Stranger Fruit

How to broadcast soccer

Here is Kaká‘s splendid goal against Croatia. Viewers used to the ESPN school of broadcasting may like to note (1) the commentary that actually tells you who has the ball, and (2) the lack of crap on-screen.


  1. #1 ArtK
    June 14, 2006

    Nice goal — the defender who let him get by is going to be hating himself for a while. I particularly liked the low-angle shot that showed what a clear view he had of the goal.

    I agree with you about ESPN, and the same applies to FSN and any of the “mainstream” networks. Sometimes, I think that the people who work there feel they have to justify their jobs by finding new things to add. I think they also regard their audience as being stupid and needing something that looks like a video game to keep their attention.

    Many years ago, Fox introduced the “flame puck” for the hockey playoffs. Using a transponder in the hockey puck, they were able to highlight it on the screen and when shot at high speed, it left a trail of “flame” behind. The excuse was that it’s hard to follow the puck on TV, which is partly true. But good camera work can make up for that — lots of long shots so you can see a play develop can help.

    Then there’s the whole “second tier” sports thing in the US. One day this week, the Stanley Cup was on the 4rd page and the World Cup on the 5th. What was on the first page of the LA Times sports section, above the fold? Golf. Snore.

  2. #2 Sean Storrs
    June 19, 2006

    I happened to catch this interview with football fan and New Republic Editor Frankin Foer on NPR. It explains a great deal about ESPN’s “coverage” of the World Cup. The link opens with Real Player.

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