down (mostly up). We turned over to ESPN every once in a while today and it was like they were calling a golf game.

Damn, that's pretty bad criticism for ESPN. I'd rather watch a channel I can't understand at all than listen to their crappy coverage. No wonder Americans don't watch Soccer.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:32 PM on June 12, 2006


Kookoobirdz will Tivo the Univision version. Viva el futbol, muchachos!

It'll be nice to filter out the window-licker comments:

"Now remember everybody, each team gets three substitutes, and they can insert them at any time in either the first or second half."

Thaaanks, genius.


(thanks Bonaldi. I got no ssh skeelz)
posted by kookoobirdz at 8:49 PM on June 12, 2006


God, I hate the American announcers. Especially when they say stuff like "Portugal really doesn't want to give up a goal right now." No kidding? When do they want to give up a goal? Also, I can't remember the game, but one actually said, "this team has really turned things around 360 degrees."
posted by Kronoss at 9:34 PM on June 12, 2006


A couple of the games on ESPN2 have featured a British and an Irish announcer

I believe the "Irish" gentleman to which you refer is Tommy Smyth, whose accent sounds either fake or completely exaggerated to me. Plus, he refers to goal-scoring shots as "bulging the old onion-bag", which makes me want to climb through the TV and gouge his eyeballs out.

Also, I can't remember the game, but one actually said, "this team has really turned things around 360 degrees."

I believe that would be the same guy who referred to Victoria Beckham as "Victoria Posh" in the same sentence that he called Beckham "Brian" or something completely not-David.

I never thought I would pine for the commentary of John Motson or Clive Tyldesly, but....sigh.
posted by pdb at 10:24 PM on June 12, 2006


One of the best things BBC TV has done this year is to give digital viewers the option of turning Motson off and listening to the radio 5 commentary along with the game. (I've tried turning off the sound and turning on the radio in the past but there's a lag with the radio commentary so it was never quite right.)

Practically every time I've watched a game in a crowd with a Motson commentary there comes a point when several people say, at the same time, "Oh for God's sake, shut the f--- up, Motty".

I gave up on Americans and football years ago. I remember reading in the early 90s that when the plans were being drawn up to take the World Cup to the USA for the 1994 tournament, the major US television networks tried to apply pressure to FIFA to split the games into six 'quarters' of 15 minutes each to allow for commercial breaks. Their argument was that fans wouldn't be able to concentrate for 45 minutes without a break. Sheeesh!!!
posted by essexjan at 12:51 AM on June 13, 2006


Have you ever seen that episode of the Simpsons when they win tickets to a soccer game? It shows two players kicking the ball back and forth and the american announcers are bored and expressionless. Then it cuts to some spanish announcers who are screaming at the top of their lungs.

Yes, it was so true it made me weep. Why can't they get announcers who actually care about the game?

one actually said, "this team has really turned things around 360 degrees."

I remember it well—I hollered into the kitchen to tell my wife about it.

Oh, and may I just say that the US team has fully vindicated my decision to root for Argentina?
posted by languagehat at 6:00 AM on June 13, 2006


The issue I have with watching on Univision (my lack of Spanish notwithstanding) is the lack of HD. So I too love this question, and have tried to get an English audio feed with no luck.....

My other big complaint about some of these announcers is (1) their need to talk about the US squad through every single game, and (2) their need to talk about how things were when they played. 16 years ago.

As for the "Americans + football = shite", let's not be melodramatic here... Anecdotes about "US wants soccer to have 15 minute quarters and as many subs as they want and timeouts and etc etc etc....unless there is even the tiniest bit of verification, I dismiss them as bull.

posted by inigo2 at 6:04 AM on June 13, 2006


A couple of the games on ESPN2 have featured a British and an Irish announcer (sorry, I don't know their names). Those games have indeed been much more fun to watch than the ones with the American announcers.

Yes, yes, and yes. (They were Adrian Healey and Tommy Smyth, by the way.)

Like the OP, I'm spoiled from watching EPL games on Fox Soccer Channel, but man those American announcers are annoying.
posted by danb at 6:32 AM on June 13, 2006


Has anyone ever met or heard of anyone ever liking Brent Musberger?

I ran into someone recently who thought that Tim McCarver is an all-time great announcer, so you never know, someone out there might like Musberger too.

Wish I had a more helpful answer, kookoo. It could be worse, tho-- in 1990, TNT used to cut away from the games to show ads. Univision, meanwhile, would have unobtrusive, funny little cartoon ads at the bottom of the screen.
posted by ibmcginty at 6:37 AM on June 13, 2006


At the half:

Togo 1
Korea 0
posted by caddis at 7:17 AM on June 13, 2006


Oh well, Togo loses.
posted by caddis at 8:12 AM on June 13, 2006


If I could find a way to have Stuart Hall's commentary over every World Cup game, I'd be ecstatic. Ex: 1 2 3 more
posted by blag at 2:41 PM on June 13, 2006


i finally found this link which is from the sun. i just listened to the sweeden-paraguay game on it, and it was better than dave o'brien.
posted by kendrak at 2:28 PM on June 15, 2006


Thanks, kendrak—no longer will I suffer from Brent Syndrome!
posted by languagehat at 3:20 PM on June 15, 2006


I imagine Musberger or any american calling a soccer game sounds the way a non-american would calling basketball or football. There's lots of cultural stuff that goes into sports. This is probably one of the reasons soccer probably will never catch on in the USA.
posted by b_thinky at 8:28 PM on June 15, 2006


Hell yes! Thanks kendrak! Good ol' Ask MeFi. Comin' thru in a pinch!
posted by kookoobirdz at 7:10 PM on June 16, 2006


This audio feed is a bit behind (at least now during Portugal v Iran on 6/17/06 on ESPN2). So, it's best paired with a DVR so you can rewind just a bit to synch it up.
posted by kookoobirdz at 7:22 AM on June 17, 2006


Another option for games online -- I'm not sure of the exact naming convention, but for other games it shouldn't be too tough to guess based on the following examples... (Unfortunately, I can't mess around with it since it's all blocked at work...)

http://espnevent1.espn.com.edgesuite.net/FIFA_June19_Spain.asx

http://espnevent1.espn.com.edgesuite.net/FIFA_June20_Sweden.asx
posted by inigo2 at 9:12 AM on June 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


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