MLS on NBC Sports Network – The Reviews are In
This weekend was the premiere of Major League Soccer on the new NBC Sports Network, featuring the New York Red Bulls at FC Dallas.
Arlo White was the main man with the call while Kyle Martino served as analyst from a new field-level spot between the benches.
We got some reviews from the gay4soccer staff:
(Ayla) My first reaction was how exciting it was to be able to regularly watch Major League Soccer on a channel that I didn’t have to pay for. I’m a big Martino fan and I thought that he did an excellent job from the parts that I saw and heard. I also noticed that the way they cut to commercials and so forth was a lot like watching the NFL. On one hand that is exciting because it means that companies bought a lot of ad time during the games and on the other hand it means that there are more commercial breaks than I am used to during games. Over all I think that the camera work was good, the commentary was smart and it is a big deal for the MLS to have games broadcast nationally by NBC. I wish the channel were easier to find, though! It took me about ten minutes of searching through my menu to find it because I didn’t originally realize it was on the NBC Sports Network and not basic NBC.
(Janine) NBC took their strong Olympic and National Football League coverage and bestowed that top notch production value on the beautiful game. The camera work was top notch, not once did the camera chase a fake pass, the vuvuzelas needed to be cancelled out (a lesson ESPN learned the hard way during the 2010 World Cup), but the CGI was crisp and ‘tucked’ away. It was a fitting production, one which sat in the background where it belonged while we enjoyed the sport we love so much.
(Jon) An A- all around…with specific highlights being Arlo White’s engrossing play by play and Kyle Martino’s dynamite drop-ins as an analyst. I expect those two will be able to make a late-season bottom-table clunker enjoyable enough to watch. Video quality is very good, although I wish they would zoom out a bit and show more of the field in the normal run of play. The studio announcer was a little rough around the edges, but the Jamaican international was a knowledgeable analyst and that duo doesn’t bring the know-it-all-ness (hey, new word!) and arrogance of the ESPN bunch. I very much look forward to these broadcasts all season – hopefully they’ll get the ratings to justify their investment in our league.
(Jorge) Honestly, I loved the coverage. I think they were fair in terms of representing both teams. Kyle Martino was all over the place. The only thing that sucked was the fact that I had to hear the vuvuzelas the entire game; I was getting annoyed by that. Otherwise I think it was a great game, great coverage, and I feel they were better than Fox Soccer.