Archive: August, 2013
I received some new information from Comcast on August 22 about their issues with Extra Time. Click here to read that post.
For the most part, NBC Sports’ inaugural day of Premier League coverage went extremely well. The television broadcasts were smooth, the online streaming was high-quality, and most people who were able to watch the Extra Time overflow channels had few problems.
But there were a few issues with how pay-TV providers delivered Extra Time. Although NBC made all of the feeds available in high defintion, some providers – most notably Cablevision and RCN – scaled them down to standard-definition quality.
Heads up: this one's long. Not as long as the main story, but this one gets pretty deep.
STAMFORD, Conn. - I consider myself quite fortunate to have gotten to know NBC Sports president of programming Jon Miller fairly well over the last few years. He talks honestly and in detail, and doesn't hide from the public's reactions to his company's work.
Over the course of the interviews I've done with him, I think he's given you a lot of insight into the ways in which he views soccer's present and future as a television property. The latest conversation came on Saturday at NBC Sports Group's headquarters in Stamford, Conn., where an invited group of media watched the opening day of NBC's Premier League coverage.
STAMFORD, Conn. - There were enough people involved in NBC Sports' opening day of Premier League coverage that the cast could have matched numbers with the Philadelphia Orchestra. And just as Yannick Nézet-Séguin sets the tone at the Kimmel Center, Pierre Moossa had the proverbial baton in NBC's control room on Saturday.
In my story on how the day unfolded, I wrote a lot about Moossa's role in setting the tone and the tempo for the broadcast. You'll never see him on TV - in fact, he isn't even on Twitter. But you should know his name. As NBC's lead producer for soccer coverage, he's one of the most important people in the American soccer community.
For a guy who's constantly under pressure, Moossa got a very cool demeanor. He's honest, and he can be direct. But he's also quite humble, and an incredibly hard worker.
STAMFORD, Conn. - Arlo White isn't the only member of NBC's Premier League broadcast crew who moved from calling MLS games to the bigger stage.
Indeed, White isn't the only member of NBC's team who moved from working the Premier League to MLS and then back to the Premier League. Studio analyst Robbie Earle can make the same claim.
Earle spent 18 years playing in England, split evenly between Port Vale and Wimbledon. Though English by birth, he joined Jamaica's national team via family lineage. He won 33 caps for the Reggae Boys, and was a part of the team that famously made the 1998 World Cup. He even scored the team's first goal at the tournament.
STAMFORD, Conn. - When NBC Sports' first Premier League broadcast concluded on Saturday, studio host Rebecca Lowe had been on the set for seven and a half hours. She wasn't on air the whole time, but she was in charge of bringing viewers through all seven games that were played between 7:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
As I took in the action from a nearby screening room, it felt like I had just been watching the NCAA tournament. This was especially true between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., when there were five games taking place at once.
After everything ended, Lowe chatted with some of the reporters who NBC had invited to watch the day's proceedings in person. Here are some highlights from the conversation.
STAMFORD, Conn. - Though he has lived in the United States for some time now, until recently Robbie Mustoe was better known in the rest of the world than he was here.
The former Middlesbrough, Charlton Athletic and Sheffield Wednesday midfielder worked for ESPN's international channel from 2008 until this summer, when he joined NBC's Premier League studio team. Soccer fans around the world got to know him as a game analyst and pundit on Press Pass, ESPN International's top soccer studio show.
Press Pass launched in 2002, but didn't make it on to American televisions until last year. Prior to that, you would only have seen Mustoe infrequently. He did color analysis for European Championship and World Cup games, and some studio work on Premier League broadcasts. There wasn't too much else.
Time: 8:23 p.m. EDT
Venue: Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.J.
TV: NBC Sports Network (John Strong, Kyle Martino and Russ Thaler, on air at 8:00 p.m.)
HARRISON, N.J. - Greetings from a building in which the Union have lost every time they've visited. If ever there was a time to snap that streak, it's a night when John Hackworth's squad sits just one point behind the home team in the Eastern Conference standings.
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